I have been working on my current WIP for many years. I first had the idea for the story back in 2004, at least that is the first rough sketch of it, and my first recorded version. I parked it for years, dabbling in other ideas and stories but never taking them much further.
In 2013, I moved to my present house. It was this move that brought back my love of writing in earnest, and my writing room, which I love, that inspired me to do more than just dabble, and to finally finish and then publish the book.
I have said often that life is not always about writing, sometimes we need to live and to be in the real world for a time, but if you are a writer at your core, you will always come back to it once the opportunity arises.
It has been three years since I decided to finish and then publish the book.
It has taken me a lot longer than I thought.
I am still not quite there yet, BUT, the end is in sight.
My book turned into a trilogy, and this was much of the reason it took so long. I wrote the first book, and then realised that I needed to finish the rest for two main reasons:
- It would never really be a stand-alone, and although I re-wrote the ending of book one, and did to some extent close it, there was always going to an obvious next step in the story.
- I needed to be comfortable in the complete series and its conclusion. Whether you are a book planner or not, the story is never really sealed until that moment when you close off the last chapter of the book and you know that it is done. I learned an awful lot by completing the whole story, and I am so glad that I did because I needed to make adjustment to book one, and once you publish that’s a lot harder to do.
I have many reservations about it not being a stand-alone book. Perhaps it was an over ambitious story. I hope not. If I was to start over I would certainly think about the marketability of trying to launch a series as an unpublished author, and perhaps with hindsight I should have let this one rest longer, until I had a few single books under my belt.
As the saying goes, it is what it is. And it is a learning curve, and one that I have thoroughly enjoyed.
There was a great level of satisfaction in finishing that last chapter of the third book, and in seeing all the plot points come to a conclusion.
In going through the process, I have gained greater confidence in my writer’s voice. It has evolved over the three books, along with the characters and the story. I feel like I have joined my characters, and that we have all transitioned together into something more than we once were.
So, I am ready now to publish it. I am ready to start writing something else.
I am now planning out a 6 month marketing plan, and aim to launch it around December time. Book 2 and 3 will need professional editing, and that always takes time. I need to start thinking about book covers and formatting, and reviewers and all those other things that will hopefully get the book noticed. And I need to think about where and how I publish it.
After December, I guess I will enter a whole new game. When you have not yet been published, you look at published authors with a sense of wonder, and look at the process with a sense of fear.
Publishing my book is definitely a step outside my comfort zone, but as the other great saying goes…if you never try you’ll never know 🙂