I spent all of today (plus two hours last evening) at an informational seminar geared toward helping aspiring writers publish their book. I heard about this seminar through a Facebook friend who has actually managed to do just that. He and his wife published their book called Have Kids — Will Travel, all about ways to see the world with your children without having to sell the family home to do it. With all the changes in the world of publishing today, with the proliferation of eBooks and with the possibilities created by the self-publishing industry, it got me to thinking that perhaps the idea of publishing a book of my own might not be such a lofty dream. So, Friday morning I boarded a plane to Salt Lake to attend this seminar. I wanted a chance to talk with other authors, to find out what has worked and not worked for them. I wanted to catch a glimpse of what I might be getting myself into before I invested hundreds (or, god forbid, thousands) of hours of my precious time here on this earth writing something that perhaps not one other person will ever read. I thought I would look before I leap.
Writing is tough. Unearthing your subject is difficult. Finding your muse is time consuming. Putting words onto a screen is work. Self-editing is tedious. Professional edits are heartbreaking. Revisions are exhausting. The entire writing process is tantamount to giving birth, but instead of the birthing process taking somewhere between a few minutes and 36 hours, writing a book can suck years out of your life. Years. Several authors I talked to today said their books took them between 6-8 years to complete. Wow. Am I really up for that? That’s a lot of freaking time to spend on something that may not ever earn me a greenback. At least at the end of my previous two deliveries I had another human life to show for my effort.
The main thing I learned today is that sometimes even thinking about writing is hard work. My head hurts. I learned a great deal over the eight hours I spent at Book Camp this weekend…how to format my manuscript, how to prepare it for submission to publishing companies, what options exist in self-publishing and eBooks, how to format a pBook, and ways to market and sell my work. I took copious notes on both paper and my laptop. I did research on my iPhone while listening to the instructors. There is so much for me to mull over. Not right now, though. Right now, all I need is a glass of wine to help me shut off my brain. So, since I am on vacation (my kids are at home with their very accommodating father while I take this personal time), I am going to find myself a state liquor store, pick up some take out, and settle down for the evening with a good book. After all, this journey was all about books. I should toast to that, right? If all goes well, maybe someday another woman will sit in her hotel room reading my book and while sipping her sauvignon blanc.