Medium

Here’s my first offering to the website, Medium, where I ruminate on life as a self published author.  You can see it online here: https://medium.com/writers-on-writing/32274b1813da Text is below.  Watch the Medium space to see some more bloggy efforts.

 

Strange Days

a year in the life of a self-published author

Some days I feel like a hero. Make that a superhero —on particularly good days. (Though my two little boys already suggest the female + superhero equation doesn’t quite add up. What, like, Rainbow Girl? Princess Warrior? They are 5 and 2 and they scoff.) I finished a weighty project, you see,crafted a narrative from beginning to end. I am an Author.

And as such I’ve come to feel like a High Priestess in the Church of Self Expression, receiving confessions from other would-be, usually closeted, authors. Repentant souls who either abandoned their words or never let them out in the first place. Not me—I pushed all my words out and bound them up. People admire me for that. My discipline. Dedication. Drive. Yes, those three words all start with “D”. I like alliteration. You would know that if you’d read my book, which you probably haven’t. But that’s OK, because I’ve realised a sort-of dream.

Some days I find contentment in that vulnerable reality.

Other days I feel like an actor performing by herself every night. Lonely. Sometimes ludicrous. Despite the applause and reviewers’ attention, I feel truly weary of the sound of my own voice, the constant need for self-promtion, and the painful pace of progress. So I assure myself there is a bravery in taking stage every night. Surely bravery trumps popularity in the greater humanity stakes?

On the odd day, someone will ask me about Sales. How are sales this month, some kind friend will ask, as though I’m a Coca Cola rep. I want to reach for a spreadsheet, but luckily my friend isn’t looking for real figures. Or even answers. If I told told her that around $20 trickles into my account every month from Amazon, would she find that charming or pathetic?

So, every day, for just a moment, I allow myself to imagine those two no-longer-little boys boasting of their Princess Warrior Mama who long ago wrote a book about her life. They will hold faded copies of it long after I am gone, and I have to believe it will make them proud. When I catch my shrill, anxious voice I gain comfort from the notion that the edited voice will be the one to endure. The book is a kind of life raft for my legacy.

Maybe it’s all about legacy. Always has been. The reality that those two little boys and that one little book are so far my only lasting contributions to this world. Depending on the day — and how hard the wind is blowing in my adopted home — that reality makes me feel either singularly powerful. Or wholly insignificant.

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