The Start Of Failure Or Something Great
I am about to embark on a new journey as a debut author. As I begin to check the boxes of my mental list of things to do to prepare, I acknowledge that I may soon be falling flat on my ass. I have decided to journal and keep tabs of my failures and hopefully some successes on this path. You see, I feel I must document this time in my life, because what if… what if as I stand here peeking over the cliff ready to jump, I am about to change my life?
So here I go, I am standing at the edge and I am ready to jump. I have no idea what is to come or how my life may change. What I do know is, I have to jump. I have to go for it. I have to give this a chance or else I feel as though I have failed myself.
Today September 26th, 2015 I begin this new journey. I am stepping further off the cliff preparing my leap and now I am jumping into the unknown. . .
The steps I have taken to prepare for this moment.
A year ago on September 22nd, 2013 I wrote the words “The End” to my first manuscript. I thought, YES I did it! Now time to publish. Ha ha was I ever wrong! I was naive and had no clue that the hard part was just beginning. After a few months of research, hiring editors and realizing that, maybe that first manuscript was not exactly the right one I shelved it. I walked away from it.
I did attend my first ever writers conference. Boy do I wish I attended one of those before I wrote my first 300 page manuscript. That was in January 2014. I highly recommend attending one of those. I networked and got to pitch some agents. More than anything I learned I was far from ready to launch a book. I did win an agent over with my pitch and she looked at my manuscript right away. Only she had some suggestions and I took note of them.
After several… no wait many… LOTS of rejections I did have another agent ask to review my manuscript. This was an honor in itself I realized because with the amount of queries this agency gets I was one of the lucky ones to have someone actually read my work. Unfortunately it was another NO thanks. But… she gave me some awesome advice and kudos for my writing skills. My work was a little too focused on cancer, and it was a little dark and hard to sell she said. But she told me to write her again with any new work. I took that as a small victory. That was in February 2014.
In April after months of not writing and shelving my first manuscript I decided to re-write the entire thing again, only this time changing it up a bit. I didn’t want it to be so dark. In fact I had just celebrated my five year cancer anniversary and I was feeling as though I was leaving cancer behind.. maybe for good.
April 15th or somewhere in there, I began to write… and write some more. By June 20th I had complete not only one manuscript but two! This time I was feeling good, I think I finally got the hang of it… well for the most part.
In July I left for Guatemala and during that time my manuscripts were with the developmental editor and some beta readers. I wanted to do it at the same time so I could dig back in after all the feedback came in. Loved this idea.. so glad I did it this way. Lessons learned from this stage. The first one is that beta readers are not for everyone. Including my husband. For those who hate grammar issues or sentence structure issues THIS IS NOT FOR YOU! BTW… I am horrible at grammar and always need a professional to help me out.
Then the feedback came in. The truth their truth the good and the bad about my beloved story. Thank you to my beta readers (you know who you are) and thank you to my developmental editor who kicked my butt over and over for a bit until I think I got it. Finally. Blogging and fiction is so different it takes some time to learn the craft. I am not even saying I have even mastered fiction writing yet but I am hoping to master it one day 😉
Then the editing began in August 2014. Hours and hours I edited, re-wrote and edited some more. Finally September 15th, I sent the finished manuscript off to the final edit. Grammar/Proofread. Almost a year later since I first wrote the words “The End”
Now I step out onto the cliff….
website, cover design, twitter account, facebook, manuscript, head shots all done! Now it is time to take the final step and jump!
The PR campaign is still in the works, but soon that will be finalized too. I will keep you updated on the next steps.
But tonight I take my final step and I am jumping! With my hands outstretched I close my eyes and only hope I don’t fall to the ground, but catch the wind and soar higher than I ever dreamed possible.
Tonight… on September 26th, 2015 I am taking my first step off the cliff….