I am a writer by virtue of the fact that I must put words on paper every day for sanity’s sake. It is how I process my world and learn what I feel and think. I journal a lot. I am also a writer of essays, non-fiction, and fiction, and for these, I am not only a writer, I am an aspiring author.
I am an aspiring author in a time of great change in the publishing industry. Definitions are changing. The concept of story remains (mostly) the same, but everything surrounding it is in metamorphosis.
I have written for a long time. Decades. Novels, short stories, flash fiction, and essays stack up on my hard drive. I am not in the same place today that I was in 2007 when life-changing illness set me on the course of re-evaluating my life and ultimately deciding to do something with the piles of bursting notebooks in my bedroom. Back then, I was blissfully ignorant of just how long it would take to build knowledge, confidence, and polish multiple pieces before I approached publication.
I am no longer ignorant or innocent. However, I am better prepared and realistic.
This series is a chronicle of taking stock before making the leap toward publication. Here is what I have accomplished to date:
- Three novels (others don’t count, they were more than a decade ago)
- 12 short stories
- 7 flash fiction pieces
- Free-lance work on the web
- Writers Group (joined, led, now in small critique group)
- Edited for others who sold their projects
- Alpha and Beta reader for others, a small list of Alpha/Beta readers for my projects
- Gained industry knowledge
- Evaluated return on investment for various publication paths
- Set clear and realistic goals
- Undoing past errors
- Educated myself on craft
I will be sharing my (sometimes painful) lessons so you don’t have to repeat my mistakes. In the coming month, I will confess my sins and share this process of preparing to seek publication, including platform and mental preparation. Why am I sharing this? In part, it is to help me become more comfortable with sharing my inner self, and in part because I have found I am uncomfortable with anything less than honest transparency, and that includes pen names. If it helps or inspires someone else, so much the better, and I hope it does.’
Part Five: Gathering Support – putting together a personal support network from family, friends, and mentors.