Catch and Release, your work in the public domain.

Good morning readers, once you’ve trapped an idea, finished your story and released it upon the unsuspecting population what should you expect? This entry is just a brief, broad-spectrum of things you *might* experience after release.

Personally, after all the excitement of finishing the project, finalising the details and actually getting a copy in my hands I must admit to going through a period where I feel… flat. I call it ‘post release drop’ and I’m sure there are others out there who feel it too. All the excitement and frantic energy is released and then you have to wait to see how it does. Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

You might expect a deluge of  praise and congratulations and (if you’re promoting among friends on social media) you might well be justified in that, and the initial thrill of that validation is an important one to hold on to but; this is your achievement, not theirs and (harsh as it might sound) you can’t expect them to carry you on a wave of praise through your next project, you will have to knuckle down yourself.

You might draw some criticism, you might get some bad reviews. My first piece of advice for anyone putting themselves out there like this is ‘Don’t read the reviews’, you will (I did) but it’s much better to have someone else go through and help pick out any constructive points that might help you in future. Reading the positive reviews can be helpful but there’s always room to improve and we shouldn’t cocoon ourselves in an eiderdown of unfaltering positivism.

This next point is some experience I had years ago. I wrote a short I was going to submit to a publication with a certain intellectual property. In my eagerness I showed it to an acquaintance who shared my enthusiasm for this IP. Not long afterward they came back talking about a piece they were writing or going to write based on my work. Now, I was a novice at the time, I had no experience beyond putting my ideas on paper and my immediate reaction was ‘but this is mine’. Now, as I said, it was based in an existing IP but beyond that it was original characters and an original story and now someone else was proposing to write the follow-up. As I say I was very possessive of my work. If you’re writing your own story I’d say that’s a natural reaction but, if you’re freelancing on behalf of someone else and *they* want to change, add to, or otherwise ‘tamper’ with your material you can’t allow that feeling in. If you do work on behalf of another using their intellectual property you have to let it go.

Hopefully you’ll have an incredibly positive reaction to your releases maybe tempered by some constructive outside input. If you get out there and talk to people it can help immensely. I know this was quite a short entry and I wish I could put more thought into it but I’m getting to the end of three back-to-back weekend conventions and my brain is honestly fried.

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