WRITING IS EASY; GETTING A BOOK READY, HARD
I have been MIA for a number of weeks here, and it has been for a necessary reason: once I got Pride’s Children, Book 1, out of the category of ‘writing’ and into the category of ‘prepare a product for market,’ I was completely out of my areas of expertise.
But I have also been in an area where my basic do-it-yourself nature has taken over in a big way, AND I have had little that I felt was useful to other people.
You can’t teach people how to learn. They have their own individual methods by the time they are past young adulthood: a combination of their predilection, say, for audio over visual, or kinesthetic over being lectured to.
Adult learning is Self taught
It is because people have to become fast at learning, once they’re out of school.
School should be focused on 1) basic knowledge of the world, and 2) developing the capacity to teach yourself anything you need (which doesn’t preclude more formal academic learning, if desired).
So, in the course of writing, I first started thinking something I could write on this blog MIGHT be of assistance to another writer learning to write. Then I moved to a stage (long-term readers might remember) when I explicitly cautioned people that I was writing not so much to provide instruction in my particular methodology, but to provide entertainment at how convoluted and ‘special’ that methodology had become.
Pick the best teacher – only rarely another complete beginner
Now I’ve moved to the stage where few care what I have to say precisely because I’m such a beginner at most of the remaining tasks of publication that there are far better teachers out there, and my bumblings aren’t even special any more, and therefore have little entertainment value.
Do you, Dear Reader, need to learn how quickly a graphics file with layers (Pixelmator, Photoshop) gets humongous? If you do your own graphics, you already know. If you don’t, and have no intention of ever trying, you don’t need to know. Really, you don’t. If I write it, you’ll skip it!
So I haven’t had much to write about that I would spend time turning into a blog post.
Have I been idle? You can bet your sweet biffy I haven’t.
In the interim, however, I have been working my little tail off (while sitting in this chair and trying not to let the enormous amount of time in a sitting position make the sciatica and mobility problems any worse).
EVERYTHING else has gone on the ‘To be done when I get this thing up on Amazon’ list.
A very long list that includes anything I could put off or postpone (even though I’ve been postponing since March, when I finished the what I thought was completely finished and polished version of Book 1):
- Routine maintenance on the ol’ body.
- Sorting out paperwork.
- Making anything in my workflow better and more efficient.
- Dealing with clothes (and the season has now again gone back to cool, and I think I bought two pairs of shorts I haven’t used over the summer – that’s all).
- Getting a new assistant and working with her/him to organize this place.
- Holly’s Tiny House pictures
- CFS posts and walking posts and house posts
- … (I won’t bore you – you each have a list like this)
I foolishly thought that if I just concentrated, I could get this thing up on Amazon, and get to writing/revising/editing Book 2.
But the time has now occupied FIVE MONTHS of my life.
Where DOES the time go?
Graphics took a good three months – I had a lot to learn, have (I think) blogged about it a bit. However, I was not willing to put my new cover, the final product of said graphics, up too soon. Jinx? Dunno.
I’m getting to the point where I must COMMIT – and it will be time to do a cover reveal very soon.
All this, of course, at the extremely slow pace of my brain-fogged thinking apparatus, which still (thank the Lord!) operates for a while every day even though it is mostly sidetracked at the station.
Getting to Mt. Doom and actually tossing The RING into the fire
One of the interesting things that happened as I spent a LOT of time on things I am NOT good at (yet?), was that Fear, or what Stephen Pressfield calls Resistance, or possibly self-protection (if you never publish, nobody can fault you for being too revelatory, or a terrible writer, or full of yourself) gets a HUGE second chance.
And had to be battled back down to its homunculus size. Several times. Possibly more than once per ITEM (editing, formatting an ebook, graphics, Amazon keyword – all count as items), because in each new field of endeavor you are an ignorant beginner again and should not dare to have an opinion or tread where the angels don’t go).
To summarize this all up: I have been incredibly busy, incredibly productive, incredibly frustrated. And life has had its own little share of cherry bombs and landmines.
KNOWING there is a light at the end of your tunnel, and not a train
But I am getting extremely close, since:
I FINISHED FINAL EDITS.
In that department, once the proofers and the beta readers have had their say, it will be done – because most of my part is done.
Don’t quote me. And I have no idea how long it will take me to do the book description’s final version, or to rewrite the tiny Prologue if I’m going to, or to create front and back matter and then credit Oxford University Press properly for allowing me to use quotations from the King James Version of the Holy Bible, or a hundred tiny details like that.
But that final editing thing? It was a bear I didn’t expect to see coming out of the woods – and it is finished. Done. Vanquished. Vanished. Vamoosed. Va-beared?
Except for typos – and any extremely unlucky plot holes, etc., my lovely helpers may turn up.
Thank you, Gentle Reader, for your patience.
The now Extremely Near Future
I will soon be asking for a bit of help from readers, so if you’ve always wanted to be part of the team who gets the eARC (electronic Advanced Reading Copy) of a novel, or one of the Influencers in the adoption of something new, there will be opportunities. And much gratitude.
