Doctor. Veterinarian. Artist. Teacher. Mother.
There was one title that just kept popping up over and over, though.
Even after I took on titles as an adult—Journalist. Editor. Wife. Mother. Freelancer. Teacher.—that one title kept peering around the corner, reminding me it still held a place in the deepest desires of my heart.
Two years ago, I decided to leap over the obstacles in my way and battle the Beast of Doubt barring my path. I determined that I would, one day, achieve the title Author. In the past year, I have written two books, and the second was on track to be ready for a 2018 publication.
That little word that changes everything lingers on my bright and shiny literary horizon. It teaches me a lesson in writing patience. See, I don’t just want to have a published book. I want to build a firm foundation for what will be my literary legacy.
I shared with you all a few months ago how I decided not to seek traditional publication (at least for the foreseeable future). Instead I chose the Indie Author life! I realized I wanted to publish under my own press name now and, possibly, publish others—or other literature, such as a literary magazine—under that press name as well. To top it off, I want to pass this Press down to my children—should they wish to inherit it.
To do all these things, I’m launching a major business. Thankfully, I have some experience with setting up an LLC and already understand a good deal about business since I’ve been a freelancer for a decade now.
But—here’s where we circle back to that lovely little word—because all of this setup takes time and money and because it’s super important to me to set a rock solid foundation now, I will most likely not publish until next year.
When I first realized that … well, it wasn’t a pretty sight. I may have thrown an adult-sized pity party.
Okay, I did throw an adult-sized pity party.
“I want readers to read my book—NOW.”
“I want to finally be a published author—NOW.”
“I want to be first published in an even-numbered year, not an odd-numbered year.” (Don’t ask. It’s some weird psychological defect I inherited.)
So, I spent a full two or three days pouting and angry with the unfairness of the world around me.
And then I took a breath and thought it through and finally listened to all the infinitely wiser authors who’ve gone before me.
“I wish I would have taken more time in the beginning.”
“I wish I wouldn’t have rushed.”
“I wish I would have known X, Y or Z or wish I would have done P and Q first.”
I’ve heard variations on each of those from so many authors. And, I finally listened to them.
At some point on the third day of my grumpiness, their words began to sink in as my eyes slowly opened to what an extra year can mean for me and for my literary future.
Perfect the writing.
I no longer need to feel rushed or pressed to burn through revisions and edits. I can put some distance between drafts. My critique partners and beta readers can have a little more time to give me their feedback.
Is anyone else taking a deep and refreshing breath with me?
Complete accompanying stories.
If you’re part of my Fellowship of newsletter subscribers, you’ve seen my industrious plan for stories to accompany this novel. If you haven’t seen it, here you go:
- At least 10 short stories
- 1 epistolary (basically, a novella-sized book of letters)
- 1 novella (more on that next week)
I will now be able to complete all of these prior to publication of my literary fiction novel. This means a few great things for my readers. First, they won’t have to wait as long for new or different materials. Second, my incredibly amazing subscribers I mentioned a moment ago may just get a little gift in their inbox stockings this Christmas.
Pssst … if you’d like to join my email Fellowship and receive some behind-the-scenes weekly updates and more, be sure to click on the pretty red link at the end of this post!
Be further along with the next books.
If all goes according to my mental writing timeline, I should be in the process of writing my next series of books by the time this novel launches. This goes right back to what I said above—my readers won’t have to wait quite as long for my next books. In the publishing world, years (or even decades) between publications are fairly typical, especially for traditionally published authors. I don’t want my readers to wait that long. And, let’s face it, I don’t want to wait that long!
Save up money.
This gives me an extra year to save up money for all the upfront costs. I’ll be able to do some of the little things along the way, instead of all in one large lump. I can purchase the domain name for my Press. In these earlier stages, I can find and meet with a lawyer and/or accountant to make plans ahead of time and then save up to make those plans reality.
As we get closer to publication, I’ll be able to save up for extra printing costs, such as more ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) for book bloggers and reviewers as well as giveaways and so much more. I may also be able to increase my marketing budget.
Loyal followers who believe in a writer bring in more readers who continue the motion in a ripple effect. Obviously, the more followers I can start my publishing journey with, the more quickly I can reach even more readers. An extra year should increase those waves for sure!
Meet more people.
I am amazed at all the incredible people I’ve met in the past year of being active online. I have met passionate readers, writers, reviewers and other literary professionals from across the globe. It’s incredible! Through these interactions, I’ve had some amazing opportunities along the way. I have encouraged others and been encouraged. I have learned from others and shared some of my own lessons. Just think how many more people I will meet in the upcoming year and how many further opportunities I will have!
Learn More Skills
This past month has afforded me the chance to learn more about website design and logo design as I’ve made some updates to my site and worked on my personal branding. During the rest of this year, I plan to learn how to format my manuscript for both electronic and print books. My business knowledge will get another huge boost as I fine-tune those plans. And, there are many, many more skills I will need to learn over the coming months. That extra time keeps getting more attractive, doesn’t it?
Fine-tune a marketing plan.
My head is already swimming with marketing strategies and plans, but I’m barely staying afloat with it all right now. Give me another year, and I hope to be casting much more graceful strides without swallowing quite so much water.
Find my voice.
My focus and my voice have changed over the past year. Perhaps “changed” isn’t the best word. They have been sculpted, polished. While I’m sure this is something that will continue to evolve throughout my life, my voice feels like it’s on the verge of a breakthrough to true clarity. I believe I will handle all the insanity that follows a book launch with far more grace and certainty if my voice is clear and strong.
What about you, friends? Have you ever had to learn a lesson in patience—writing or other—the hard way? Do you find it easy or hard to be patient?