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Notes From A 'newbie'
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WARNING! If you are an experienced author who knows everything there is to know about everything, then stop where you are--this post is NOT for you! However, if you are a 'newbie' like me, then please proceed!
Hi, my name is Jen, and I'm a writer. It sounds like I should be in the basement of some community center, getting ready to give a testimonial, huh? Some of you may be thinking, 'Gosh Jen, that's a little cruel, don't you think, poking fun at support groups! What gives?' Well, in answer to that, I am absolutely not! In fact, many days over the past couple of months, I have felt like I could very easily be in need of one of those afore mentioned groups!
You see, I am a 'newbie'--a very little fish swimming upstream in the rushing river known as e-book self-publishing! I have spent many days thus far tweeting, formatting, groveling, waiting, re-formatting, waiting some more, groaning, moaning... the list could go on and on! I have worked so much on my ePub, that I have needed to drown my sorrows in a pub! I have experienced nearly every emotion possible--all the way from extreme frustration on "those days" to equally extreme elation when things finally fell into place and the first copy of my book was downloaded! From speaking to many others, I know I am not alone in this. So I decided to post a few musings, in the hopes of reaching out to others, who, like myself, have decided to take the plunge, or may be contemplating doing so.
I still have a lot to learn. I still have a long way to go. But I am proud of where I am! Because for me, it's not about running at breakneck speed to the top of this mountain. It IS, however, about the beautiful journey that I am in the middle of, right now, today. It's a twisty path filled with bumps and curves, but with equally amazing views! I am simply grateful for the chance to enjoy this journey--every last minute of it! Because there is no bigger high to be experienced than knowing something that came from your heart and your mind could possibly touch another person's life!
Now, on to the advice! First and foremost, don't stash that manuscript away on a computer drive, or in your nightstand drawer! Publish it!! Take a running leap into that rushing river, with your clothes on, even! Float around until you get deliciously pruny! Take a chance! You will be so glad that you did!
Second, and equally important, BREATHE! Rome wasn't built in a day, and chances are you won't become J.K. Rowling in a day, either! But that's okay! J.K. Rowling didn't become J.K. Rowling in a day, herself! (Well... she kinda always HAS been J.K. Rowling, since she is herself, after all! Have I said J.K. Rowling enough yet? Gah, you get my original point, I hope!) THE POINT IS, don't allow yourself to become overwhelmed to the point that you question why you published in the first place, or worse yet, you want to quit.
It is a daunting process, sometimes. You will be busy. Things will take much longer than you plan for them to. When you complete one task, it doesn't close that door, rather it opens up MANY more doors with MANY more tasks waiting behind each of them. But, again, that's okay! Self-publishing is a process! Wouldn't it be lovely to merely hit 'send' on our computers and find ourselves in ball gowns and glass slipppers, waving like princesses to our oodles of adoring fans? Reality check time--they ain't called fairytales for nuttin'!
Third, set realistic goals and expectations for yourself. I cannot stress enough--things WILL take longer than you plan for them to! (Heard that before, have you? Oh yeah, in the previous paragraph! But it is so true!) This concept is very difficult to wrap your brain around--especially if you are one of those 'instant gratification' types--like me! But you will get there!
And finally, perhaps the most important of all, HAVE FUN! Take each day's tasks and turn them into adventures! Firmly grasp each chance to make a new contact. Who knows, what starts out as a contact may blossom into a friendship! And we all could use more of those! My favorite part of this process, so far, has been "meeting" so many amazing authors! I have laughed with some, have gained support from others, and, best of all, have been introduced to some AWESOME new books for my collection! (Did I mention I LOVE books??)
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