Now It Gets Real

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I’m almost finished with the first draft of my adult non-fiction project. I expect to be done by the end of May and have it the hands of beta readers by mid-June. That’s a blink of an eye. In a moment, it got real. I’m nervous. No, panicked. No, scared shitless. Yeah, that’s what I am.

I’m flying blind here. There are a myriad amount of things I’ll need to do to publish, promote and market this book. I’ve never done anything like this. In fact, this will be the biggest thing I’ve ever done.

And I’ve raised a son.

It has to be written well and perfectly presented. It has to have been thoroughly and brilliantly promoted and marketed on every social media outlet possible. It has to be published impeccably. And all this must be done by November fifteenth. That’s my launch date. In plenty of time for Christmas sales.

I feel hopelessly unprepared.

However, I will pull up my big girl panties and throw back my shoulders and face it. Whenever I’m faced with what seems like an overwhelming challenge, I break it down. Then all I’ve got are manageable pieces.

Right now all I can do is write this as best as I am able, then take it to my writers groups and get critique, which helps the manuscript. All I can do is work with the illustrator, who, I am sure, finds me frustrating at best. It seems I don’t know what I want until I see what I don’t want. I thank him for his patience in every email.

I will make copies to hand out to almost anyone willing to read and comment. Copies will also go to those who will help with promotion and marketing, to the web builder, and anyone else involved. By the end of July, I should have a finished product, ready to go to the publisher.

When I published my first book, after it had been with an agent and rejected by all the big publishing houses, there were no POD (Print On Demand) companies. Twenty-five years ago, the only options were to hire a vanity press or do it yourself. With my husband’s help, I did it myself. I still have four boxes of books in my garage.

This time I will probably use CreateSpace, a POD company in association with Amazon. I’ve heard good things. But I have no idea how involved the process is, especially when adding illustrations, or how long it takes. I plan to hire someone to figure all that out.

I will also have to hire people to build the website for this book, and to manage the social media. I want to make promotional videos to post online wherever. And those videos will require actors and a camera person. And music.

Whenever I add something to my list, more ideas come up. And the simplest idea becomes complicated the minute it’s thought.

How will I get reviews from credible sources? How do I get followers for all the social media outlets I will join? How do I make my promotional videos go viral? How do I reach my target audience? I haven’t a clue.

This is scary stuff.

I tend to procrastinate. I joke that it’s part of my process. But there’s no time for that with this project. My deadline is November fifteenth and if I miss it, I’ll have to put the book launch off until next year and that is not happening.

Stay tuned.

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A Valentine to Writing

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I love you, Writing. You are the outlet for this well of creativity in me. I have friends – cooking, entertaining, sewing, training my dog, to name a few of my posse, but it’s not the same. There’s friendship and then there’s love. And you, Writing, are the love of my life.

I waited so long to find you. I had to try others out – pantomime, acting, puppetry and directing children’s theater. They were easy to break up with and I’ve never missed them.

I should have know, as a child, that you were The One. I used to make up titles and create characters. But I couldn’t string a story together. I wasn’t ready.

So I spent time with those would-be loves and hung out with your cousin, Reading. That was the best thing I could have done. Reading encouraged me in my pursuit of you.

You are not the easiest love, Writing. We often have a love-hate relationship. You make me doubt when that first, incredible hook of a sentence fails to appear. You make me write queries and synopses. You keep me waiting for replies from agents. You force me into critique groups and writing conferences. And after all that, you break my heart over and over with rejections.

I want to be good enough for you, Writing. Don’t give up on me. I promise I will never quit on you. I’m as serious as I can be about you. I’m committed. I want only the best for you. I hope you want the same for me.

Writing, I give you my heart. Try not to stomp it into mush.

I love you.