This may be another one of those blog posts that I come to regret, but what the heck.Â It’s my blog and I’ll be honest if I want to.
I’m suffering from post-partum depression.Â That’s the best way I can describe it.Â After spending a year to write THE BONE GARDEN, after months of anticipation and hopefulness, it comes down to this moment of truth.Â Or, if you will, this week of truth.Â Whatever happens this first week pretty much determines whether the book is a flop or a failure.Â And I wish I could crawl into a cave and not come out until next year.
It probably sounds crazy to non-writers when I tell them that what should be a time of triumph — “Hey, my book’s finally in the stores!” — turns out instead to be the time of year when I’m most anxious and depressed.Â Doesn’t make sense, does it?Â I don’t know if other writers feel this way, but I suspect I’m not the only one.Â
Don’t get me wrong — I love meeting readers and talking about the book.Â But the promotional and business side of writing is not the reason I became a writer in the first place.Â I’m a writer because I love to tell stories.Â Now I have to get out there and be a saleswoman, in what seems like an ever more difficult market.Â Â I lie awake in bed, anxious about all the things that will go wrong.Â They always do.Â There’ll be stores that never gotÂ the book,Â reviewers who hate the book, and booksignings where no one shows up.
Then there’ll be the sales figures dribbling in day by day, reminding me that yes, this is actually a business, and that someone’s keeping track of whether I’m performing adequately.
The worst insult any reviewerÂ can throw at a writer is to say aboutÂ her book: “The author obviously didn’t care and just wrote it for the money.”Â Maybe there are writers who actually don’t care, but I don’t know any.Â Every writer I know, bestseller or not, cares deeply aboutÂ hisÂ book and how it does in the marketplace.Â Even though this is my 11th thriller, I still can’tÂ adopt aÂ Zen attitude aboutÂ its release, although I’m trying.Â
In a perfect world, I’d just write the books and let someone else do the selling.Â Â Instead I have to go out and beg people to buy the book, and I’m not a natural saleswoman.Â I’m really a natural hermit.Â Â