It is true that you spend hours closeted away, in your own little world as you work on creating, developing and executing characters, scenes and climaxes for your "work of art". It does become your all-consuming focus and it is very easy to lose sight of the things happening around you - it's your baby and you want to nurture it, to grow it and finally to give birth to this extraordinary piece of yourself called a novel. Yet, paradoxically what is your novel, your baby, if it never goes out into the world, if it never touches anyone else's life? What is your novel if nobody ever gets to read it? Simply put, it is nothing more than a collection of your jumbled thoughts and ideas.
The key to being a writer, it seems to me, is to be able to share your vision, your insight into the world, your view of life, that you have crafted through your characters. So, although the creation is a solitary and at times lonely experience - the birth must by necessity be a very public event. If you cannot share it with others - what was the point of giving everything of yourself that you have poured into the book?
I can't speak for all writers clearly, but for me, what I write is very necessarily a reflection of who I am. The situations in which I place my characters, the dilemmas they face, the moral questions they must address and the loves that they experience or lose, are all questions I have posed myself at various times, even situations I have faced or if I haven't actually experienced them - have wondered what my reaction would be if faced by them. So, when I write a novel, it is an intensely personal experience for me and it does become very much, "my baby". The question then becomes how to share that birth and baby with the rest of the world?
When Pentian came back to me and said they would love to be involved in helping me to publish my book I was overcome with gratitude. It was only one line they said, but it was one line that was burned forever into my memory: "I don't think we'll have any trouble raising the funds - the book sells itself." It was like mana from heaven for me...a literary recognition that my book was sell-able, that it was readable, and that it wasn't utter garbage. It never occurred to me at that point that this was just the first step in getting "The Second Coming" published.
Now that I was on the Pentian website, I had to raise $2,800 from investors in order for the publishing to go ahead. Part of me secretly hoped that there was this big store of unknown literary philanthropists out there just waiting for my book to appear and then they would jump on the website and pledge the support needed to get it published. Sadly, this hasn't proved to be the case. If I wanted to get this book published I needed to get out there and find the investors myself. That's when the real humility truly began!
My first thoughts were to go with the scatter-gun approach to try and interest people in investing via social media, forums etc. For a couple of weeks I religiously posted links to the website on Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In and numerous writers forums...but! Nah! That didn't really work and surprisingly enough when I thought about it, I quickly realised why - it just wasn't personal enough. If I was going to get people to invest I had to invite them personally.
Once I realised this, and with time counting down on the funding period (as of today 24 days left) I began reaching out to people I knew, asking them to invest. I went to family, to close friends, and even to old friends I hadn't seen for a long, long time. The results to date have staggered me and yes humbled me immensely. Without fail, everyone I reached out has been incredibly supportive. Not everyone has invested, and that's fine - not everyone is capable of doing so at this time, but what is awesome is the incredible amount of positive feedback I've received. That I have written a novel seems to have touched a chord with everyone. The expressions of pleasure and excitement at what I have achieved so far are without doubt the most heart-warming and humble experiences of my life. To everyone that does invest, you have given me an opportunity to follow my dream and to live my passion. I will always be eternally grateful to you for that. Thank you...maraming, maraming salamat!
As of today, the pledged fund for "The Second Coming" stands at 20.71% but I also have had numerous messages of support assuring me that people will invest over the next few days. It is the positive messages and general pleasure at my achievement that gives me such certainty that not only will this book be published, but many more will follow. For allowing me to live my dream - thank you to my family, my friends and to Pentian. To be honest, even if this book is successful and other options are available for publishing in the future, I certainly wouldn't rule out Pentian as an option for my next book. The ability it gives me to reward the people who have shown such faith in me is its greatest asset.