Okay…Have I been hiding…yes, so to speak.
My birthday has come and gone and so has my original deadline.
Yes, it’s all my fault. I finished the book on time, except I didn’t allow for the time it would take to actually have it edited. When it came back from my editor, I thought I was ready to go only to learn I have at least two more large hurdles to jump over (edits, re-writes, sourcing ect). So a part of me has been jumping around saying, yayyy! I wrote a book! And the other part of me is saying, so what? You didn’t even make your deadline!
Am I discouraged? No way! There are many people’s opinions that I highly respect that are hounding me about the book not out of friendship, but out of pure curiosity. One of them asked, what do you plan on doing with it? And that timid part of me wanted to say NOTHING!! I wrote it just to see if I could!! But the practical side eloquently described my plans on promoting the book and what I intend to do with it in the long run. I won’t bore you with those details though. This posting is solely to tell you the 5 things I learned about what it takes to write a book.
Lesson 1: Deadlines Are the Greatest Motivator
Yes, I know what you’re thinking. What good did the deadline I set do me? Well, I can guarantee you, without that looming deadline that I declared to the world…or to the few people that seemed to care, I would not have even been in this position I am in now. It literally forced me to put my all – all of my concentration and effort into this one task. I’ll admit, 3 months was way more than enough time to get it “ALL” done. Which brings me to the second lesson I learned…
Lesson 2: I Need to Get Organized
Although, I have always learned that outlines are the first thing you should do after you’ve pinpointed your idea, I secretly disliked them. I always found them restrictive. I didn’t really get to “writing” the book until a month prior to my deadline. Before that, I was busy getting all of my data, facts and boring stuff together. Then I turned my attention to outlining after that. I realize now that perhaps I should have done my outline and then do my research. That way I would have had a clearer idea on the information I needed rather than going on a research binge.
I ended up wasting a lot of time, and then had a hard time not wanting to dump everything in. I won’t make that mistake again. Now, I will never attempt to write anything without an outline. For a scatter brain like me, it’s a must.
3. I Love Distractions
Anytime I got to a certain part I didn’t particularly have fun writing, perhaps because it was data heavy or difficult to process, I would suddenly have to check my email, check out Facebook, or do more research! It was absolutely ridiculous, and I knew how much time I was wasting. I simply couldn’t help myself. It was like…a compulsive tick. So rather than fight the need to do it, I gave myself allotted times to do it and then limited how long I could do it. So, for instance, I would reward myself with 10 minutes of nothingness if I finished an entire chapter that could range anywhere from 10 to 20 pages or so.
Yes, I lack discipline,and it goes to show, if I could somehow get my distractions under control, I could probably write 2 books in the same amount of time. Of course, I’d have to leave plenty of room for editing.
Lesson 4: Follow Your Gut
This is probably one of those things you’re probably sick of hearing, but for me, it is sage advice most people don’t heed enough…including myself. Sometimes you may seek out the opinion of others, and other times, it comes completely unsolicited. In either case, you’re essentially going to be the one who has to stand by and perhaps even defend your work, so you had better be confident in your final product. I decided to follow my gut, using celebrities such as Janet Jackson, Drew Barrymore and Beyonce as some of the rDNA profiles. Their lives are open books and make excellent case studies. I mixed it in with some real life stories and I am proud of what I came up with. I think they’ll be excellent talking points and definitely creates room for debate. I just hope I don’t piss anybody off so much that they want to sue me. I don’t make up anything, simply state the facts and give my opinions. I think it makes for an interesting read. I guess you guys will be he judge.
Lesson 5: I Want To Do This For A Living
Since I wrote my first scary story in the 4th grade and my teacher paraded me into all the other classes to read it and then forced me into a writing a contest, I knew I had a talent for writing. My mom couldn’t stop me from doing it all over her walls. I wrote all the way through high school and haven’t stopped really. Over the years, I started at least 5 novels I never finished. Perhaps now that I have conquered this small victory, I may be able to replicate it again. What I do know is that Id like to write for a living…that, and helping people sort out their relationship woes. I’m just good at it, and I’m not afraid to brag about! (easier to do in writing though).
So, there you have it! My book is pretty darn close to being up on the Amazon book store and all those other places. This process has been a stressful blast, and I can’t wait to do it again!! I think I’m just a few days away, but in either case, I’m going for next Friday, the 21st!