Fear…

thomas-knauer-sews-book-cover

It’s just two weeks until the book goes public and I am terrified…

You’d think I’d be used to it by now, but this whole people buying what I do thing still seems entirely foreign. It wasn’t an accident that I spent most of my life in academia; my basic notion of success stems from the famous saying about the Velvet Underground’s early years: “only 100 people heard them, but all 100 started their own bands.”

Everything has been driven by the idea of trying to make good work, but now it has to actually sell. It isn’t just a matter of people liking it or respecting it; they have to buy it. And that terrifies me; the whole commerce thing just eludes me.

I believe in the work; obviously I do, or I wouldn’t put it out there. But I have no idea of where it fits in the market. So for the next six weeks or so I will be perpetually anxious, fretting over how it does. Not in terms of needing an instantaneous ego boost or some form of validation; my sense of self-worth is developed enough to be past that. It is a matter of what it means for the likelihood of doing more books. At this point I want to do very little other than write books; the process and result was intoxicating. It feels like I was made to do books…

And that is where the work and the market collide; hell part of the Velvet Underground’s end was the fact that they just never really could breath into the wider market, to make a financial go of it. They may be one of the most influential bands ever, but the commerce side of things just gobbled them up. And if it can happen to them, how could I not be terrified.

So, as we hit the final stretch of the wait I will keep my fingers crossed and try to not pull out the small amount of hair I have left…

-t

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