Writing has always been in my blood. Since childhood, I have willingly put pen to paper in order to tell a story. I had piles of notebooks, full of interesting characters and lots of adventure.
No one really read my work, except for the odd teacher at school, if a piece of writing was submitted for an assessment. Anything to do with writing, reading, dictation or spelling, brought me great joy. Numbers on the other hand, were a very different story. Even now, on a bad day, if you were to ask me what two plus two is, the answer might well be five.
Fast forward to the present. At age forty three, I have written my first book. I have a completed work of women’s fiction. I need to constantly remind myself that I am not an aspiring author, I am an author. As writer’s, I feel we tend to doubt ourselves over and over again. I got to the crucial point where I had polished my manuscript as well as I possibly could and thought to myself, What now? I had never written a book before. It’s a great achievement and it takes more courage than Josephine March in Little Women to take the next step.
Contacting a professional editor, I felt I’d like to work with, and subsequently sending my baby off into the wild for it’s first copy edit, felt a bit like a nervous virgin bride emerging from the hotel bathroom in her new lingerie on her wedding night.
I felt vulnerable and exposed, yet excited to be moving forward after years of blood sweat and tears, and have more than likely gained more grey hairs along the way.
Accepting constructive criticism is not easy, but it is a necessary part of the writing process. Editing is hard work, querying agents and publishers is hard work, yet we do it, in the hope it may pay off.
The self publishing process is overwhelming, but it is often the avenue we must take in order to get our work out into the big bad wide world. Working through my copy edits is almost complete, then it will go back to my editor for a final proof read.
I am not sure if my querying will pay off, or if I will cope with navigating the maze that is self publishing. Via Facebook and Twitter, I have discovered vast amounts of support and encouragement from the writing community and want to give back by sharing my journey, warts and all, in order to inspire other writers to believe in themselves and take that literary leap of faith.