I’ve spent my entire adult life daydreaming about my story, crafting the characters, walking in their shoes, living their lives, constructing their world. I’ve been their biggest fan, as though I’ve discovered some wonderful buried treasure that God predestined me to stumble upon. Writing their stories has been a whirlwind of emotions and adventures and now they’re being published, growing legs of their own and running out into the world.
But I wonder, now, if it’s been at a price. Not to say I’m at this point yet (or if I ever will be), but one of the things I wonder is if I will be able to enjoy my story with as much zeal once it’s finished. I always wrote books that I wanted to read--but, when they’re done--will I even be able to read them?
I’ve yet to read The Strange Man since its publication. It’s just too soon. I fear all I’ll see are my shortcomings, the little writer flaws that I hope I’ve finally conquered (only to discover new ones, I’m sure). While I’m immensely proud of the book, I recognize that it’s limited. No more rewrites. No more last minute bright ideas. Nothing to add or subtract.
What’s that saying? No work of art is ever finished, only abandoned?
The book is what it is. While I can live with that--I’ll have to--I wonder how that will affect me as the very first fan of the series. Can I ever be “a reader” again of my own books? Not for ego purposes, mind you, but just to enjoy the characters again. Like looking through an old photo album, I want to revisit the journey, the ups and downs, the accomplishments and setbacks. Perhaps the flaws in the book are part of that journey. Perhaps after enough time has passed, I’ll be able to look back fondly at my shortcomings, realizing I was a young writer with much to learn.
I hope so. Since I was a younger man, my goal was to have the entire trilogy finished, then, one Saturday morning, sit down in my pajamas, in my recliner, put on some spooky music, and read the entire series together. Just for fun. Just to remind myself why I did all of this in the first place.
Will that day come? I hope so.
To my fellow Realms authors on this here blog, have you been able to go back and read your books after publication? Have you wanted to? Why, or why not? I'm curious.