Monday, September 17, 2012

The feeling of accomplishment

Ok, so, you've written a book.  Congratulations!  Now what?

Well, you let your friends read it and they tell you its the next Harry Potter series, or War and Peace, or the best thing since sliced bread.  You're on cloud nine and no power in the 'verse can stop you.

Then you hire and editor and you're world ends.  So much to change: passive sentences, contradictory settings and characters, misssspelled words.  Finally, after rounds of edits (you never find everything the first or even second round) you are ready...for rejection.

Agent after agent gives you that famous line:  "The premise is very intriguing, but unfortunately it doesn't fit our marketing/genre/search right now.  Good luck in the future..." or something very similar.

You toy with self publishing, but you don't want to sink hundreds or thousands of dollars into it.  You have gone from cloud nine to digging your own grave.  While preparing for ritual suicide, you get one last email.

Eureka!! You get a hit.  Two.  Now three indie publishers want to take a chance at your manuscript.  So, now you pour over the contracts; are you fluent in legalize?  No? So you hire a lawyer, a literary lawyer and, months after you finished the manuscript, you make a decision and sign with a publisher.

Another round of edits, or two (just to be sure) and the publisher says, "We are ready!"   You are back on cloud nine, but that is just the beginning.  You get an email with an attachment and the comment, "Go through this one more time to make sure the formating is good and we didn't mess anything up.  I'm also sending you a hard copy proof with your cover. You are so close....hang in there!"

A day or two later, the book arrives.  Your hands shake slightly as you excitedly cut the tape on the small box.  You turn the box and out slides your novel.  YOUR novel. The last year or two of your life has suddenly materialized in your hands.  Hours...days of your time.  You recall all of the emotional highs and lows as you flip through the crisp pages.  Your heart beats faster as you flip and see your face on the inside back cover.

This is what it was all about. This was the last year of anguish, rejections, trials and triumphs.  You pause for a moment and wonder, "Was it worth it?"

You bet your ass it was!

Now, go write another!