I wrote a book in hopes to have someone outside of my head to discuss it with. Selfish, I know, but I never wrote the book for anyone but me anyway. I had been writing it for YEARS upon years if I even remember correctly, and never shared it. It is for me, it is for my characters, and they have a story to tell someone. I was happy being their sole audience until I decided to workshop it, and everyone loved it.
So I decided to finish the book and with the help of two AMAZING ladies I was able to do that. And I self-published, hoping a few people would be interested, or everyone in the world! So I waited, books sold, reviews came in, people told me they LOVED the book. But something odd happened then. They would have very little else to say. They would comment on an event, a specific act a character did and describe it to ME in vivid detail as if I had no idea this happened, and they would use very excited language and body language, but nothing more after that. And I was elated and disappointed.
At first I thought, maybe it’s not that good of a book! Not profound or moving enough. There’s nothing deeply spiritual as I had hoped for, nothing moving my readers to want to discuss their experiences with my story. I was self conscious about something I never wanted to share in the first place. But I was just being selfish again. I wanted to know what my characters made people feel, I wanted to know what they thought of them and how they impacted them and changed them, but feelings like these are very private aren’t they?
I realized, people HAD a profound reaction on a visceral, primal level within themselves. They had a very personal experience, however wonderful or disturbing. And it was none of my business. I was rude to ask. I have to trust this conclusion now, as the overwhelming feedback is positive and the reactions are strong, so something is happening, but I fear I will never know what it is. But I guess, I was never going to know, since I was never going to share it, not until they found me dead in a pile of manuscripts that THEN got published as I decayed in the earth. But if one person has a reaction strong enough to change one small thing positively for themselves, then I would be justified in this great undertaking, but I will never know it happened.
So, that’s fine, keep it to yourself.