Summer rolled in, and with it came scathing temperatures and almost daily thunderstorms. For me, it also brought a few lessons about the publishing and writing process.
Soon. The word soon in publishing generally means three to four months. In an industry where it takes a year for a manuscript to become a novel on bookstore shelves, I suppose this makes sense. Though it doesn’t make it any easier to stomach when you’re experiencing soon for the very first time.
Rough Draft. It’s been a couple of years since I’ve written a rough draft, so imagine my surprise when I finished the first version of Book Two only to find that it was terrible. After a mini freak out, a Route 44 Diet Coke from Sonic and a bag of pretzel M & M’s, I was able to talk myself off the theoretical ledge. Of course the rough draft sucks. Of course it doesn’t compare to the finished manuscript I just finished editing. I put my heart and soul into that rough draft, but the rest of the recipe has not been added. Blood, sweat, tears, battle wounds and a sacrifice of personal hygiene must all be applied to that rough draft before it can grow into something I’m proud of.
Distractions. I write a sentence and then think, “Is that realistic? I should research that.” Then I proceed to my favorite search engine where I ask a simple question and get 600,000 simple answers. This leads to that, leads to something else and before I know it, I’ve been looking at cat bearding photos for an hour. I’ve learned of software that helps with cutting out distractions, but since I have zero self-control when it comes to this, I find turning off my modem and hiding my phone works just as well.
Twitter. As far as writers go, Twitter is the motherland. It is so easy to post follow me, buy this, read that, enter this contest, or check out my review in less than 140 characters. There are authors who strictly post self-promotional things. These get a bit boring and I find myself skimming over them. It garners an “I only want to talk about me” vibe that is off-putting. Other authors do well by mixing their “buy my book” posts with links to helpful articles or fun facts about reading and writing. These are my favorite. Lastly, there is the author that doesn’t need or doesn’t care for book promotion. They want to use their thousands of followers as a collective BFF to share things in their personal lives, photos of their new puppy or even political rants. I can’t say I blame them, because when’s the last time you had over 10,000 people in one place who actually want to hear what you have to say?
Overall, it’s been a fun three months since landing my book deal. I’ve learned so much about the process and have so much still to learn. I look forward to the journey and I’m glad that you guys are coming along with me. Write on!
Thanks for sharing. Sometimes I read the things I’ve written, and I am so appalled that I am tempted to delete everything and be done with it.
Encouraging to read that even professional writers face similar insecurities on occasion.