First words to my first blog about being a first time author, well, almost. Yesterday, I sold my first novel to TWB Press. A lot of things happened at once, both physical and emotional. It's been a long journey and a lot of work. There have been a lot of rejection letters, I mean, a lot. I could give you a cliché about wallpapering a wall with them, but currently they're propping up a table.
The emotional wave that hit me was unlike anything that I've ever experienced. I felt vindicated, triumphant, relieved, scared, worried, happy, overwhelmed and it culminated in laughter, tears and maybe a something akin to a barking sound. I know, it's only a book. There are thousands of them in Barnes and Noble and on Amazon and it's a first time novel, it's probably not very good and who are you?
I hear ya. Ok, I've written a lot, and by a lot, I mean a staggering amount. I have files and files of half-baked, half-written stories, characters both promising and doomed, I've created entire worlds, political, religious, technological and magical systems only to be forgotten on a digital shelf collecting a heavy coat of bits and bytes. All of this was in hope of one day having a story that's good enough to be considered publishable. Writing is a craft and it takes time, it takes practice and it takes a hell of lot of trial and error, put the emphasis on error.
You could be thirty thousand words in and realize it doesn't take you anywhere and there's no saving it. You losing a day's worth of writing because you hit no when the prompted to save it. Sometimes the thing you're most proud of is the thing your story doesn't need. Writing can be a soul crushing process and this is before you send a manuscript out to get rejected, and rejected and you're really lucky you get someone telling your story is promising, but they're not looking for that type of story right now. For me, it got to the point it was pretty darn funny. You'll learn all kinds of lessons and if you're persistent you have a collection of a hundred thousand words that may have taken years to write.
I didn't mean to depress you, come back.
Here's the thing: It drives you. You have characters in your head screaming to be heard, you have a story that you need to tell, because as long as you've looked and as many things as you've read, no one else has written it. Sure, some will say, we'll your story is like this one over here, sure there can be elements, but everyone's perspective is unique as are the experiences of each life. We all have a story in us, hell each of is a story. Sometimes, in spite of everything, a story must be told. Who better than you?
Getting it down is the key, persevering is essential, the rest is just spelling and grammar.
Yes, there are a lot of ways to tell stories, you can blog them, self-publish, or just send it to friends. With my first novel, Dex Territory, I considered all those things. Ultimately, I wanted that emotional response I received yesterday. I wanted a publisher to say, 'this is pretty good, we've got some work to do, but let's take a chance on it.' I'd been craving it my entire lifetime. Validation. It was everything I wanted it to be.
Today, the business of being a writer begins. It is a business and you're a sales rep, you're in advertising, in web design, and a social media participant. You have to put a bio together, find a picture of you not dressed as a Wookie. There a lot to do. I'll be blogging about the process while everything else comes together. It should be a fun ride. I hope you'll join me.