Monday, November 26, 2007

"All I could say was...Wow!"

Today I was met with some incredible news. You know that feeling you get, when you’re almost positive something is about to happen in your life, but you are not absolutely sure what it is? You know that feeling you get when you can’t quite tell whether that nervous anxiety is related to something bad—as may be the case if you are one accustomed to more negative news than positive—and then caught debating with that other part of you that wants to believe it’s something great? Well, that is exactly how I felt today and I am pleased to announce the outcome (this time) was a tad bit on the brighter side. And I say that with a smile.

I knew my release date was coming and I just posted a newsletter to my friends and family telling them how anxious I was to know that day was within sight. But I had no idea—when I logged into this morning—that in doing a random search of literary fiction, there, to my amazement was my story—my novel—my passion on paper and my first thought (and first thing and only thing I said) was WOW!

I cannot begin to explain the range of emotions I felt after seeing my novel on the storefront. Now understand, isn’t the end-all finish line for would-be writers, but if you consider the ladder to success, and the numerous steps an author must make when they are trying to first find their niche and secondly, make a name for themselves in a market bombarded with roadblocks and setbacks and the all-too-common question: Are you a real writer or a self-published author? Getting a face on and being able to sustain a presence, is quite a feat.

I am anxious to see how my book will fare with the names of those literary greats and breakthrough authors, those more traditionally published. I know I am only dreaming when I say, I hope my book is a success. I keep my feet planted firmly on the ground, though I have childlike tendencies to let my imagination run free and dream, as if somehow, someday, my work, my writings, my stories, the essence of my very soul, might become a voice many readers long to hear. Step one in the publishing industry is to produce something worthy of being published and there are many aspects that must be conquered prior to getting to the second phase and for me that step is getting to a point, where I can compete and market my own talents in the one place anyone in the world might stumble across my name and my stories:

This next phase will be tiresome no doubt and I am sure (with as much time and effort as I have put into learning the literary industry) one that could break an author as quickly as the re-write stages of manuscript editing. I have no doubts however, that I will take these next steps with confidence knowing first hand that of the few books I have sold, my feedback has been positive and the few readers who have dared to give “Proud Souls” a chance have not been disappointed. I have received many compliments to my debut novel and some pretty impressive reviews—not by the corporate giants who bear the signatures of literary grandness—but from the people who write the only reviews that should matter to a writer: the readers.

Yes, there will be as many challenges up ahead as were getting to this stage, but I take them with a grain-of-salt and I welcome the would-be critic. I am sure I will hear things that will make my very soul cringe with grief, but at the same time, I am honored to say, I chose to walk within the water and drink from the cup instead of staring from the shores and asking what it felt like to taste the quenching of man’s thirst. I look forward to your responses and I welcome them with an open mind, as I know, writing is not like a sport or even aspects of education, where you can master particular concepts and skills and become crowned “all knowing” or “the best” within the game, but instead it is a craft that takes time to harness much less develop, and the most important step is to abandon all fears of criticism and imagine yourself a herald in a more uncivilized age, captivating the minds of an audience, who aren’t there to determine whether you end a sentence with a preposition, but instead to see if you can challenge their minds and teach them something new or perhaps introduce them to far off worlds they will never see or empathize with an aspect of humanity they never dared to consider.

Before I go to sleep this night I will take one more look at my art as it is proudly displayed within the storefront and instead of saying, it isn’t this or isn’t that or hasn’t done this or won’t be considered for that…I will simply say again: Wow!

Bobby Ozuna author of “Proud

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