My first book—Blades in the Dark—is coming out a week plus one day from now (October 28). My debut novel—The Winds of Change—is soon to follow on December 9. There is not much time left, and to tell the truth, my nerves are a bit tense right now. Releasing a book is not just releasing a book, but putting a part of yourself on scrutiny in the public eye; people don’t just judge the book, but the person by whom it was authored. So what have I done to prepare for this? How much work have I put into my books? How does all of this feel?
Well, how it feels is fucking scary, but of course also extremely exciting. Writing a book is very exciting, and publishing it even more so. This is a step forward in my career and life. I finally get to share what I have worked on for two years. So while I have written for two long, but fun years, the release of Blades in the Dark is the start of my career. And that is scary. A million thoughts can race through your mind in a millionth of a second. At times, when your confidence is at its peak, your thoughts are themed with hope, pride, and bravery. When your confidence is not so high, other themes take control: despair, shame, and pretty much a will to just give up.
The only thing you really can do to fight these bad thoughts is to keep working. I have worked a lot on my books, the last two years (two years in January, actually, but still). Especially this last year, I have worked pretty much every day. On Blades in the Dark and The Winds of Change combined, I have worked around 274 500 minutes, or in other words 4575 hours. That is an average of around seven hours a day, and even so, I haven’t included the time I have spent working on the lore of my fantasy world—The Long Lost Tales of the Dragonlands. Of course, some days I have worked more, and some days I have worked less. But as I have stated before, if you have a dream, you must be dedicated to it and be willing to lay down a lot of your time. And I have yet to do a lot of work, so I will put in even more hours before the end. Hopefully, time won’t run short. With Blades in the Dark, however, I feel pretty much ready, and I make fewer and fewer edits.
The Winds of Change is not yet ready, but it is getting there. I have gone through it multiple times, and it has been improved significantly since it was first written. And that is just it: the first draft(s)—especially by someone who just started writing—may not be so great. One has to work on one’s book. It will not magically be perfect the first time around; that is not how creative writing works.
So to prepare for the release of my books, and hopefully dissuade myself from committing suicide, I have basically just worked on my books. The more I work on them, the better they are, the more easily I can sleep. As it is now, though, too many thoughts about my future as an author and all the work I have/want to do are swirling around the inside of my noggin for me to have a perfect sleep routine. What can be done to relieve this stress? I guess that is up to every individual person. This close to release, only doing more work can relieve my stress about work. Great formula, I know. What do you do when you are stressed?
But even though it is very stressful and downright disheartening to write at times, it is also a rewarding and fun experience. I have not only improved my writing and English, but grown as a person. Constructing a story is not just about telling one to others, but telling one to oneself. It is exciting. It has unlimited possibilities. It is mindboggling. Storytelling is one of the purest forms of art, and it is so integrated into our lives that we probably could not live without it.
So, is it worth all the stress and public scrutiny to join the ranks of soldiers standing against illiteracy? Yes, it definitely is. Writing my first novel has been exhilarating and rewarding (and I have many more books planned already). No matter what, you can be proud that you have achieved something, and no one can take that away from you. See you all in the Dragonlands, where blood, death, violence, war, deceit, magic, friendship, and love await us.
My debut book and debut novel—Blades in the Dark and The Winds of Change—are due for publication on October 28 and December 9, respectively. Furthermore, Blades in the Dark, being a trilogy, will be split into three e-book releases, starting with The Guardians of Siva (part one) on October 28, free of charge. Or, if you’d rather not wait a couple weeks to get part two, the pocket will include all three parts and a preview of The Winds of Change.