A labor of love.
I guess that’s what writing is for me. It’s also my favorite form of self-expression, and a way to de-stress after a long day of cleaning, doing laundry and raising my little ones.
I have never written a book before. Well, I have…but I’ve never actually published one. My writing and publishing experience has mostly consisted of magazine feature stories, newspaper articles, columns and the occasional blog post. So, in my experience, writing has been easy. And writing IS easy, once you sit down and force yourself to do it. I’m the world’s worst procrastinator, and the worst part of writing for me is that period where I have to make myself actually sit down and do it!
Since I’m such a newbie in publishing, I have broken a Cardinal Rule in book writing – I didn’t allow enough time between the actual writing-of-the-book part, and the part where I do my editing and polishing. I have been editing and polishing constantly for two months. I’m starting to think the book has completely changed since I first sat down to write the darned thing.
Anyway, I have printed my FINAL version of my half of the book (my co-author is working on her half right now as well) and I have put it away in a drawer. I refuse to even open the drawer until I have to put it in a package to send to our editor.
I also have two weeks to get myself emotionally ready to “say goodbye” to my manuscript, and open that locked door, so I can send it out into the world.
It’s a little bit like having a baby, in my opinion. You grow your little manuscript, and little pieces of you are contained within….it’s YOUR story. You take care of it, and watch it grow stronger by the day, the week and the month….and then, it’s time to let it out into the world so that others can READ it. I mean, that’s what books are for, right? For reading…for sharing ideas and stories with others? But the world is a mean place. What if people hate your book? What if people say mean things about it – this little piece of you that you have created? It’s a chance you have to take. It’s a chance I have to take.
I have two weeks before I have to let my manuscript go to the editor. After the final changes are made, it will go to print….and the whole world will be able to peer into my soul. They will either love my book or they will hate it. They will ask questions.
There will be book promotions we have to do, conferences to attend, interviews to do, book signings and public events…..the list goes on.
Am I ready for all that? Not yet.
Kim and I have done one interview, and we are scheduled to do another one this week, so I’m getting a little more used to talking about the book, even though it isn’t “out there” just yet.
If all goes well with editing, and we can get everything just the way it needs to be, then we are looking at an August or September publish date. I am excited and nervous. I can’t wait to see the published book with my own name on it for the very first time…..to hold it in my hands and smell the pages. I can’t wait to see it (hopefully) on the shelves of the local bookstores, and see it online at Amazon….there will also be a Kindle version as well.
Until then, I wait. I am trying to find SOMETHING to do to keep myself occupied, so I don’t open the drawer and look at the manuscript.
Knitting? Laundry? Underwater basket weaving? Or start working on a new book?
The possibilities are endless!
But, I must…not…open…that…drawer….