Monday, April 21, 2014

What I learned about myself and writing while I self-published

            Mistake number one-never publish until your work is thoroughly edited. That was my first mistake, along with many others, but this one’s a doozy. Writing, honestly is revising, revising, revising. What I thought was a polished product really wasn’t. I needed serious editing and not just editing from my close friends. I know that now. My friends are great and they did offer great feedback, however, you need a professional to guide you in the right direction and catch some major writing slips.

            Reading a few negative reviews from Goodreads enlightened me to that fact. Not all negative reviews are poisonous. Some can be very helpful. So I decided to pull Choices and have it professionally edited, but the question was where to start. At this point I was feeling very discouraged. I failed. I don’t take to failure well, yet, great success comes from failure and how else was I going to learn if I didn’t make mistakes. So when I feel sad and overwhelmed I take a break and escape with a good book. I picked up a book I had been wanting to read for a while. This book was self-published around the same time I published mine. This book was wildly successful. I fell in love with the author’s writing and her fantastic characters. I had to tell her, but I was nervous. I took a deep breath, felt the fear, and reached out to this author, not expecting a response. I was authentic with my appreciation of her writing style and of my own failures. She probably thought I was crazy, but she was so immensely kind. I was pleasantly and unexpectedly surprised. This woman is an incredible human being. She is a true gem. She took the time to encourage a total stranger. I will never forget that, ever! I will do my best to certainly pay her kindness forward. Her advice and words of encouragement were inspiring and uplifting. She offered wonderful suggestions and tips and before I knew it I had found myself a wonderful editor by the name of Erica Orloff. I learned first-hand that the self-publishing community is an amazing one, filled with resilient, compassionate, talented, supportive authors.

            I learned so much from Erica as well. I re-vamped portions of my book and found the courage through my newly acquired advice to try again. And I did. And here I am, writing blogs, a sequel, and starting another series. I learned that I wore my own pair of ruby slippers, and that I had the power to find my own way home, with a little help, of course, from my very own Glinda.

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