I’m publishing a book. Soon. I promise.
I decided to pursue self-publishing back in March, and I’m a little ashamed to admit that, while I knew it was going to take some work, the process seemed fairly straightforward at the time. I may have even entertained fantasies about having my book, in hand, by the end of June.
Needless to say, it didn’t turn out that way.
Again, I knew it was going to take some work. The problem was I thought all the major work was going to have to do with the actual book; the words, I mean. The manuscript needed some punch-up. There were extra bits I wanted to add. And I knew I had to let someone read it before I actually submitted it for publishing.
And I’ve done all that. But all that hasn’t made up the majority of the work, (read: stress), I’ve endured in the actual publication process so far. As it turns out, it wasn’t the rewrites or the edits or the peer reviews that really tripped me up, it was everything else.
It’s hard to describe, because there hasn’t been one thing. It hasn’t been formatting my book for publication, which is a process no writer really thinks about while they’re writing, nor should they, but, as it turns out, is an extremely important part of publishing. As in, you can’t publish unless you get it right. And it wasn’t having to write an author bio, which I’m convinced is the worst thing I will ever have to write. And it certainly hasn’t been working with my phenomenal cover designer, Allison of Painted Summers. She’s AMAZING! And it shows. Seriously the cover is…
Ironically, there are no words.
There isn’t one part of the process I can name as hard; it’s all just been hard. Even the parts that weren’t hard. Everything about this has felt like walking up a muddy hill. There’s very little that’s felt easy or unforced. Everything has taken effort.
And nothing has worked on the timetable I thought it would. And, again, that isn’t really anyone’s fault. Things have just come when they decided to come. I have had to slog and wait, sometimes at the same time, through all of it.
But, throughout all of this, I’ve learned to accept it. Which is terribly unlike me. I’ve always had a this-is-the-way-it’s-supposed-to-work-and-if-it-doesn’t-that’s-called-failure attitude about things. But, true to the nature of this book, I’m learning that “Success” is not the word I thought it was. We might think it’s when everything is done right, but I’m starting to believe it’s just the word for when everything is done.
And realizing, embracing that idea has, in many small ways, made this all easier.
As I told my friend last week, instead of “oh no”, my reaction to every seeming setback has become: “Of course.”
Of course this wouldn’t be easy.
Of course the book about how hard I realized all of this was would take as much out of me to publish as it did to write.
Of course this or that minor, completely unpredictable thing would happen at the last minute thus making me have to wait another day to get this done.
Because of course.
But, in all this, progress has been made. I’ve had to fight for nearly every step, but looking back I see I’ve walked miles, and looking up I see I’m near the top. It’s been hard but it’s been amazing. And I’m starting to believe it’s setting me up for something even more so.
Here I thought the writing would be the hardest part.
Boy, was I wrong.
But we’re almost there.
Speaking of which. I said the cover was amazing. Check it out: