This week’s post is about people; namely, the people who make it possible to write and publish a book. Several authors research, write, edit, market and publish books all on their own, and that is not easy to do. It demonstrates an author’s courage, tenacity, and belief in their work despite adversity. The people who do this are amazing. I am not one of them.
The fact that I am writing from lived experience indicates that not even my idea-generating process was a solitary one. First I had to ask permission from the people involved if I could write the book at all. Afterwards, we discussed ideas, the subject matter and my goals for the book. By talking these friends and others, I was able to work out what my vision for the project was and what I wanted to do with it. During this process, they questioned me, and those questions helped me form a mental-map of the plot and helped me to choose what aspects of the story I wanted to include and what parts weren’t necessary.
My writing process was mostly solitary, but my editing experience is definitely not. I currently have a group of people reading my work, giving me opinions and feedback on the plot and characters, as well as pointing out flaws, inconsistencies or things that are confusing that will need correction in subsequent drafts. While I still have the final word on any changes made, their perspectives on something that I’ve been deeply involved in for several months has been invaluable to me, as well as humbling. I still freak out whenever I get a new round of feedback (because criticism is hard), but I know that their comments are to make my work better and reach its maximum potential. It’s exciting that there are people who are willing to help me do that and I am grateful to them all.
When I first started this project, I didn’t realize how group-oriented writing a book could be. So far, I’ve worked with my project accountant, a graphic artist, my beta readers, and other writers and by the time I finish my project, I’ll have worked with a graphic designer, a publisher, an editor and probably more. The involvement has been phenomenal, from my friends lived it with me to my mentor, my beta readers and my audience, who never ceases to amaze me with just how excited and encouraging you all are. I want this book to be the best that I can make it, and your belief in me helps me to strive towards that every day.
I told my mom earlier this week that, “I think, perhaps, that reading is an act of trust, and writing is an act of faith.” I wrote, hoping that someone somewhere would find meaning in my book, even if it was just the people who lived through this with me, but that isn’t going to be where this thing stops. I wish to prove myself worthy of your trust.
Thank you for your ever-present belief and companionship along the way.
Project Status: I am still editing. Right now the goal is to cut out unnecessary words and sections while reading for continuity. I am learning new tricks as I go. It’s exciting and exhausting all at the same time.
PROCESS UPDATE: I learned that setting a specific goal (ex: 3 chapters a day) helps me to work at night, though the quality of the work is not as good as it is during the day. I also have started the “read it out loud” trick. It’s scary, but it works well.