What do you expect now
that you’ve just published your first book
with a small, independent, ideally respected press?
That the whole world will open up to you
and bow down at your feet?
That your genius will be trumpeted
and sung from every mountaintop
or at least one well-known reviewer
will not just say nice things but take notice?
That your book will be read
by discerning readers and scholars,
adopted by book clubs,
nominated for prestigious prizes,
and reviewed anonymously on Amazon
by people outside your friends and family?
That your world will change overnight?
That you will change overnight?
That you will speak in more complete
sentences, that your writing will carry
more weight? Please dear God,
I hope you weren’t hoping
or waiting for a movie adaptation,
perhaps an agent to snap you up
on the track record of a few hundred sales?
The world will go on turning.
It will be the same old world as yesterday.
You will be the same old person,
even if you are young.
Most people won’t read your book.
It won’t change their lives.
More importantly, it won’t change yours.
Only you are in control of that.
And that’s not through writing a book
but through your soul.
But young (or old) writer, rejoice.
You have earned your small place
on a challenging mountain
where people regularly go missing,
are lost in storms,
and fall into deep crevasses,
or worse, give up and head back.
Look out around you, still in the foothills,
Heat yourself a cup of tea
on your camping stove
and gaze up at the sky.
Give thanks for finishing your book.
Take courage and ready yourself
for next year’s climb.