Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A Writer’s Journey - The webs we weave

Over the coming months I’ll post some of the pitfalls/stumbling blocks/triumphs of what some writers go through. In the beginning…there’s a desire to become a writer.

First – you write a book
  Step One – Buy Word program.
  Step Two – Develop story line in your head
  Step Three – Learn Word Program
  Step Four – Hire kid to teach you word program.
  Step Five – Maintain focus and write while word constantly changes your formatting
  Step six – Research relaxation techniques.

True: The writers I know love what they do.
False: It’s so easy, you just sit in front of your computer, focus your mind and type, regardless of distractions. (ex. The room you’re in is a frosty 58 degrees.)

     Sometimes it’s the little things that turn your mind to mush. My husband and I had a chilling start to our day, outside – it’s 5 degrees not taking wind chill into account. At 4 AM, the heat pump stopped working (of course). Happy Birthday hubby.

  So – the day starts a bit earlier than usual. No problem, we bundle up, start the coffee, and wait till a respectable hour to call someone to take a look at the compressor. Turns out not to be a big deal, just a cold one that takes a while to fix. So I go in the office and boot up my computers.
In checking my email – a lady who received one of my ebooks for review couldn’t open it. After converting a pdf into MOBI, I resend it, thinking I’ve done all that I can.  
Start to work.

True: Shit happens to us all.
False: Writers are computer nerds.

     Minutes later I receive an email from the reviewer (who kept a wonderful attitude. The MOBI book I sent her wouldn’t open. So, I take the PDF, reconvert, and send again. Now, ready to start my day with coffee in hand and teeth chattering. I can do this. There’s enough metal in my mouth that I don’t fear tooth chippage. They’re not gold. (I’m a starving author.)
      After opening up the book I’m working on, I get another email, MOBI book still won’t open. Some reviewers would give up now, but this lady (and a very nice lady she is), didn’t get upset.
  So– I contact the formatter of my publisher who sends me a properly formatted MOBI. I try to forward to the reviewer but my computer ATE the damn file. I ask the formatter to resend and I forward the file (again). NOW I’m ready to write.

True: Sledge hammers work wonders on electronics.
False: When your computer can’t find your external hard drive, make sure you face your monitor toward it so said hard drive can be seen.

     When you’ve written your book, it’s time to celebrate. You think great, I’m done. So you start the query process. If you’re lucky enough to get a contract with your first few queries, you’ve either written a most spectacular piece or have a leprechaun on your shoulder.
     Take your spouse out to dinner.
More likely, you might spend months sending query letters…Rejections are tough, get used to them.
     Then one day after you get a contract, you learn your work is only one-third finished. Now you have to edit, edit, and when you think you’re done, you edit some more. The day you receive your galley is one you won’t forget, (until you have Alzheimer’s), and within several weeks, your baby is published! Now—you’re done and ready to go shopping on Rodeo drive.
Wrong. Your horse just tossed you in the muck.
This is where you start promoting. Are there others out there to help you? Absolutely, but keep in mind, they are busy promoting their own books, working their other jobs, and living their one lives. Not to mention, what works for one writer, won’t work for another. Another thing – and it’s sad to say, there are people who prey on the naive newbie. Beware, bad surprises get wrapped in kind words and beautiful packaging.
Though I have several books out, they were in quick succession so there hasn’t been enough time to let it all sink in.
More to come…

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