This past month Erin and I started talking about our unpublished book. I was hoping that someday I’d get to write a blog post sharing how we are ready to self-publish, but it turns out this post is going to be very different. I’m sad to say we are shelving our beloved Fan-Zoned. It’s a full book of content, we’ve spent about three years working on it, sent it to a bunch of literary agents, edited it and then sent it out again, we’ve enjoyed rereading it, and we’ve considered reworking it a mess of different ways, and after all that we’ve finally decided to give it a break. The weird thing is, after all this time, we weren’t actually sad to see our “book baby” go.
It could be time that’s making this easier on us, but I also think it has a lot to do with wanting to write a new story. We’ve been stuck on Fan-Zoned for so long, and it takes up all of our time whenever we even think about writing fictional stories again. I know that I’m always in the mindset of, “we’ve just got to make a few more changes and then we can move on”. I believed that until recently when we realized that this story will never be finished. We’re never going to be completely satisfied with this book, or proud of how it turned out.
Maybe other writers can relate to realizing that they have to let their book babies go. You believe in what you wrote, but you also want to give your story proper justice. I think sometimes stories aren’t meant for other people. They’re meant for you, and your eyes only, and they’re just as valuable as books that are loved by the masses.
We got to tell a story and have fun with it. We’re proud of that, so we don’t have to morn its loss. We can just appreciate the book for what it meant to us, and we learned so much about what it takes to write a full book. We also learned what we did wrong the first time, and we can use that to improve our next book.
I know a year ago you couldn’t have told me to just give up, learn from it, and move on. However now that I’m still holding myself back after all this time, I realize that it’s not actually about giving up. The truth is we’re cutting off an anchor. I’m ready to explore what other stories Erin and I have yet to tell, and if we continue to set up shop in Fan-Zoned, we may never leave. Isn’t that thought much more depressing than letting go of one book? It is to me.
Have you ever had to let your art go instead of publishing it? How did you do it? What was it like? How did you feel? I want to know everything, because these are the stories we don’t often get to tell, but they deserve a spotlight too.