How funny is it that we writers, those of us who understand how important it is to choose the perfect word, have so erroneously labeled the book launch. For me, the word launch conjures images of the shuttle lift off, of power and explosive acceleration. ‘To infinity and beyond!’
Right? The reality is a little different. Picture Oliver, the albatross from Disney’s The Rescuers. I’ll bet your remember the scene. He puts those two mice on his back and takes off at an awkward run. When he reaches the edge of the building, instead of taking flight, he drops like a stone. Eventually, he levels out and gains altitude–just not before scaring the bejeezus out of his passengers.
The Rescuers Down Under does Oliver’s brother, Wilbur, an even greater disservice by contrasting his flying with a spectacular sequence featuring a giant golden eagle. That eagle can really fly. It’s beautiful–an aerial ballet. The good news is that both Orville and the eagle eventually reach the same place, if not with the same amount of effort.
Unless you’re lucky enough to be with one of the big six, or even luckier still and catch lightning in a bottle, (Hello 50 Shades), then you’ll probably find yourself with Orville. I know this might sound discouraging–especially after all the angst you build up writing, submitting, and praying for the first publishing contract–but it’s not as bad as it seems. When was the last time you started something new and were good at it from the get-go? If you can think of a time, then I hate you. Just kidding. The point is, learning is part of life. No one miraculously appears at the destination. You have to travel to it. The good news? Many authors can relate, and most of them are willing to offer advice. I’ve reached out and taken my share at every stage. I’m doing it now. I’ll probably do it tomorrow.
Just remember, poor old Oliver might not fly as gracefully as other birds, but he DOES fly. He gets there. It just takes him a little longer.