It’s here. Finally. I opened my first Word doc to start writing this book on September 3, 2010. That’s 1782 days from first word to book in hand. That was a lot of hard work and persistence, but along the way there have been many memorable moments. While I’m off trying to make a few more, here are my top 5!
1. Telling my husband I was writing a book. For the first few months, I kept it a secret. I didn’t know if I would like it, or if I was any good. After a few months of hammering at the keys, I finally told him my secret. It was that moment when it all became real. It was a thing I was doing. Voicing it had given me power and incentive. I’d put it out there that I was doing this, now I had to follow through. It would take a few more months before I’d have the courage to actually share my writing, but this was a huge step.
Isn’t this an amazing cake?
2. Typing “The End” for the first time. It took me about ten months to finish that first draft. Life got in the way. We bought a house, moved, then sold a house. There was a horrendous lice outbreak that I still get itchy thinking about, and I had no idea what I was doing. I remember being determined to finish, and spending nights on our screened in porch with a gin and tonic, whacking away at the keys. I knew as I typed those final words that I had a lot of work to do, but I had done it. I’d finished a book.
3. Finding my people: Those early drafts were like trying to wall paper in the dark. When I finished, I had created something, but it was a mess. For help, I turned to the online writing community. On the hashtags for writing contests like #PitchWars and #PitMad, I started to see familiar faces. I started to “meet” other writers who were at the same stage as me. We swapped manuscripts, we traded tips, and we cheered each other on. I would never have gotten so far if it weren’t for these amazing friends.
4. Agent and Book Deal: Okay, I’m cheating, but these two go hand in hand. I’ve written extensively here and here about how I found an agent and editor. The giddiness of getting an offer of representation or a book deal is so special. If you’re lucky, you have a few days of delicious anticipation in which you sense something is about to happen, and then you get the phone call confirming it. The down side is you usually can’t announce it right away. Contracts need to be signed and formal announcements need to be made first — though discreet texts to friends absolutely happen.
5. Seeing my book made into a book: I had the unique experience of visiting the printing plant to see my book come off the press and binding machines. I was a culmination of five years. I’ll be writing about the entire experience soon. To sum up, seeing an entire palette of my books finally broke me. It was too beautiful!
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