On Writing and Waiting…The Road to Self-Publishing

This article is part of my ongoing Wannabe Pride Self-Publishing blog series in preparation for publishing my novel, QUEEN HENRY, in July of 2014. Proceeds from this novel will go to the Harvey Milk Foundation.

35 Weeks Until Publication 

Right now, I’m kind of in a weird in-between kind of waiting period. My self-published book, QUEEN HENRY, won’t be published until July of 2014. I’ve commissioned a cover and have completed about 98% of the editing. I’ve sent out lots of letters and emails to LGBT organizations and celebrity activists in the hopes of getting endorsements for my novel. That part of the project involves an awful lot of waiting. Those people are very busy, and even getting a flat “No” from them takes time. I can’t complete the book and send it for formatting until I’ve waited long enough to see if anyone will actually provide an endorsement. After all, those endorsements would need to be included as part of the book.

After the first of the year, I plan on going back to work on one of my (still untitled!!) middle grade novels. I wrote the first draft over the summer and haven’t looked it since. That’s probably a good thing. It helps you be more objective when you take some time away from a project before looking at it again.

I also just finished a batch of query letters for my middle grade novel, RAIN ON THE WATER, which involves even more waiting. Most literary agents say they will try to respond within 6-8 weeks. That is, if they decide to respond at all.

When I’m working on a book, I tend to really eat, breathe, and sleep the story. I go for daily walks and listen to whatever soundtrack of songs I’ve found that match my story and my characters. On my commute to and from work and even in the shower, my mind is always spinning with story ideas, lines, character quirks,and so forth. Right now, since I’m in between projects, I’m feeling a little lost. Believe me, I still have plenty of work to do and I’m definitely doing it. I’m researching publishers to query for RAIN ON THE WATER for when my waiting period on agents is up (many agents won’t want to represent you if you’ve already queried publishers and been turned down. That’s why I approach agents first). I have lots of reading to do for my self-publishing project and I still have so much to learn about the process. Then there is all the social networking to keep up with.

 I’m super busy and I love it, but right now it’s more research, reading, and learning as opposed to creative stuff. I’m just missing the writing part of writing right now! With the holidays coming up, it just makes sense to wait until the new year to start on rewrites. In the meantime, I’m doing what any good writer should do when preparing to write (or rewrite) a story. I’m reading as many books as possible in my genre to see what’s out there, what my competition is, and what works and what doesn’t. I’m also reading some craft books on writing fiction. This is the nitty gritty, nuts and bolts part of writing. I’ve been doing this for 19 years and, believe me, I still have a lot to learn. This is the non-exciting, unglamorous part of writing, but it’s what makes you the best you can be at your craft.

So there it is. Back to waiting. I just read a wonderful quote that reminded me to be patient.

“Outlast those who are lucky and outwork those who are lazy.” – Jeff Goins

–          Linda Fausnet