Years ago, when my manuscripts were buried deep in slush piles all over the country, all I wanted was to have one published book. Even if I couldn’t get all my manuscripts published—and that wasn’t going to happen anyway since I labeled many of them “drawer manuscripts”—I just wanted my moment to shine.
So now my book is out in the world. I thought I would be triumphant and relieved. That’s not the reality.
Here are some things that lay heavily on my mind now….
1) Getting book two published. I’m currently working on two wips. Sure, years ago I said, “Please, may one of my books see the light of day.” But now that my dream has become actualized, I want to do the same for my other manuscripts.
2) All the extras are time-consuming. I didn’t know book launch time would be so hectic. Honestly, I had no clue. I have been or was busy with guest posts, interviews, making bookmarks, getting ready for a book signing…I have to push myself to work on my wips here and there or else I’ll get nothing done.
3) The critics. In college I remember how my classmates and I took apart pieces of literature, and we didn’t always share the same vision for them. I’ve read reviews and received emails that made me aware of people focusing on various facets of my book. Some people love it, hate it, think it’s meaningful, think it’s cute, hone in on the specifics, or look at the overall picture. Personal taste is subjective. I always knew this, but now the concept is being applied to my work.
4) What kind of writer am I? I’ve been asking myself this question. One of my wips is strongly multicultural and the other one less so. BESTEST. RAMADAN. EVER. is pretty much an innocent book, but my latest wip has profanity and some sexual content. I have a third wip on the back burner and it’s a paranormal. I’ve been asking myself if I should jump genres and flex more of my writing muscles. My answer is yes.
When I first started thinking of myself as a contender in the writing business, I thought it would be a relief to get one book out in the world. As you can see, the worries never end. There’s constant pressure, but this is what motivates me to do more. I’m not going to stop at one book, I’ll learn to pace myself better and do things ahead of time with the extra tasks, I’ll develop a thicker skin with the critics, and I’ll genre hop if I want because being a writer means having no limits with one’s imagination.
About the author:
Medeia Sharif is a high school English teacher residing in Miami Beach. Her young adult debut novel BESTEST. RAMADAN. EVER. was released July 2011. You can find out more about her by visiting http://www.sharifwrites.com.