I feel like it’s time for another writing update here on the blog. As per usual, if you aren’t interested in hearing me rant about the current state of my writing projects and what I plan to do in the future, feel free to skip over this one.
June 2020 was the month that I finished an entire manuscript for a novel for the second time in my life. Light My Sky is a project that I poured all of my passion, blood, sweat and tears into. I spent hours and hours not only writing out my first draft, but also going back over each scene several times, editing things I didn’t like, correcting small errors, and polishing as I went. I read and reread the manuscript out loud to myself as well, catching even more errors and inconsistencies in the writing through hearing myself speak the words out loud. When all of that was done, I sent the manuscript to a few close family members and friends to read and gain feedback. I received a lot of positive, lovely kind feedback which I appreciate so much, and I think I gained quite a few fans of my book as well, which was lovely and I’m so grateful to you all! Up to this point in my life, I’ve never really shared my fiction writing with anyone, even family and close friends and so the feeling of having someone else read and enjoy what I’d written was just insanely rewarding and motivating! I added a scene to the book at my mom’s suggestion, changed some more small things regarding wording, took out a sentence or two, and then hit a brick wall.
I had edited several things and was feeling about as satisfied as I could feel with what was still essentially a first draft (or maybe it could be considered a second after all the editing that had been done), but I knew it needed more. I thought and thought about what my next step should be. Should I look for an editor? Try to pitch my book to an agent? Both tasks seemed incredibly daunting, and so some time passed where Light My Sky just sort of sat in drafts and nothing really happened with it. I felt like I really needed the help of a professional or at least someone with experience to take it to the next level and bring it to its full potential. But I had no idea how to go about that or how long it would take, and the thought of it discouraged me more than it should have. This past week though, I was talking to my co-worker who has self published his own book (and was also kind enough to read mine and give me some extremely helpful and kind feedback so shout out to him!) and it really encouraged me to give it a go for myself.
I feel like there are definitive pros and cons to self publishing. I know that marketing my book will be pretty much solely my responsibility, I’ll have to come up with the designs, format it, basically do everything myself. BUT on the flip side of that I feel like if I wait around for a publishing company to pick it up I could be waiting a really long time. And there is something about this book I’ve written that makes me feel strongly that it needs to get out into the world sooner than later. I don’t want to have to wait around forever for someone to see in it what I do (and who knows if that would even happen?) I decided over this past week that I’d much prefer to take my destiny into my own hands and self publish. So I’m about to start this somewhat intimidating journey, but I couldn’t be more excited! I’ll be able to decide exactly how I want to present my story to the world and how I want to advertise it, which is an exciting prospect, and I’ll be able to check the huge Become A Published Author accomplishment off of my bucket list! Before I start this process though, I want to read the manuscript one more time and make final notes on anything I want to change. One of my goals is to add more historical references to the time period and make it feel a little more 1960’s atmospheric, so I’m going to be looking for opportunities to enrich that part of the story a bit, and maybe some more places to add detail. Next on my to-do list after that will be formatting the book itself, and making sure I have all of the chapter titles since I am still working on those. I’ve asked my sister to help me with designing a cover for the book, so that will probably follow the other two steps. I’m kinda just thinking out loud at this point. I don’t expect to sell thousands of copies or gain a fan following from this, but the accomplishment and sense of having completed a huge goal in my life, plus the ability to have my family and close friends all buy copies and own my actual book, and to be able to have a copy to read to my kids one day is enough to motivate me to get it out there.
Anyway, wish me buckets of luck, and if you have ever self-published a book and have any advice along those lines I would love to hear it! I can’t wait for the day I can finally hold a copy of my book in my hands ❤