It's 2012 and I hope everyone is settling in with good health and peace. And I don't mean an extra "piece" of pie. I mean peace in your life and peace of mind! You can have the pie later.
Now if you've had too much pie, I guess right now your thinking of the layers of extra "you" you need to have disappear, right? Well, that's where this new blog comes in. No, it's not a secret to a diet, but it does involve "layers." You see, there are so many layers to just about everything we do, it sort of reminded me of writing. For those of you who have written a book, you know exactly what I mean. But for those who have thought about it, but then thought against it, you just might be surprised. Here's the recipe for your 7 layers:
First - Idea. Ah, that inspiration that took over your thoughts leaving you walking around in fiction land.
Second - Determination. That drive to make you write down your thoughts, then transfer them to the computer where you sit for days, hours, weeks, months (some even years) pouring out what you hope someone will want to read and love just as much as you do.
Third - Editing. Wait! I thought all I had to do was write my story and someone else does the editing. Isn't that "their" job? Yeah, right! Dream on. Nope, it doesn't work like that. You must learn the craft of editing, sentence structure, the use of the same word 10,000 times in a manuscript and why you have to drop it to 2,000, proper line spacing, etc... Are you still with me? This takes a lot of time and a warning label. Your stress level will rise.
Fourth - Submissions. This can be done the hard way, or the hard way. Gotcha! There is no real easy way. You have to write a query letter (Your entire manuscript summed up in two paragraphs, but be careful, there are rules involved.) and you have to write a synopsis. Oh yay. You have to sum up your entire manuscirpt in a few pages, AND tell the ending. Yep, that's right. Agents, publishing houses, and editors need to know the ending. I know it sounds like cheating, but you're up against thousands of other submissions. MAKE IT COUNT!!
Fifth - Waiting. No advice here except you will grow older and wiser!!
Sixth - Good News. Here's where every person's layer is different. The most desired email yet has arrived and someone wants your work. It may take a year, two years, longer or never. Let's not discuss the never. That's depressing. At this point you've grown a thicker skin from all those rejections and you're ready for the world to see what you've done. Be patient!! The world might not see it anytime soon, but when it's done, the people that do read your work will appreciate all your hard work. During this time, you'll edit even more, build your website, start marketing, have bookmarks printed, and forget to eat most days because you're working so hard. Hang in there. It does get better!
Seventh - Marketing. There are no correct answers here. No lucky chances or guesses. Nope. Not even a lucky break. Marketing is as individual as you are. How much time you spend is entirely up to you. One thing I can say is take advantage of the wonderful world or social media. It can be very rewarding. And remember, it's not about how many books you sell, or ranking. It's about being involved with readers, writers, bloggers, etc.. And having fun!
So there you have it. My 7 layers to writing. And you thought I was going to say 7-layer dip. Okay, go ahead and have the dip. You've worked hard!!!