Saturday, February 16, 2013

Thursday's Children Blog Hop: Keeping Your Tip Up



"In the race for success, speed is less important than stamina." -B.C. Forbes

It's been a long couple of weeks.

I finished the edits for my baby- er, book- close to a month ago now.  In the life of an author, that's huge.  I mean like "getting married", or "we're pregnant" huge.  When you've invested so much time and energy into pouring a piece of your soul onto paper (or computer screen), that moment when you realize it's finally done is a bit like giving birth.

Of course, the journey isn't over just because you've had the kid.  In fact, after the afterglow wears off, it hits you (at least, it hit me): now the real work begins. 

As every parent knows, it's not enough to just birth the baby.  You have to raise it.  Polish it.  Set it up as best you can to give it a decent shot in life.  With a book, the concept is the same.  Just like no good parent would just abandon their child to face the world on their own, no author worth their salt would do that to their book, either.

So this is where I am in the process right now.  I've spent the past few weeks setting up business accounts, working out marketing details, getting my book to review blogs, and just overall playing Puppetmaster.  To be honest, it's not a role I'm entirely sure I was born for.  And I've never been more exhausted.

All the same, I've learned lessons and gained insights about myself that are truly priceless.  I've found that I have it in me to finish a book.  I've met friends via Twitter that I never would have had the privilege of knowing otherwise.  I've discovered people interested in my writing and my novel.  I've tasted the satisfaction and pride that comes with being an entrepreneur.

Like the above quote suggests, what it comes down to is stamina.  Writing and self-publishing is a long-game.  To succeed (or even just survive), you have to find a way to keep going even when the journey seems endless.  Which it often does.  Read for fun, take bubble baths, disconnect from the world when you have to.  Guard your time and don't over-commit yourself, even if it's for people you adore. 

If you reach a point when you can't even form a simple sentence and your brain feels like it's turning to dust, it's time to take a step back.  Don't feel guilty.  You might lose a little time in the present, but you'll be ensuring your ability to continue in the future. 

Work hard, but don't run out the batteries.  Inspire yourself.  Stay juicy. 

Succeed.

12 comments:

  1. This whole post really resonated with me. I love it. :D Especially the last couple paragraphs. And especially especially the line, "Guard your time."

    I know how you feel, although I'm going the query-trenches route instead of self-pubbing. You're brave! Whenever your book is available, I'd love to read it.

    Congrats on finishing those revisions too. :D

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    1. Thanks Jessie! I'm glad you liked it. You're way braver than me- I'm just terrified of rejection! ;-)

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  2. Oh, I ADORE your motto "Stay Juicy". Brilliant! I'll be interested to watch your self-pubbing journey. For now it isn't the road I've chosen, but who knows what the future will bring? I have an idea you can blaze a trail like nobody's business.

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    1. I love you for that! It's a hell of a journey. I'll be sure to chronicle everything for anyone who's crazy or desperate enough to take my advice...

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  3. I totally get your process too. I'm still crawling my way through my WIP, so sincerely congratulate you on delivering that baby! A really great post. Best of luck with the launch - I'll look forward to following your progress.

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    1. Thank you! And thanks for stopping by :-)

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  4. Great summary of the writing life. And I think "Stay Juicy" will be my new motto; I've never been very frosty :-)

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  5. Thanks for sharing this! You've obviously spoken to a lot of us. As strange as it sounds, sometimes inspiration can be found in accepting that this is a marathon... not a sprint. Understanding that, and anticipating the slog, can make all the difference :)

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    1. I'm always amazed how the writing experience transcends genre. No matter what we write, the journey hits all the same landmarks. Thanks for stopping by!

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  6. Finishing a manuscript really *is* like giving birth. Please let us know when your baby is ready to make her/his debut! I'm so excited for you! :)

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    1. Thanks Chris! Fingers crossed, it won't be long now :-)

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