Today is a big, big day for me. My second book, a poetry anthology titled ‘Autumn Winds’ written and illustrated by me is out on Amazon India (for Indian audience) and on the site of the publishing house (for international audience).
This, again, is an anthology of poems but this time, I have arranged the poems in a sequence that tells the story of a person who is trying to let go of the past and look at all the love and joy the present has to offer. What’s more is that this time, I chose to illustrate the book all by myself. All twenty one illustrations in the book have been sketched by hand by yours truly before being digitized, which was also done by me.
The formatting, the editing, the layout, the cover design, and the interior design are all my ideas and I was heavily involved in the creation of this book, so you can say that it’s pretty much a work of all my love.
I thought that things would be a lot more chill this time around, considering this was my second release, but I can promise that it was just as stressful. The entire process of writing, and formatting, and editing, and all that jazz went by very smoothly. But the amount of emotional labour that goes into creating something that is from the deepest parts of my heart is incredibly overwhelming, and I don’t really think it can be put in words.
I had honestly been trying to prepare myself for this exact moment because there was so much going on, and I couldn’t really bring myself to write anything else in the meantime. But I also really wanted to share all of the progress I had been making throughout because this is something I didn’t want to keep a secret.
I did end up sharing a little bit of my progress every now and then, whenever I found the mental energy for it. But here’s the thing, there isn’t a lot of energy left when you have a bunch of different things going on for you.
Here’s what they don’t tell you about writing your own book: it’s a lot, lot of work. I am talking about editing and formatting an entire book in the span of three days while also illustrating the work. Granted, the added task of illustration was something I took upon myself, but it was to add a more personal touch to the book. But there is a tremendous amount of planning that needs to be done. And when you’re staring at the draft on your screen, trying to pin-point any error that you may have overlooked before, everything else just fades away and there is only the thought of getting your work out there in the world that fuels you.
I couldn’t really work on anything else until I knew that my work was ready to be published, which was pretty hard to do, considering how badly I was down with a fever during the process, but I somehow made it happen. And now that the book is here and it’s a real thing in the world, and now that I have two books to my name, all the copyrights and everything, I am trying very hard to process this feeling.
It pretty much feels like I’m being drowned under a big wave; all I can hear is roaring.
The only difference is that this roaring also sounds like a bunch of people cheering me on. That genuinely is one of the best feelings ever.
In the meantime, I have been working on a lot of personal projects, just to keep myself going, instead of feeling stagnant.
I finished working on the biggest commission I’ve received till date. The feeling has been unreal. But all the artwork I’ve made recently and all the other stuff I’ve been dabbling in were just sort of an anchor. The reason I didn’t, or well, couldn’t, write in the last month was because I had so much going on that I was desperate to grasp onto something that didn’t have anything to do with me actually writing.
And now, I have a hundred different ideas to actually write in my head and a whole of two months to go before NaPoWriMo starts and I begin my writing challenges here once again. Hopefully, I will fall back into my writing pattern and be able to write something of essence everyday.
I think more people need to realize how much work actually goes into writing a book.
I’ve noticed people not taking my work seriously because they think that I haven’t really worked hard on it, but there have been plenty of really bad days during the entire process that made me want to give up on writing completely.
But then, I had to remind myself that I am writing because this is pretty much what I’ve done my entire life and it’s something that will be a part of me whether people take it seriously or not. Maybe they will realize someday that art means a lot more than just the vain exaggeration that everyone makes it out to be.
In the meantime, it is important to not give up on doing what I love doing the most.
It’s a reminder to myself as well as a reminder to you guys out there who read my blogs; don’t ever give up on what drives you. It is never an easy road to take, but it is worth every little bit of trouble that you went through to make it happen.
Keep at it. You’re doing great! Xx