Self-publishing.

Yeah. I’m doing it.

I know, I know. I said I was going to attempt querying and do the whole shebang (get an agent and we all lived happily ever after with a picket fence and 2.4 dogs, er, kids).

Anyone who’s been following my blog for a little while knows I flopped back and forth about it (don’t we all?). I spent so much time weighing the pros and cons of each – carefully and meticulously – until all cons blurred with pros and pros were cons and cons were . . . um . . . what’s going on? That was basically how it went in my head for a very long time, so I told my husband to make a decision on it. I was content with that for about a day or two, and then the mental-flopping began again. I didn’t want to blog about it because I wanted to get it sorted in my head.

I realized, after speaking with so many people, that this was a decision only I could make.

I started looking into cover artists just for curiosities sake and found one that I LOVED.

For about four days, I did nothing but flop around mentally afterward. I mulled over the word author. I’ve said it before that I will NOT call myself one unless the word aspiring is in front of it. Not yet.

One night, I looked up the definition of it. I kind of had a moment. There was no ‘traditionally published’ in the definition, of course. For one of those days, I contemplated over the word – what it meant, what it meant to other people, and what it meant to me.

Rather than focus on pros and cons, I started focusing on why. Why did I want to be published traditionally? What was drawing me to self-publishing despite the stars and rainbows and glitter of the P and the T together?

When thinking about the why . . . it fell into place.

I don’t need a publishing contract to accomplish what I’ve wanted to accomplish with this. All I want is for ONE person out there to love my books – to make an impact on a person the way that some books have impacted me. I don’t need a P and a T together for that. I don’t.

So I made the decision about a week and a half ago and I haven’t looked back since.

There hasn’t been one single flop from me, or even one second of doubting the choice I’ve made.

I don’t like posting things on here unless they’re set in stone. I’m feeling comfortable with sharing now.

I’ve been arranging things with that love-inducing cover artist and the photographer. I love them both. Seriously. Details are being figured out and things are being put in motion.

My editor had to extend the date of finishing my novel, so I won’t have it back until early to mid-October. I’m trying to get everything done that can be done until that point.

As of now, I’m shooting for early December. That’s going to depend on how everything works out, but now . . . I’ll be able to keep you all updated.

It’s so freaking weird having things moving. I spent such a long time feeling like my entire world was at a standstill.

Anyway. No more waiting. It’s time to start letting them go. I’m worried, of course, but . . . I’m feeling good. I’m excited. I never thought I’d be more excited than stressed/nervous, but . . . I am.

Wish me luck. I’m definitely going to need it.

O.O

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The Slippery Slope Leading To The Peak Of Patience

Alas, I have slipped up…at least in a sense.

There I was a few days ago, rambling on and on about this newly found sense of patience – as if I’d achieved some zen-like state of being through countless hours of meditation and just a dash of repaid good karma.  It would’ve been a close description of how I was feeling at the time.

Talking about my books has made me want to go back through them.  That shouldn’t be a problem, you say?  Well, it is a MAJOR problem, given that I am incapable of going through them without touching them.  Oh, believe you me – I could tie my hands together at the wrist, turn the pages with my teeth, and I swear to you…I would find some way to use a sparkly pen.  This is wrong.  And THIS is wrong.  UGH.

It wouldn’t be an issue at all if 1 was not currently being spruced up by my friend.  Now, what in the world would be the point of removing makeup halfway through putting it on?  That would be counterproductive (when the makeup artist is doing an impeccable job), among other things that I don’t feel like listing off.  If I make changes – any at all – then how would I know for sure whether I was doing more good than harm?  I couldn’t possibly know.  You don’t RE-EDIT a book behind an editor (or WHILE it’s being edited), do you?  Well, maybe some people should, on some occasions.  I won’t get myself started on that; I’ve been ranting for days.

So, knowing myself, I cannot touch 1 until I get it back (she’s guesstimating around June 1st and I will cross my fingers on that because knowing something gives less room to lose your mind over it).  I’ve thought about going through 2-4 because I could make changes here and there before I hand the lot of those over into her capable hands.  That would be fine.  [Insert overly dramatic/loud sighing sound here]

I can’t touch those without reading 1 first.  Yes, I know the story and the characters inside and out; that’s not the issue.  I’m just insane and have to do things in order.

Basically, I had about………..5 or so days of that wonderful, at-peace feeling, and now?  Well, now I am feeling much like my usual, anxiety ridden self.  It’s a bummer.  A major one.

I’m flustered, not knowing what in the world I should do for the next month.  Sure, I have things that I COULD do, but I want to work on my books.  I want to get them to the point where I will feel comfortable enough to start querying again.  Querying intelligently.  I’m still feeling good about that bit – the remainder of the game plan.  I will do things right.  I will do things as well as they should be done…because I CAN.  I am capable of that.

