As the writing process came to its end, the compiling, organizing and self editing process began. As the manuscript became formed, the external editing and revising process began. As the final draft became solidified, I find myself now in the endless beginning of the marketing process begins. This part is both the most stressful and most fun for me.
I enjoy trying out new ideas and stepping outside of my zone. Some days I may be more frantic than others, but that is part of the adventure of writing and publishing. Getting knocked down and hopping back up again over and over is an inevitable part of this three-ringed circus sideshow shit storm I have walked knowingly (mostly) into. It is also the part of the process that requires the most input from the outside world.
The Blurring of Lines
While I try new promotional techniques, new social media accounts and styles of posting, different concepts, etc., I continue to search for what works and what doesn’t and the results each effort delivers. Feedback from my followers, readers, family and friends has never been more important and crucial for me. Those of you who know me already know I am very open to the constructive criticism and advise that finds its way to me, and not so big on the fluff of compliments and praise (although I will admit there are days that those things are the only thing keeping me going).
I depend upon reviews and input sometimes from total strangers to improve upon the results of yesterday. Moving from the first collection, A Footnote for Tomorrow, onto my second collection was more of a challenge than I realized when I first took that plunge. A Footnote for Tomorrow was an older manuscript that I had been carrying around for over two decades. It had been a twenty-year period where I took a hiatus from writing poetry. Twenty years, damn.
At first announcement of my publishing a book, let alone one of poetry, I found humor in the shock that remained upon the faces of those new to my life and from the confusion in the faces of those few who had remained in my life over that stretch. I am sure few ever though there would be a follow-up; myself included. Let me start by saying holy shit was this last year an overall chaotic experience. Yet let me also state that I learned more about myself in this year than I had felt possible. As a bonus, I began to write again.
This upcoming release, Ghost in the Reflection-Letters to Erin, is the product of that growth. Not only have I grown as a person over those two decades, I grew as a writer once that black ink hit my composition pad. The more the pen found itself in my hand, the more addictive the writing became. With each word birthed the one thing I had never found before I had stopped writing, my voice as a writer.
I will offer this to those who bought and/or read A Footnote for Tomorrow, that twenty something year old road-worn individual is not the same person and that when or if you/they open the cover to Ghost in the Reflection-Letters to Erin, one will not read poetry from that same poet upon those pages. These two books are day and night in comparison. I fear I need to place a warning label upon the top of each new page. I will not apologize for the change, rather truthfully I hope that the readers find more value in the seasoned experiences that transformed themselves into the words composing these works.
I am prepared for a backlash as am I prepared for the potential that maybe only I see resulting from this change. Regardless, whether A Footnote for Tomorrow quenched your thirst as a reader or not, buckle your seatbelts because inevitably the contents in Ghost in the Reflection-Letters to Erin will blind side collide any previous assumptions and conclusions previously drawn. To illustrate and best prepare potential readers, I have made an audio take from a studio reading/recording session into a YouTube makeshift video to lend a rather extreme peek both into my growth as a person and a writer.
Hopefully, I attract more potential readers than I lose, regardless I feel it’s best to get the theatrics out of the way upfront. I encourage feedback, and although I do not expect acceptance from everyone, I only request that if you offer a criticism, please do so in a manner that encourages growth rather than stunting it.