Thanks to one of my writing buddies, Erin (you can follow her blog here), I came across this photo a while ago:
I probably shouldn’t love this as much as I do, but I do (I’m sure you can understand where I’m coming from–being a writer, I can’t help it!).
Writing a book is hard. I love writing and I get inspiration from pretty much anything, but that doesn’t mean the process is all rainbows and unicorns, as my sisters would say. So, it’s not that writing is hard and it’s not really that editing is hard and it’s not that publishing is hard. But doing ALL of it is hard. There are so many little things involved with publishing a book.
First, you have to write. And you can’t just write part of it. You have to write all of it. Unless you’re a published author with an agent and publishing company and have contracts to fulfill, generally speaking, there is no deadline to writing the whole story. But you have to finish it sometime, even if you want to be done when you’re only halfway through. You can’t have half of a story. You have to have all of it.
Then you have to edit. You have to fix every little nit-picky spelling or grammatical mistake as well as the big game-changers that can make or break the story. You have to go through it by yourself multiple times as well as have another pair of eyes look at it just to affirm that it’s up to par.
Last, in the self-publishing world, you have to publish it. This includes formatting the document, getting the cover ready, putting all the details on the CreateSpace website, receiving the proof in the mail, adjusting as needed and putting it up for sale…
As the photo says, when you open a book–any book, not just mine or Erin’s, etc.–you’re opening a piece that has been worked and re-worked time and time again. You’re opening blood, sweat and tears, as my dad would say. This piece had moments of utter despair and moments of complete joy. This roller coaster of emotions is all contained in this cover to cover product.
Books take time. Lots and lots of time, from start to finish. From the moment the idea is planted in someone’s head to the moment it’s up on Amazon and I’m holding it in my hands.
That’s why having supporters like my parents, siblings, wonderful editor and writing buddies are so important in encouraging me and reminding me that it’s all worth it on the days when I doubt myself and my work (I wrote more about this in Writing Buddies).
This summer while visiting relatives in Canada for a week, one of my cousins said to me something along the lines of, “Not everyone is good at writing, but those that are need to do it.” I don’t know why, but this really struck me. I’m not saying that I’m an amazing writer right now, though I hope to work my way there as the years pass, but I know God gave me a gift for telling a story and the best way to honor Him is by using that gift…by writing.
Thank you for listening to (reading) my “rant”. I apologize in advance if it sounded like one long complaint. 🙂
That all being said, Everlasting isn’t quite there yet, but it’s getting closer. The cover is in the process of being drawn by my creative sister and the document is almost completely formatted.
Everlasting will see its day in print–sooner rather than later!