Two weekend ago, I was honored to spend time with my former college roommate Brett, and partake in his amazing wedding. I stayed for four days starting with the bachelor party on Thursday to the brunch on Sunday. My incredibly supportive family was there, of course. (Yes, I had a macabre story line come out of that, but it was a partial rehash of a serial killer at a wedding TV Show; plus, given the joyful event, it was in poor taste.)
We stayed at a wonderful protected forest area in Michigan with "cabins". I didn't have time to write, but I met so many interesting people and had the honor of writing a blessing. I spent most of my spare time writing and practicing that blessing which turned out. Thank heavens.
This weekend, my family and I drove down to Pittsburgh for an American Federation of Teachers Conference. On the trip down, I reviewed the printed books of La Bruja in the Orchard and Wolf Trek, and yes, I had to re-upload the kindle and print files. Hopefully, For. The. Last. Time. This self-publishing business is a learning process, and I have a few lessons to offer in a bit about my self-publishing journey. Not right now, though.
As you can imagine, I haven't been writing as much as usual, but the story ideas have been brewing. Actually, they're more like spilling over. I have two I am working on now and have outilned, "The Dentist Visit' and an untitled piece about witches. The second will not be part of La Bruja del Barrio Loco series because it won't take place in the barrio. Speaking of that story, I started adding more to and revising that piece. I am hellbent of having this story have a spine, and so, I am adding 20 more pages to it. Right now, it is a 80+ pages. Then, I send it off to be edited and copy edited. I decided to design the cover, too.
That kind of bridges to some of the lessons I've learned from self-publishing:
(1) Writing IS the impetus and life giving aspect of the process.
(2) Don't be overly hasty to send your work out into the universe. Revise the story (or whatever you are crafting) as needed. Repeat.
(3) Copy edit, copy edit, copy edit some more. If you are done copy editing, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, copy edit the printed version before you launch any version of your book into the universe.
(4) Send a hard copy of your book to the copy editor before you launch it. Trust me, it will be worth the added expense.
(5) If after publication, you still find typos in your work, stop pouring quarters in the swear jar! Correct the problems, re-upload the file, and move on.
(6) Once published, don't beat the shit out of yourself or your work. That's not good for you or the story. Please, stop.
(7) Writing IS the impetus and life giving aspect of the process. Publishing is great, even self-publishing, but writing is still what gives joy. The rest is whipped cream.
(8) Related to number 7, if you still have stories tugging at your sleeve, waking you up at 3a.m., and/or causing you to space out when you are walking down the street (or talking to your spouse), congratulations! You're doing something right. Just be very careful when you cross the road.
(9) Keep writing.
Where is rule number 10? Well, that one is more difficult to do, but tied into the writing process. 10. Assemble your dream team. I haven't quite done it, but what I can say is that an editor, copy editor (hopefully they are the same person), and book cover designer are key. I have already cried enough about NOT having a beta reader. Yeah, I don't really have one, but that person should be part of the team. Really, number ten should be number 2.
That is all I've got for this morning. Wait, you probably thought I gave up on my novel The Harvest. Nope. I am still working on it, and plan to finish it by this summer. I think self-publishing that novel would be hell, so I am sending out query letters in October.
Immerse yourself in the love of writing. #Resist