There are lots of lessons to learn from publication, especially if a book has been inside your body for years and then one day sees the light of day. It is a birth.
Paul Harding took five years to write his manuscript and another five to get it published. He wasn’t the sort to get dejected about rejections- he merely ‘rejected the rejection letters’ and focused on the craft instead.
“Writing and its integrity took on more and more of the qualities I loved most about reading books: solitude, quiet, introspection, the unparalleled and gracious sense of my imagination firing and filling with beauty.
I studied and practiced how to bring aesthetic pressure to bear on the English language to describe experience. That led to paying finer and more sustained attention to the experience of experience, of consciousness, really, in order to compose better and better descriptions of it—like being in an icy, brittle barn at dusk, cold and tired and smelling the hay and hearing an owl in the loft and finding your father weeping in an empty stall.”
Harding’s reminiscing on his Pulitzer prize win is a win for small presses and ‘the people who care very, very passionately and fiercely about books’.