What’s next after the words are on the page?

Jason Matthews author Feb 2014My guest today is Jason Matthews, an author of the novels, The Little Universe and Jim’s Life. He’s also the author of How to Make, Market and Sell Ebooks All for Free, How to Make Your Own Free Website and Get On Google Front Page.

I met Jason on Google+ where he generously promoted my memoir, Leaving the Hall Light On. I’m glad to have the opportunity to finally return the favor. Jason has worked with thousands of indies to build author platforms, expand social media, learn to blog, make websites and sell ebooks. Here are his thoughts about writing, why he writes, and what comes after the writing is finished.

What’s Next?

by Jason Matthews

Your words are on the pages. The cover brings a smile. It’s published as an ebook at all the major retailers and available as paperback. It’s selling some. Congratulations. How does it feel?

I don’t know much about postpartum depression, but it feels like publishing a book that’s taken a year or several to produce might be the closest I’ll get to that experience. My guess is the male writer’s version is amplified if the book isn’t selling well, but in either case I sense it has to do with letting go and asking, “What now?”

When I get close to finishing a book, the energy rises during the final weeks to the point where I have trouble sleeping as tidbits to add interrupt my slumber. It’s an exciting, almost intoxicating time. The moment it goes live on Amazon and then again when it arrives later at my doorstep in paperback, accomplishment surges within me. Eventually though, that passes and a strange interim period settles in, laced with uncertainly made worse if I don’t have a clear writing project to work on next. After all, what fun is marketing?

I may even question why I’m writing or why that book. Then the answers come, sometimes out loud to the amusement of my wife when she catches me having a staff meeting in the shower. “Because I wanted to,” I’ll say with exasperation. She’ll roll her eyes knowing it’s not worth asking for details. That answer brings a temporary calm. Ultimately I think it has to do with my own expectations not being met.

Of course I envisioned it being a hit, don’t we always? But I know, maybe it never will be. These things we can’t control. A realization has already set in: that’s okay. I remember why I wrote it in the first place. It was something to do for me.

In fact, I don’t really feel like pitching it anymore, not even sure why. I’m not worried about the bestseller list or as concerned if others get the same benefit from it that I did, even though I still want that. Any author would, but it’s more important to remember the impetus for writing and those benefits. The books that mean the most to us come from a personal level, even a soulful level. Maybe they don’t sell as many copies as the others, but their value is beyond measure of rankings and categories on Amazon.

I’m proud of this last one because it has changed my life for the better and continues to help me each day. Hard to believe the depression that followed its wake of departure. Ironically, I realize it may end up as my worst seller even though I thought it would help the most people, starting with me. At least it did that. Something for which I’m grateful, something to get me past this feeling.

Learn more about Jason and his writing and publishing work by visiting his website here.

Comments

  1. Jason, I always enjoy your writing style and especially today dealing with this topic. I’ve not yet published an entire book so I can’t speak to the emotions, up or down, that a writer experiences. What I do know is that day to day I find myself riding the “why am I writing,” “who’s going to read it,” and “will they like it” roller coaster. In all honesty, I could sit and write all day, every week, month and year, without publishing, and I’d die happy. But…there’s always that rush of having it out in the world, isn’t there?

    Madeline, thanks for inviting Jason to post today. I really enjoyed the read.

    • Madeline Sharples says:

      Thanks, Sherrey, I think the emotions Jason expresses here are very universal. So many times a day I find myself asking the same questions. But we all continue to persevere. Best, Madeline

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