It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to

Every time I’ve been to a launch event, I get an odd mix of feelings that have only intensified since creating things for the purpose of launching them.

It doesn’t matter if it’s for a book, a magazine, a piece of art, or a website. It doesn’t matter if it’s for my own work or someone else’s. Those feelings hit, drain all my energy, and I’m left to brood over a hot tisane and wonder what it’s all about.

My parents reckon I don’t handle excitement very well. Maybe they’re right and my neurology/biochemistry/psychological conditioning isn’t wired up right to handle it. But I still need to live my life, y’know? I gotta figure out my own way of handling this very real thing that comes up every now and then.

So what are these feelings? Well, in the first place, I’m so happy for and proud of the person whose launch it is. They worked hard, they were dedicated, they honed their skills and committed them in the face of uncertainty. The launch gives everyone an opportunity to appreciate those efforts as well as the final product.

But underneath it all is the pressing notion that I don’t belong. Not at the bookstore, the art gallery, the Discord channel, the upstairs loft, or the drab office break room with the delicious cake in the corner.

It’s a scene and even if it’s meant to be my scene, it’s impossible for me to connect with it. I wonder if it’s an introvert thing or an anxiety thing. Could it be a facet of a complicated neurodivergent disposition, honed by a lifetime-thus-far of friction-laden socialising?

As 2022 approaches its median, I’m laying down some tidier foundations for my indie publishing career. I’m often told book launch parties are a necessary fixture in this wide, wacky world if you’re doing it properly. You can imagine the trepidation this births in me.

Well, I don’t intend on having a party for my next couple of books, but as a newsletter subscriber or blog follower, you’re included in the quiet celebrations. Thank you for being a part of my low-key journey, even if there’s no cake in the corner.

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