It’s been quite a week. I released my first novel which fulfills a life-long dream. It took 10 years and 4 rewrites to get that particular story out in print. And the learning curve was terribly steep. Writing and rewriting is a lot more work than I thought it would be. Having a gift for inventing a story is not the same as the gift for telling the story in print. Telling a story requires a different gift and skills improved by instruction, honing, and practice.
I chose to self-published rather than trying to find a literary agent and publishing house. During my writing education, I learned that once you published the traditional way, you are more or less pigeon-holed for life. You first publish a romance novel, then you’re expected to write more romance novels your whole writing career. I can’t do that. I hate being trapped in a box. I’ve written several children’s stories that I hope to get published when I find an illustrator who can help me. A couple of the stories swirling in my head would be classified as women’s fiction and not romance. And I’d like to write a few non-fiction books as well. I couldn’t do that in the traditional manner. So I chose the self-publishing route.
Releasing a book also requires a lot of business practices which are totally new to me. I set up an LLC and found myself having to learn tax laws and accounting practices. Agh! I know nothing of that. So I signed up for business fundamental classes for more information and instructions on what I should know before jumping into this. Too bad I’ve already left the diving platform. I’m learning on the way down.
The next part of the process is much harder for me: marketing. I’ve never been a very good salesperson, not wanting to impose on others. I was raised to not ever brag about myself. For the most part, I’ve always been comfortable being a wallflower so to step out front and shine the light on me feels unnatural. I feel like when I ask people to buy something from me, I am bragging about myself and that is very much out of character for me. So I am at war with myself, part me of wanting everyone on earth to read this great story of mine and the other part wanting to retreat back into my corner to hide.
Shyness has held me back on many occasions. More than once, I walked away from opportunity because I was afraid of what people might think of me. Nowadays, I’m older and wiser which has made me bolder. Being “over the hill” allows me more freedom to do what I like with less worry about whether people will like me or not. At this point, I am me and I like me. And I hope you like me too, but if you don’t, well, sorry about that. I have been liberated by old-lady-hood and eccentricity which makes me want to grab every opportunity to reach my personal goals and hopefully spread good things to others as well.
So in the end, my first novel is a story represents my journey from a shy woman who didn’t have the courage to tell anyone she wanted to be an author to someone who is sharing her life with everyone on this blog. I originally intended to publish under another name so no one would know it was me. My friends’ and my family’s support gave me the courage to stand up and say “I wrote a book. See, here’s my name on it. You might like it.” It shouldn’t take me another 10 years to write the next book. I have several started, but am concentrating on one that I hope will be out next year. Sooner if I can manage it. But most and foremost, I want to take the time to make it the best I can and hope that you’ll enjoy it as much as I enjoyed the journey of writing it.
Heartwarming Small-Town Romances and Thrilling Mysteries