Saturday, December 14, 2013
To release a book
Having a book out in the world is strange. I understand fully now why they call it a release - the knot in my brain where the text lived let go like a massaged muscle. That's it, no more changes, it's done for real. In some ways, I can let it go and move on. At least, I keep telling myself that.
It looks awesome. The team at Invisible does great work.
And even though it's far from perfect, even though the project itself is problematic and a kind of failing, I still felt a sense of accomplishment. (Such a weird impulse, to want to dismiss the accomplishment, to devalue the work. Is that an acknowledgement of my own limitations and the work still to be done, or a lack of self-confidence? Is it a socialization thing, an anti/feminist thing?)
Then the launch was a rush, with friends and mentors all gathered to congratulate me. Twin Tongues has no acknowledgements because the failings in it, the ethical uncertainties, are my own. But I owe so many people gratitude for the education & support that produced the book, and the book itself is in dialogue with so many other texts and sources. I feel conflicted.
So now I wait for some kind of answering resonance. I saw my books in a shop and got a little thrill. But will anyone open a copy? Will anyone engage? And if they do, will I find out?
Well my Mom read it. And so did my sister. That's a pretty sweet start. Now that I think of it, my thesis committee, the RK award judge, my publisher, my editor, and the patagrads all read and responded to various versions of the text. So actually, I've had a decent number of early readers providing me with direct conversation about the text. Maybe I've been spoiled!