As many other closet writers out there we probably share a few traits. We are solitary beings, full of insecurities about our writing and have an innate fear of criticisms. What if no one likes what we write? What if I never get any downloads? What if the reviews are nasty? What if I wasted my time? After all, almost everything we read about the publishing business is a dismal projection for any new writer hoping to strike it big. It is as unlikely as hitting that jackpot.
I should just forget about that Freedom 55 dream; that corporate job that keeps me and my family fed and sheltered is looking better every day.
Nonetheless, I decided to take that plunge. As long as my expectations are reasonable and realistic, there is no reason I cannot live this little fantasy of mine of becoming a published writer and share my works with the larger community out there.
That was a huge first step. Setting a realistic expectation. By this time, my first short novel, 10 Hours in Seoul, had been two years in the making. Yes, I did have months of writer’s block and also spurts of brilliance that kept me awake longer than I should but the manuscript was more or less complete.
My first expectation was simple; zero expectation in terms of readership.
I told myself; so what if no one ever reads it? At least I have accomplished what I have set out to do which is to share it with one other person out there. And that’s what I did. First I shared my draft on Google Drive with my twin sister, who encouraged me to put it on Wattpad. Believe me, it was a huge first step (if only you knew me). Once I clicked “Publish” after each “Part”, the feeling of trepidation mixed in with joy was indescribable.
Of course, zero expectation is pretty easy to achieve but the key for me was that sense of accomplishment that made the difference; just like that first step a baby takes or that first hit out of the ballpark even when no one is there to see it. I did it! Everything else is now icing on the cake.