Monday, November 9, 2009

(Bad Pun Alert) Easy Writer.

I want to let you in on a little secret about writing. (It's not a secret for my fellow pubbed authors, because they already know this, so quit that snickering there in the peanut gallery.)

Writing is the EASY part of your job.


You know, all those gallons of sweat and all those buckets of tears you put into your manuscript, along with a few pints of blood to season the mix?

Child's play.

See, once you get your "baby" accepted and published and then you get your first round of edits back from your editor...let's just say make sure you've got a glass of something stronger than soda water ready to steady your nerves.

And I don't give a rat's ass how many times you went through that puppy before you submitted it, how clean you thought it was. Once it's sat in a darkened corner for a while and you get your eyes on it after an editor has been through it...


I don't mean to sound cold and callous or discouraging to newbie writers, but frankly, if you think getting your words on the page was the hardest part of the process and the rest is all downhill from there, Sunshine, have I got a cold, hard wake-up for you that you're not going to like.

Let me say it again for those who missed it the first time around: Writing your book is the EASY part of the entire insane process.

And that's taking the submission part right out of the queue and jumping to the assumption that your manuscript is placed with a publisher.

Why do I harp on this? Because I'm seeing more newbie writers out there who apparently haven't done any research on how publishing works. They think they can write, submit, and sit back and get paid.

Now, I'm NOT trying to discourage them from writing. Quite the contrary. I think they should be prepared for the process ahead of them so they can survive it without having to be admitted to a mental hospital in the process.

And then, let's not forget self-promotion. You cannot sit back and assume someone will do it all for you. If you already have an evil day job that isn't "novelist," you must find a way to make time in there, along with family obligations, sleep, eating, and car pooling, to self-promote. If you do not self-promote, you will not sell books. Or you will not sell many books.

Now, all that said, you might ask why the hell anyone in their right (write *LOL*) mind would want this gig?

If you are a writer, you already know the answer to that question.

So newbie writers, don't despair. No matter how hard it might feel getting that book pulled out of your brain and onto the page, once it's finished, you'll appreciate it for what it is:

The easy part.

Now gird your loins and go forth and kick butt and know that you're not alone in your post-writing misery. We feel your pain.