Going it Mostly Alone: the Publishing Path of A Perfect Blindness
Speaking of marathons, A Perfect Blindness has been out for about 6 months.
Not nearly what I wanted, hoped, nor planned for. I’m creaking along with about half of what I need for the first milestone (with an asterisk explained later).
Likely owing to that I’ve avoided doing what’s important. By which I mean the hard parts. Been busy as hell. But not getting what I need to get done: outreach. The letting people know the book exists part. The scary part.
Perpetually working on getting ready for the day when I really pull the trigger, a time that keeps scurrying away each time I get near enough to grasp it. As if I were in a nightmare: but this is real life and my own doing.
I’m running a classic Schrodinger’s cat-like launch—that by doing lots of prep-work and devouring vast quantities of tips, how-tos, hacks, and strategies about what to do, I give myself the impression I’m working as hard as I’m possibly able.
That allows me to and simultaneously imagine what a great success it’ll be once I really launch it, while I evade discovering that no one wants this after all.
This, my 434-page story of being in a band, dancing in clubs, drinking in dive bars, playing live music in the late eighties. All this as three people stumble over who they are, self-deception, secret keeping, the many faces of passion, and the uncertainty of being a misunderstood character in the stories other people tell themselves.
“Going it Mostly Alone” will star dissecting A Perfect Blindness’s cat-like “launch” and it’s striving to reach each milestone.
I hope other writers can avoid some the same pitfalls by reading this dive into what work has been done and those ideas tried. Even take succor in probably the most important bit of self-publishing—what’s going on inside the head of a confident writer when a book doesn’t sell right away when the rot of doubt begins to eat away at his attention, his sleep, his ability to get anything done.
Self-doubt brings up a favorite saying of a protagonist of APB. It explains how to survive the marathon that is self-publishing, and the tournament of traditional publishing. In spite of repeated setbacks, Scott Marshall keeps reminding himself of something he learned at 15: That in life persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.
Genius mostly goes unrewarded; education often leads to dereliction; even talented people are frequently unsuccessful. It’s the person who is determined, who persists that will find success far more often than geniuses, the educated or talented folks.
This analogy fits a marathon well: sprinters start out furiously, get winded and drop out early. The lack of goals reached; the distance still needing to be covered; the goal line shifting further back or off to the right discourages them. They bow out. But the marathon runner knows that 13 miles is only halfway. A shifting goal line? That’s a long way off. Let it shift as others drop out: There’s plenty of time and energy left to adjust. They will outlast even geniuses.
Any of this feel familiar?
More on the implication for self-publishing in general and A Perfect Blindness specifically next time.
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