I took my novella down from CreateSpace (Amazon), essentially taking it out-of-print.
It’s been a rough couple of months with health and family, with things I can and can’t talk about. On an already cruel day, I received my comments from the Writer’s Digest Self Published Book Awards contest. The story part of my book received threes of fives which I should take, I think, as encouraging for a manuscript that had no professional editing. However, the marks for the presentation of With Teeth were particularly unkind. It was noted as being “unmarketable.”
My knees buckled beneath me.
I have already acknowledged that self-publishing didn’t quite work out for me but I held out hope that the book would be useful in some way. Maybe I could keep a stack on me or leave some at local bookstores. Maybe when I traditionally published someday, it would be a kind of neat piece of memorabilia. I held on to the vague hope that someone would stumble on it and I’d become an internet sensation or something. So it hurt. It just hurt.
It was easier to deal with rejection years ago because there would be occasional validation scattered in between. I would win an award, get accepted for publication, get into school, my teachers or writing peers would provide feedback or even my BFFs who used to write too. Just a small note telling me that I was indeed good at this so, yes, there was a point to carrying on. And now it’s been so long…
I think it’s human to doubt yourself. Normal that your inner critic sneaks into your confidence. Now more than ever I have to try to listen to that old adage of “believe in yourself.” But it’s hard and it’s not what pushes me. Passion pushes me. The stories in my head egg me on.
And so I press. Ever onward.