Publishing & The Creative Process

Three books in, I’m beginning to recognize a familiar pattern concerning my emotional state during the book publishing process. I wonder if other authors experience something similar.

For me, there is a calm sense of accomplishment once I’ve completed that first draft and sent my book off to the editor. Believe it or not, that confidence and faith even survives the editing and graphic design processes despite those annoying little setbacks and frustrations that pop up from time to time. When I first hold the completed book in my hand, I can’t help but feel excited and very proud of myself.

For whatever reason, a day or two later, my confidence in the project takes a nosedive. It suddenly hits me: “Oh, my God. Now I have to share this with people. They’re going to read it.” I feel vulnerable at the thought of it, as though I’ve just stripped down naked in front of 1,000 people and invited them all to take turns pointing out my flaws. A daunting prospect, to say the least!

That insecurity can last up to three or four weeks, until the next book starts to take shape inside my mind. Then the feeling subsides, and I’m fine again. This happens to me every time I publish a book—I’m not sure why—but I’ve come to accept it as a natural part of my creative process. (On the plus side, the confidence always returns, and another book idea always comes in.)

I would like to hear from other published authors about your experiences. Do you go through something similar? How long does it last? Is there anything you do to ease the emotions, or does the mood just pass with time?

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