Writing is a process, and we all know it. It starts with an idea – an egg, if you will. We sit on it, incubate it, and when it’s ready, it’s pokey little beak starts pecking away.
Well, we start writing, anyway. It’s a bit of a jumble to get it all down before it’s forgotten, and we get excited. That’s how it always starts.
For a while, everything goes smoothly – you’re getting your characters from Point A to Point B. Until your characters take over and run away to Point R.
Eventually, you get your characters back under control, and fight your way through the first draft, and just like that, well, there it is.
So you put it away for a while, let it sit. Forget about it. And then, one day, you pick it up again, and read through it. You put it down a few times. Pick it back up again. Force yourself all the way through it. And finally, you put it back down thinking that it’s one big pile of shit.
You go through it again. And again. And again. And again. Just for good measure. You fix what you can until your eyes bleed, your fingers are worn to nubs, and your hair has been ripped out. Finally. You’ve gotten it as good as you can get it on your own, and you’re in a state of shocked disbelief. You’re done.
I’m sorry, but you’re not really done. Just with that part. Now it’s time to find beta readers and folks willing to critique it. So you do. And you just want to hide.
The wait is torture.
And you read through your fingers. Your suspicions are right. They ripped it apart.
They point things out. Things like plot holes and characters out of character and things that just don’t make any sense to anyone but you. You’re blindsided.
Like any good parent, you feel the need to defend your baby. There are meanies out there, and you must hold them off.
And then you throw a temper tantrum, you want to kick someone in the teeth because they’re hindering your baby’s success.
And then you calm down enough to sit back and think about it for a while, let the real meaning of the comments settle in. And there really is a plot hole the size of Canada.
And then all of a sudden you find the shovel and fill in the plot hole, and you wiggle happily back into your seat, ’cause you’re just so clever for figuring it out.
So you get back to it, revising and editing and re-writing everything as needed, and you make it through, mostly unscathed. And you’re done. Again. It’s not what it was when you started writing this thing, and the changes are a bit… jaw-dropping.
Buuuut, you’re still not done. Now that you’ve got the book as polished as possible, it’s time to format. Do this before your cover design if you’re doing a print book. I’m trying out this part right now. And I want to run away.
Oh, look! You’ve made it through formatting and cover design! Your baby is now ready to bring into the world! Amazon, here we come!
CONGRATULATIONS! You’ve written a book, and it’s done!
Oh… I’m sorry. You thought you were done, didn’t you?
Don’t worry – the end is actually closer than it appears.
Now comes the fun parts. Someone found your baby and read it. And then they gave it a bad review. Some will leave you feeling a little crushed.
Some will leave you feeling savagely attacked.
Some will leave you feeling as though you’ve been eaten alive.
And sometimes, downright shocked.
The full process is finally complete. You’re left with nothing but tears of joy that you’ve survived, and tears of relief that the endeavor is finally over. Done. Finite.
You still think it’s over! It’s not. You’re going to sit down with that book one day, and open to a random page, and low and behold, there’s going to be a typo. IT. NEVER. ENDS. NEVER.