Six days from now, Stronghold will be available for purchase.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. Truth is, I think I’m more nervous about this than any other enterprise I’ve entered in life until now. I figured this would happen. This isn’t like a school assignment or the first day on a new job. I’ve been working on this text for over 2 years, and this is the end result of hours and hours of my best efforts. Truly, I feel like this is the best I’ve got—this is the best I can create at this point in my life. Given that assessment, I have my moments of doubt, and I ask:
What if they don’t like it?
What if it’s no good?
What if it’s all for naught, and no one reads it beyond those given a free copy …
I am not plagued by these questions; I’m not kept awake at night or haunted by them every time I sit at the keyboard, but I would be lying if I said they were not there, lingering in shadow and peering into view now and again. So, what if Stronghold, the best I have to offer, is a mediocre failure on all levels?
Then I suppose I’ll just have to make sure I improve with the next one. I’ll just have to make my best that much better. I’ll just need to dig deeper. I’ll need to fight harder.
That’s what’s funny, friends. After all the hours of editing, the conclusion that I have drawn about my writing is that I always want it to improve, I always want its quality to delight and surprise; I always want it to be excellent. Even if people read Stronghold, and it connects with them–even if they love it and it does well (whatever that means), I still need to get that much better. I need to dig that much deeper and fight that much harder, because that’s how the Lord gets his glory, when we refuse complacency and strive to do all things with excellence because we do them to his honor and praise.
Truth is, I want my best novel to always be the one I’m presently writing. I just hope that each sets a very high bar, starting with Stronghold.
I guess you’ll all let me know, huh?