I don’t think anyone with any common sense would say writing is an easy job. From the actual process of turning our jumbled thoughts into words to the relatives who constantly say “So, when are you going to get a real job?” Yeah… those two examples alone speak volumes about the struggles of being a writer. Still, this isn’t where it ends. There are so many parts of the writing process that make us want to pull our hair out and I’m going to talk about them because I’m at a hair pulling stage.
First, finding beta readers. Oh, my gosh, has there ever been a more impossible task? I think not. It took a lot “finagling”, a ton of back and forth, and a lot of what felt like pulling teeth. In the end, I had had about ten betas but out of those ten only two actually completed the story. Some betas just up and disappeared on me (ghosted…), while others gave me that one-time reply. Needless to say, it really boosted my faith in humanity…
Now, of course, some of my betas had to drop out for more legitimate reasons. A few realized they didn’t have the time, one had a family emergency, and etc. So, don’t think I’m not thankful for the betas I had and for what they contributed even if it wasn’t the entire story. I really am but, man, it sucks to be ditched halfway to the finish line. On that note, let’s talk about editing.
Editing is a part of the publishing process some writers may fear. I actually love the editing process because that means I get to take a break while my book is away being sliced up with red ink. What I don’t like is when I get the manuscript back from my editor because (1) it means my mini-vacation is over and (2) editing isn’t so much a correction of errors in the manuscript but more of a suggestion of what to change. So, even if your editor doesn’t like something in your novel, the final decision still rests on your shoulder as the author which is both a blessing and a curse.
And if you think your edits are going to simply be a few grammar corrections, you’ve got another thing coming, my fellow writer.
Then, of course, there’s that little voice in your head. My little voice is rarely encouraging. It’s actually similar to a sour patch kid but just a lot of sour vs. sweet.
This little voice likes to inform me despite all the work I’ve put in to building a brand and following when my novel releases it’s going to be a flop. I think my heart stops every time this statement pops into my head. To even consider that all the money, time, and energy I put into turning my manuscript into an actual book could be for nothing, starts a slight panic. Like many who want to
write professionally, failed novels or bad reviews can bring our dreams to an immediate halt. The truth is many first-time authors are banking on the first book. Why? Because we need the royalties from the first book to finance the second book. By the second book, we’re hoping to have at least broke even.
This is pretty much where I’m at right now. With the editing pretty much done for my novel, the formatting working up, and the cover design coming to an end, all I’m left without my thoughts. As writers, I’m sure we all know that can be a dangerous place.
But don’t think I’m not trying to occupy my time. I really am. While “The Pariah Child & the Ever-Giving Stone” is wrapping up, I am a 3/4 way through the second book I plan to release. In a perfect world, this second manuscript will have gone through its first edit by the time the first novel is released. If it works out this way, I should be on track to write three novels in one year which is a goal I’ve been told many famous authors (Stephen King included) hold themselves to.
Holy crap. Am I really going to be able to do this?
Writing’s so much more than living in our imaginations. Writing’s marketing, it’s seeking good reviews, it’s putting yourself out, it’s late nights with no immediate gratification. And it’s judgment, too because most people don’t know all that goes into turning a childhood dream into a tangible product.
So, yeah, writing’s hard but someone’s got to do it. Let’s gear up, peeps.