Thoughts on an impending book signing.

So my first book signing is coming up in less than a month and I’m filled with two emotions. The first being excitement, of course. I mean, it’s a book signing. I wrote a book and now I have the opportunity to sign copies of said book with my John Hancock. That’s a really cool thing. The second emotion? – Angst. Not severe anxiety or anything like that, just some good old fashioned angst. The kind you feel when you really have no idea of what to expect. Will there be plenty of people there? Will I bring enough materials? Do I need to give out any cool pens or mementos (hey, that’s important)? And should I practice a quick and dirty signature so my hand doesn’t get tired (equally important)?

Yeah, that would sum things up nicely.

It’s only natural to have feelings such as these, I figure. When you take the kind of time to make your idea a reality, you want others to understand that. You want the people that survey your work to really enjoy what you produced. On the same token, you want those same people to critique and provide feedback (good or bad) so that you are more prepared for the next go round. Not to say that you should change anything, but it’s a wonderful feeling to know that you generated some sort of reaction. If there were no reaction, then you’ve lost the sense that your work reached anyone at all. A complete lack of interest towards a work is worse than someone saying “that sucked, you should give up.” At least the latter can help to drive you onward or in some cases, opens the realization that you should maybe consider a different career path.

With my first publication, I was looking for just that: a reaction. Any kind would have done. And yeah, I got a fair share of them. A good portion of folks (mostly those close to me) gave encouragement and kind words. “You did well”; “very proud of your accomplishment” or “I’m impressed that you finally wrote that book”. Yes, the words were uplifting and helped me to think about expanding on my Epiphanies, Theories, and Downright Good Thoughts… series. Truly, that type of energy was great.  As a writer, I can appreciate the power of words alone to propel one forward.

For those not close to me, I received some feedback also. “Was different”; “I kinda liked it”; or “an interesting concept but could have been more.” Now, you may think I’d be pissed off or upset about that but truthfully, I’m not. As I said before, I’d rather have a reaction than none at all. That’s the worst feeling any artist can have in my opinion. An apathetic audience is like standing in a busy intersection while no one stops to let you get out of the way. The people driving by just ignore the fact that you’re even there. They neither want to help you nor hurt you; they only choose to neglect your very existence.

As a writer, I want people to take notice. I want people to see what I’ve done and I want their feedback. The good, the bad, and the downright ugly. And if that means standing across from me at a table to discuss why they didn’t like chapter three or chapter four of my book, then I’m more than happy to oblige.

But hey, let’s be serious here. If you didn’t like my book, then why did you come to the signing in the first place? To insult my style of writing? To pick a fight? Come on now, that’s just cruel. However, if in the event that you did buy my book, then I’d say we’re even and I hope to see you at there.

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