I'm back and it hasn't even been a year. Woo hoo! I know it's been a month, but I wanted to let you know that I survived that 3 day weekend of self imposed editing. AND true to form, life reared it's ugly head in the middle of it. BUT, I managed to push through. I typed with one hand and faced the issue with the other. Almost 10,000 words later, I had an updated and (I hope) improved manuscript. It has been submitted to both agents and that's all I can tell you for now.
I received a ton of messages and good wishes throughout this process, which was so very motivating. Mainly because this whole thing is exactly that. A process-a very lengthy, drawn out, crazy, lonely, process. And it made me realize how little people outside of this world know of the process, how incredibly surprised they are by how hard it is, and how long it takes to get a book published. I won't bore anyone with the tedious details, but we're talking years.
- You write the story, but then edit, correct, change, and edit some more, until you finally have something you love. And if you're doing it while working a full time job, raising kids, taking care of pets, family, and trying to maintain friendships....well, let's just say it tends to lengthen the process.
- You submit the manuscript to a ton of agents, hoping just one will be able to see the potential under the possible mess you've presented to them.
- They offer to represent you, and then you really get to work. You'll edit again and again, until they are certain you have the best product possible.
- The agent then submits it to publishers. If you are lucky enough that one likes it, a new process begins, whereby they need to present it to a number of people at the publishing house before a decision can be made.
- And after all that, if you are lucky enough to actually have all those stars align... it can take almost another year or two for the book to actually make it to store shelves.
Now, this list just pertains to traditional publishing. These days there are a number of options available for working with smaller publishers, or actually choosing to self publish. But, I know people who have chosen both of those options, and they work just as hard (if not harder), to reach the same goal.
So, I love when someone asks me when they can buy my book. I am humbled by their faith in my ability, but I also feel despair at the possibility that my answer may have to be never.
Why? Why would anyone ever put themselves through that? That's a question I have heard a number of times, by writers and non-writers alike.
The answer for me personally, is that the stories push to be told. The idea that it may never be a fully, bound book on store shelves means nothing to the story. The characters don't know that they aren't real. They'll keep talking until someone listens. I personally will have no rest if that happens (again, Patrick Swayze). All they care is that the story gets told. I get to go into their world and help create their story. And if I get it right, I can make you laugh and cry. So the answer is, why wouldn't I?
Writers - what's your reason for doing it?
Non-writers - Do you have a passion you feel this strongly about?