So thank you ALSO for keeping me functioning and working all this time.
This, the first time, will not happen again. Do you remember yours for a big project?
Thanks to Quozio.com for the quote software.
Hey, Alicia, you know anything about head hopping?
1) Romance writers do it – and their readers like it.
2) I find it very disconcerting, don’t do it myself, and avoid books written that way. Even omniscient is not head-hopping.
not sure I really understand it or at least the difference in it and omniscient but at least glad you don’t like it because that was the consensus I was getting that it was something not good – maybe, like you said, reserved for those cheesy romance novels
Romance readers and writers are a huge part of the self-publishing marketplace; they have their favorite conventions – I don’t read them much any more, but I don’t denigrate their choices because who am I to say what ‘should’ be anything?
I think there’s room for all of us!
I think it’s opening up for more than that now but I agree, for a long time that was probably the case, as well as for scifi and fantasy
I’m looking forward to the cover reveal. Graphics are an issue of interest to me, as I deal with it a fair amount.
If I happened to end up with an e-arc, I’d probably just teaser the heck out of it. 🙂 I’m not much good for final proof reading, but it sounds like you’ve got that down already anyway.
Glad to see you almost there. Good luck with your launch. 🙂
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Thanks, Chris. I’m planning on looking at a lot of your posts again in the very near future, about such things as Kindle Countdowns. I’ve got ’em all bookmarked.
Hope the fiction is going well – It’s a different beast, isn’t it?
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That’s for sure. I need to exercise much more patience with fiction; and it’s amazing how much more research I find myself doing.
Note from experienced down-the-rabbit-hole researcher: put some kind of a marker if you can possibly NOT go do your research while in your prime writing time. Research is open-ended – you can get lost for hours, and that’s without leaving Wikipedia.
If you have to, you have to – but it’s still better to do in non-prime-time.
I use Freedom and block the internet for hours at a time. A week ago I needed the actual date of the Battle of Bunker Hill; I grabbed the cellphone, and on a slow 3G connection, found the date within a couple of minutes, instead of restarting my computer and removing the Freedom block. I plan to continue to do that.
When you absolutely need to leave your internet connection open, use Anti-Social, and list all the sites you usually waste time surfing, and just leave the sites you need open. It’s all my brain needs to be reminded: Oh, we’re working here and now.
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That’s great advice. Thank you. When it’s going well, I get in the zone, and even the internet fails to exist. And when I’m not in the zone, I have no business writing. 🙂
Also, it should amuse you that your comment landed you in the spam bucket. Too generic for Akismet. I found it entirely by accident, as I don’t usually check the junk mail since a couple of ugly ones.
Silly Akismet: It’s CHRIS – he’s okay.
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Guess I need to be more careful. 🙂
Happy to see you posting and hear how things are going. 🙂 You are close….that is wonderful!! I’m so happy and excited for you! You have a bit more, but thank you for sharing such great news! 🙂
Thanks, Claire. I got my head up the editing – tunnel – and then realized I hadn’t posted anything in ages, and some people might wonder if I’ve fallen off the edge of the planet. But I literally couldn’t find anything to say that might be faintly interesting about the editing (beyond what I already posted), and that’s all I’ve been doing.
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Good things are worth the effort and the wait. Excited that it’s so close.
Thanks, Sandy. With everything else going on, I feel sometimes I’m doing this under fire.
Then I just store the notes for the next one. Lovely to have characters who might need what you’re going through in some shape or form.
How’s your fall color?
‘Takes lots longer’ – that’s really funny. I don’t use LOL much, but this one requires ROFLMAO. TONS longer.
But if we knew when we started, what would we do differently? And once we learn those things, we shorten the time they take.
The first one really is the proof of principle one. I find I WANT to do everything myself, as far as I can, to find my own limits. So far, I can’t see letting ANY of these things out of my control. None of them so far have turned out to be impossible (as producing a printed book by myself might have been beyond my capabilities). I loved learning how to do my own covers, and have found a wonderful friend in my mentor, J.M. Ney-Grimm.
Whether I will do everything myself forever will come down to how I feel the next time I have to face one of the tasks. At that point I’ll try to make a ‘good’ choice: “I hated this last time. Do I feel any better about it now? Nope. Farm it out.”
Repeat that for the first few books, and periodically afterward when you find yourself thinking, “Why am I doing this personally when I could afford to farm it out?” Bob’s your uncle.
The marketing part may be my downfall, but Pride’s Children is, I think, a very different book, and generic marketing won’t work – and highly customize marketing is very expensive. I’ll try it – see how I do – learn – analyze…
The actual publishing part, ‘uploading’ – I may have to ask my good friend Julia for help.
Takes lots longer than you figure. No question about it. Especially if you are doing every bit of the work from start to finish. I don’t hesitate to seek help. I cannot do every single thing. I’m good with uploading though!
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