Observations of life by author and poet Charles L. Chatmon
Happy Halloween and welcome to any new subscribers to the blog! I hope youâll enjoy the experienceâ¦â¦.
I would like to share with you the experiences of this writing life Iâve been thinking a lot of recently. Because of this setback Iâm facing, itâs given me time to sit back and write about my experiences as an author and with 2020 fast approaching, what it means to me at the present time.
When you write a book and it is published, you feel excited, grateful for the opportunity of sharing your hard work for public consumption. What new authors I feel are going through now are ârequirementsâ the reading public requires from you if you hope to capture their interest. Those requirements are driven by social media and the need for our modern call for ârepresentationâ, a chance to have voices heard if even they donât share your same background. For example, the books I published nearly two decades ago would undergo a bit of scrutiny due to the subject matter in some of my poems. Folks would nitpick over a word or two, not patient to comprehend the meaning of a certain phrase or idea and I would guess, come away with a judgmental view of your book although you (the writer) didnât mean any harm.
This is what I faced when I started attending book fairs and other local events selling my books. You will get that passer-by who picks up your book, thumbs through it and upon reading one or two passages, seizes the opportunity to criticize what youâve written on the page. Critics are everywhere, even on online. In the past Iâve made statements that as an author you should be true to your work, stay with your material because you took the time to write it and if it means that much to you, defend it. In the twenty years since the release of my books, I find the reading public to be more judgmental, more critical of what authors write. Surely as a new author coming out âof the gateâ, youâre not one of the âbig namesâ readers are accustomed to so the chances of making a good sale at your first event wonât be as high as you expect, but you hang in there.
Yes, it is true folks are buying their books online and publishing a printed book may not mean much in this present day and time, but it is important as a new author not to give up. All it takes is for one reader to believe in your work, one, and the rest will take care of itself. The challenges for new authors are numerous, but if the dream is worth it, then by all means pursue it.