The feeling took hold in slow small increments.
It was inexplicable.
An odd combination of melancholy and listlessness, a howl released into the night sky except echoing inward.
My debut novel had been released in August and the excitement I felt at its release was euphoric. I was so lucky to be published and learning the ropes as a new author was exhilarating.
But as summer moved into fall and winter, the fever pitch took on colder pall.
What was the feeling? The winter blahs? The holiday blues?
I was not usually prone to these seasonal afflictions and was at a loss to pinpoint the exact nature of what I was experiencing. As a psychology major, I always felt better when I could label a feeling, particularly the more shadowy ones, as if naming the darkness could shed some light. I wondered, could it be post-publication depression?
One tweet later, to my delight (!) and relief, the answer was, yes! My experience was common to authors who had published a book. I was not alone.
And yet I wonder if it is so simple. There were many surprises after the release of Finding Felicity. Some were pleasing and others … not so much.
The biggest surprise was how my book was received by my friends and acquaintances. People I barely knew came forward and purchased copies of my book. One, in particular, ordered 10 copies to give to his wife and daughters and sisters and daughters-in-law. To my delight, he asked me to sign each one.
Yet others, people I had known for years, have still not read Finding Felicity. Or if they have, they have not yet told me. One person I have known for many years, lunched with, had dinner with, even done business with, who had said she “couldn’t wait” to read it, recently let me know she still has not had the time.
Every one of us is busy, and how we spend our time reflects our deepest values. Setting aside a few hours to read a book that has been called “a fine and entertaining read” does not seem so much to ask of a friend. It would have meant the world to me to hear her thoughts. I am saddened to find out that she was not genuinely motivated to read my book, to support my first foray into the publishing world.
Was the depth of this disappointment I was feeling post-publication depression? Or something more? Does reading my book draw a line in the sand between friends who were part of my pre-author life, and those who will be my friends now that I’m an author? Is it fair to expect our friends to read our books? And what if we write more than one, which I plan to do?
Of course I should be focusing on the many wonderful comments and reviews I have received, and for them I am deeply grateful. Yet some disappointment lingers.
As to the post-publication depression? Something tells me the cure is to keep writing and be published all over again.
About the Author (Author Profile)
Monica Marlowe was born in Toronto and later moved to Los Angeles. While in LA, Monica studied the craft of novel writing and participated in the Noel Hynd Workshop. She holds a Master of Arts Degree in Spiritual Psycholgy. Now, Monica makes her home in North Carolina and divides her time between the East and West Coasts. Monica is the author of a debut novel, Finding Felicity. She is currently writing a memoir, The Gift Horse, about acquiring her first horse and finding herself on a most unexpected path.
Monica writes stories about heroes and heroines who follow their heart, wherever the path may lead, knowing that the heart has reasons of its own.