Or, The ubiquitous Mother’s Day post.
(Gold star to any of you who recognize that quote.*)
I have not told my mother about my plans. In fact, I have not told very many people in my private life about my plans–only my three best friends and my husband–but it is significant that I have said nothing to my mother. My mother and I are close. I tell my mother everything (well…almost). My mother is an avid supporter of my dream to be a professional author and is, without exception, my biggest fan (which is saying quite something, as my soul-mate and soul-sisters made a serious competition of winning that honor). She has read all of my work, both romance and otherwise, and is always anxious to read my newest piece, even when it is still in pieces and not at all complete.
But I have not told her that I intend to self-publish, and I have not told her about my website or this blog.
I am not entirely certain why. I think it is because I am not ready to explain it to everyone I have ever known–that I am publishing trashy romance novels and, worse yet, doing it on my own, without the cloak of legitmacy that a traditional publisher would offer in the eyes of someone who has not spent an entire afternoon at work researching market trends. As I have mentioned, this is an experiment. It could blow up in my face; I could put out 12 novellas in the next year and sell three copies of each–literally only to my friends who have e-book readers.
I know that I could tell my mother, and that she would be thrilled for me, but I neither want to tell other people in my family circle nor ask her to withhold the information from them. Instead I am being an adult, and withholding it from everyone. 🙂
It is hard for me not to tell my mother. I am anxious and hopeful that once I put my first piece or two up for sale, the response will be positive enough that I can. It is hard for me not to tell her, not only because this is taking up enough of my time that not mentioning it translates to an answer of “nothing much” when she asks what I’ve been doing, but also because I’m very excited about putting my work out in the world. I am happy to be taking a step toward accomplishing my goals, instead of merely sitting and dreaming a little bit longer. I am enthusiastic about starting to build a professional brand for myself. I love my website, I love having a new and very focused blog that doesn’t feel like it’s just so much dust in the ethernet wasteland, I love that I’ve already had comments from people I do not actually know.
And yet I’m not sharing this with my mother. Perhaps it is, after all, less about the embarrassment of failure, and more about not wanting her to get her hopes up for me and be disappointed for me if I am not successful. I think it is harder to watch someone you love flounder than it is to do so yourself; I know that I am strong enough to deal with rejection (in this case the rejection of the public rather than a publisher) and pick myself up and try again, but I think she would be hurt and offended on my behalf. If it makes sense to say this, I don’t want that burden right now, the weight of someone’s pride in me. My friends are excited but as realistic as I am. This might not work out for me…or it might. I just want to be able to take the immediate future on with no expectations, only some vague hopes and at least one foot planted firmly in realism. I need the freedom to be able to fail spectacularly, and have it not matter to anyone more than it matters to me.
So, for now, I’m happy…and I have a secret.
*It’s from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind