It was 12:30am and I couldn’t sleep.
I was tired of watching Downton Abbey and Game of Thrones reruns… so I thought of reading a bit ’til I fall asleep. I decided to reach out for the book nearest my bed side…
Lo and behold, I got hold of MY book.
I didn’t start reading right away, though. Instead, I think I stared at the cover for a good ten minutes. I looked at the front, then the back… I took a couple of photos then posted them on Instagram.
I marveled at the thought that this book I had in my hands bore my name on it. I was the author. It was my creation. My thoughts, my ideas, my words, on paper. My childhood dream realized.
So this was what my bestie-cousin meant when she said, “It is different when you have the actual book in your hand. Something you can reread and bring with you everywhere you go.” And to emphasize further, “Your work. In your hands.”
She told me that at the time I needed encouragement… at the time when I was full of self-doubt and a voice in my head kept asking, “Why am I doing this again?”
It has been a year since the book first came out — though it wasn’t until the latter part of last year when well-known local bookstores started carrying it.
Looking back, it was quite an experience, really. From the first rejection of my manuscript, to the time I met the special people who worked with me to improve the outcome of the book… And then there was the challenge of how to distribute the books once published (thought balloon: I might run out of family members and friends to sell to)… And all throughout, I had to deal with internal struggles — basically self-doubt and fear of being unworthy and being criticized.
The whole process was a journey with moments of highs, and not exactly devoid of lows.
I have had good reviews and I have had so-so ones. I have readers clamoring for a second book — and yes, I have had one reader telling me that the book’s “not for her.” Short of telling me that she found it so juvenile.
It was a form of rejection, but I have long learned to take everything in stride.
No, I didn’t turn into an instant celebrity author. I’m quite far from it, really. But I consider myself blessed for having those people who read and appreciated my work.
You see, all I really wanted was to tell stories and to entertain the readers in the process. I wanted to make them feel something. I thought of all the novels I read that somehow stayed with me long after I have placed the book down. I wanted to share that same feeling with my readers. If I can make even just one reader smile and feel good while reading my work, I knew I’ll be happy enough.
Truly if we allow our fears to take control, we will never be able to do anything. If we allow one rejection to get the better of us, then our goals — our dreams — will forever be out of reach.
The other day I received a sales report from one of the bookstore chains distributing the book. So far they have sold about half of their inventory (based on total sales from various branches). Not bad… At least this time I know people other than my relatives bought the book! Not bad for a newbie nobody like me. 🙂
I started feeling sleepy even before reaching Chapter Two… But I know I fell asleep with a smile on my face.
Leaving you with this excerpt…
Fellow writers, artists, dreamers, I read this article on ‘rejection‘ online and it really struck me to the core. If you have been rejected or are afraid of rejection, this article is for you!! Sharing it with hopes that it can enlighten you the way it enlightened me: Why You Should Aim for 100 Rejections a Year, by Kim Liao, Literary Hub.
Twenty Years in Between, available at select National Bookstore, Powerbooks and Fully Booked branches. Also available online at Bookbed.org.
To God be the glory always. Photos are mine 🙂
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Eph.2:10 NKJV