If I’m capable of that?  Please, someone, tell me why I am not capable of settling down for a month (because surely I will be waiting much longer than that while querying).

And for GOD’S SAKE, someone please explain to me why there is a picture of ABBA (TWO OF THEM?!) in the related content section.  I’m shaking my head.

And now I’m chuckling a little.

And now I’m angry because Dancing Queen is trying to play itself in my head.

I DIGRESS.

Taking a deep, calming breath and finding the correct path again.

 

So.  A month.  I don’t know what I’m supposed to do.  I started making playlists for each of the 4 books the other day, but my internet is still being ridiculous (hence me reversing my sleep schedule so that I can use the internet off of the ‘peak hours’).  Can’t do that, really.  Either can’t look up lyrics (during the day with crappy internet), or can’t listen to music (at night with sleeping Roommate).  So that’s out of the question for another few days at least.

I’ll tell ya – wanting to work on your books and not being able to?  You don’t want to do diddly else.  Nothing else seems productive.  Nothing else seems worth the time; it could be spent doing something SO much better.

Plus, talking about them has made me ridiculously excited about them again – perhaps more so than I ever have been, actually.  Now I know that – when I get them back – they’ll be so much better.  They’re good now.  I might be a bit biased on that, but aren’t we all?  But when I get them back?  They will be good enough that I’ll WANT people to read them – good enough that I’ll feel comfortable with saying, “Look what I did.”  Of that, I have no doubt.  If you all could see how much she’s helping, you would want to steal her from me.  You can’t.  She’s mine.

>.>

<.<

O.o

Anywho.

I don’t know what to do.  Maybe I’ll occupy myself on here or something.

Maybe I’ll get around to making other ‘networking’ type sites.  Who knows?

But I can pretty much assure anyone reading this now that anything I write on here over the next month or so will hold very little relevance to anything.

I might say things like, “So..there are like…a million mockingbirds flying around in our neighborhood.  I think one of them has made a nest inside of the large bush in the backyard.  It attacked my dog about ten times today.”  Worthless, but true.  And my poor dog (Pig) thinks the bird wants to be her friend.  Sad fact of life.  Maybe I could write an entry about how we all have unhealthy friendships at some point in our lives.  Then again, maybe I won’t bother.

Soreee in advance for any future frustrated and anxious ramblings.

Yes, I know I spelled that wrong.  It was intentional.

I’d better stop there before I start ranting about something else.

Like misspelled words.  Or the internet.  Or the ABBA/Dancing Queen recommended tags (I might just tag them anyway since it won’t leave my head).  Or my right foot being asleep.  Or the fact that my computer chair mysteriously moves every time I leave the room.

Or just the simple fact that I want to visit with my main character.  I miss her like a best friend that I haven’t seen in years.

Hmm.

Good night/day to you all.

Jeremy Clarkson and Dealing with One’s Personal Elephants

I’m currently on my second day and my seventh or eighth attempt at trying to get this entry done.

I honestly can’t remember the last time I had such a difficult time writing anything.  For that, I am angry.  I’m trying to dig myself out of that feeling by repeating a Jeremy Clarkson voice over of, “There will be anger and raaage,” in my head.  It’s working a little.

My god, I’d forgotten what it was like to lay down to sleep and be kept awake by all the words I wasn’t able to get out during the day.  I’d forgotten how unbearable it was.  I’d forgotten how much I hated it – that feeling of wanting to catch the tip of a word and pull them all out through my ear, just so I could get some peace from them.

Damn these pictures of Jeremy Clarkson in place of the previous pictures of kittens taking up space on my screen.  Maybe a distraction will do me some good.

I think the only way to get this out is to ignore the elephant standing in my room.  I mentioned before that I am a private person; I will add to that now and say that I am an extremely closed-off person.  I can’t explain how difficult it is to write about myself instead of characters.  Rather than dwell on that fact – explaining it, describing the extent of it, and making it all so much worse…that’s all I’ll say about it.  I am closed off.  To everyone.  This – blogging, sharing myself – is harder for me than I care to say.

With that in mind, I will proceed forward, walking around the elephant.  (I love elephants by the way – real ones, not the sort mentioned previously).

Yesterday was a strange day for me.  I was in an extremely weird/unpleasant headspace.  Not for any one reason in particular, but for a vast array of them – most of which I have no desire whatsoever to share.  Those that I didn’t want to share were like little baby elephants standing around the big one while I tried to write this.  Now, keeping in mind that I love elephants, is it any surprise that I spent my fair share of time yesterday staring at them?  Analyzing them, contemplating over their unexpected presence in my room?

