I’ve made so much progress in the editing department. Mainly because — between a baby who eats multiple times through the night and a toddler who recently decided to get up anywhere between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. for a couple of weeks — I’ve been too paranoid to sleep. Therefore, there have been many days where I’m up at 3:30 a.m., brewing coffee and editing.
Whoa. Editing at 3 a.m.? What was I thinking? It didn’t sound so dangerous until I wrote it down.
As I move forward, little fears crop up in my mind causing me to think, “Well, I don’t know. Maybe I shouldn’t… Maybe now isn’t the right time… I don’t know enough.”
I don’t know enough:
About formatting, design, cover art, or the self-publishing process.
About marketing, branding, or platform building.
About being a writer.
I don’t know enough. So maybe… just put it off. Learn more. Perfect it. Or chalk this book up to a great learning experience and shove it under the bed forever (I’ve seriously considered abandoning it).
But then I think that publishing is exactly how I’ll learn. No, the process I go through won’t be perfect. But by going through it, I’ll learn more for next time. No, my platform won’t be amazing — but how can I build relationships with readers if I give them nothing to read? How can I find my voice as a writer if I hoard all my work and keep it in a vacuum until it’s “perfect”?
No, I don’t know enough as a writer. But guess what? I am a very new writer.
Get this: Besides one short story hastily written for a contest, my 400-page novel is literally the first fiction story that I’ve written since I was probably 12 years old.
Of course it won’t be perfect! But I’ll learn by letting people read it. I’ll learn by putting it out there, writing more, publishing more, and learning more.
It’s really tempting to hold onto all of this stuff until some ambiguous later date, when I’ll have done more research. When I’ll feel like I know enough–about a process that I’ve never actually gone through.
Or, I can start now.
Riddled with mistakes–yes.
Hole-punched by “Next time, I’ll…”
Yes, yes, yes.
But I’m going to learn and grow as a writer and self-publisher. And I’ll be eternally, deeply grateful to those of you who join me on my unpaved little journey.