The Book Baby Blues

Debut author Laura Kemp joins us today on Missdemeanors to discuss her reaction to the publication of her first novel, Evening in the Yellow Wood, and her approach to getting back to writing.  December 12th was a big day for me. It signified the birth of my Book Baby. I’d spent months, even years on perfecting my manuscript so that a publishing house would pick it up, and when they did I spent another chunk of time editing and re-editing so that the finished work would meet their standards.  Needless to say, everything was leading up to a point in time, a proverbial Mount Everest and when the day came the flurry of activity was intoxicating. My adrenaline took a serious hit as friends sent well-wishes, tweets were re-tweeted and posts shared. I watched my Amazon sales climb and shared my excitement with those closest to me (middle schoolers).  And then the next day came and a heaviness settled over me, a feeling of… what’s next? The adrenaline had crashed and real work began.  But what was this phenomenon? It’s was almost like post-partum depression without the baby.  And then I started researching.  Other writers have experienced this- in my own publishing house and beyond, the feeling that the real work was just beginning and the excitement was going to wane and then… gasp I might have to start writing ANOTHER novel.  What would my first novel think?  Going behind their back and toying with another manuscript? I’d invested so much in my first novel that writing its sequel almost felt like infidelity. However, what I learned from my research says different.  The overwhelming solution to the Book Baby Blues was to start writing again.  And soon. I can get so caught up in promotion and sales and trying to hit my ‘target audience’ that I forget what makes me tick… putting words on paper.  That’s why I appreciate blogs like this one, it’s a place for me to get my thoughts down in a quick and easy format.  Novel writing is tedious, and I often spend just as much time editing as I do writing.  Stream of consciousness projects help,  as does poetry, and sometimes short fiction, or going rogue and writing a scene for my novel that hasn’t been written into its proper sequence yet.  I just need to sit down and do it.   And after that, I need to remember that publishing is a marathon, not a sprint.  Which is hard for this OCD, solution-focused girl to do.  I want results! And NOW! But the results come slowly- in my blog posts and poems and (gasp) other novels.  All that together makes up the tapestry of what a writer’s life looks like. And it’s all okay.  We’re allowed to experience all these things, even if we don’t want to talk about it for fear of feeling ungrateful (you’ve published a book, what do you have to complain about?) And the full landscape of these emotions is what makes us good writers.  So feel the Book Baby Blues for a bit, then shake it off and get back to writing! How do you bounce back after finishing a major project? Leave a comment or join the discussion on our Facebook page.   Author Bio- Laura is a teacher who loves to write about her home state of Michigan. She has a B.A. in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University where she studied under Stuart Dybek, and has had her short fiction and poetry published in Chicken Soup for the Soul, Word Riot, Tonopalah Review, SaLit and SLAB: Sound and Literary Art Book. “The Pursuit of Happiness,” – a short story she wrote while at WMU, was chosen as a finalist in the Trial Balloon Fiction Contest. When not writing, Laura enjoys musical theatre, hiking, swimming, reading and performing with her Celtic folk band- Si Bhaeg Si Mohr.  She also enjoys spending time with her husband and children as well as her dog,  four hamsters, ten chickens, two horses and eight  (and counting) cats. Laura loves to connect with readers on her blog: (Sea Legs on Land), as well as on Facebook, Twitter (@LKempWrites) and Instagram. (lkempwrites)(woodys_book_tour)

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