Now, not everything about yesterday was bad.  In fact, nothing about yesterday was bad, past my inability to write.  I did a lot of thinking.  I did some planning.  I made a mental check list of things that needed doing.  I’ve done a few of those things today as planned.  I still have a lot more.  One of those being the dire need of writing a new, more suitable synopsis/summary of my book for query-writing purposes.  It’s probably ignorant of me, but I write a different one (query) every time.  Some people might think that it’s silly, but the way my head justifies it is, “You wouldn’t write the exact same letter, word for word, to two of your best friends.  Would you?”  Maybe it really is ignorant of me to keep trying to think of these agents as people when they all seem like some giant mass of unreachable entities.  Maybe I should sit down, write a generic letter that could be sent to anyone, and just send them off.  They say it’s frowned upon to send queries to more than one at a time, but I’m going to spend the next two years of my life waiting and sending, waiting and sending.

I want to be writing more books.  I can’t do that while my head is still stuck on worries of this series.

I don’t know.  Either way, I need to write a better synopsis/summary.  I need to get over the fact that I have surprises I don’t want ruined in those books.  Like…fifty of them.  Get over it.

I need to read a book and write a review.

I need to clean the windows.

I need to finish unpacking.

I need to do about a hundred things similar to the last two that aren’t worth mentioning.

So yes, yesterday was full of a giant list of things that needed doing and a brain that fought against the doing the entire time.  There were good things about it.

Husband will be starting his new college stuff next month.  He’ll finally be going to school for something that he has genuine interest in.  He’ll finally be following his dream.  I’m glad I pushed him to do it.  He seems so happy and excited.  I think, maybe, that he might understand how I feel soon.  Ah, the stresses and joys of dream following.

Roommate brought home a newspaper article for me.  It sounds ridiculous, but I almost teared up at the thoughtfulness of it.  It brought a little breath of relief to the end of my day, and it was most welcome.

One important thing that needed saying follows.

I have this friend, right?

You know those people that you always look up to?  The ones that are so good that they make you ashamed of yourself?  The ones that make you stop for a second and wonder, “What would so-and-so do here?”  Yeah, one of those friends.  She’s always been like that, at least since I’ve known her (middle school).  I’ve always looked up to her.  I’ve always wondered how she could possibly be so good.  I used to have zero comprehension of how it was possible.  I’ve learned a little bit growing up, but that still doesn’t change how I feel about her.

Anyway, I lost contact with her, just like nearly everyone else that I know.  So, while I could not call her a ‘close’ friend, I can easily say that she has remained one of my ‘favorite’ friends.  She’s one of very few people that I missed talking to, and you could ask the people that I didn’t lose contact with; I’ve said it many a time.  Making a Facebook will give you an easy avenue to getting back in touch with people.  I’m glad for the general frustration of the website in that respect.

The point of this being, I got back in contact with her, we exchanged a few messages here and there – the how are you doing, this is how I’m doing, sort of stuff.  Now this is where the story gets weird.  I posted a status update on there about this here blogging thingy and everything that followed has sort of blown my mind.

I put passion for writing back into her?  I…inspired her?

My initial reaction was, “You’re kidding, right?”  Then came the slow, goofy, nearly squee-ing grin.  Then the, “You’re kidding, right?”  Then the prickly feeling that you get in the front of your eyes.  I’ve gone back and forth with it probably forty times or more over the past several days.  Either way, it’s made me do some major self-evaluation.  That self-evaluation played a very large role in the strange headspace yesterday.

I’ve closed myself off, hermit-like, for the past several years.  My big question of myself yesterday was, “Have I really changed that much in my seclusion?”

I have.

Enough for that, though?

I didn’t think so.

I didn’t know.

I guess so.

Maybe I’m reading too much into it, you think.  It’s quite possible that it would seem that way.  But it’s the simple fact that I, in some way, shape, or form, had such a positive effect on someone that I’ve always looked up to.  To question the feasibility of such a thing brings up so many questions of who I am as a person now.  I don’t care if anyone else is asking them.  I’m asking them of myself.  I can’t tell you what it means to me.  I can’t tell you what the thoughts it provoked mean to me.  I couldn’t find the words if I tried.  After all, I’m writing about myself and not a character.

It means a lot.  More than I care to share.  More than I could let myself share.  I’ve shared enough about it, I think.  I got my point across.  And in my shortest entry so far, nonetheless.  Hooray for me.

I couldn’t sleep last night because I wanted to say, “Thank you,” but it didn’t seem like enough to me.  I couldn’t think of what to say.  In the end, it’s all I really could say.  All I can say.  Maybe it is enough.

She writes beautifully, by the way.  You can check out her blog here ( http://bnbrown10.wordpress.com/ )…She makes me feel like I need to pack it up and go home, lol.

Now that I’ve finally said what I needed to say, and got out what I needed to get out, I can take a breath and relax.  Maybe those elephants will leave me alone for a little while so that I can sit down and enjoy a few things.

How haaad can it beee?