I don’t even know where to begin. The last time I posted to this blog was June. JUNE! It’s easy to beat myself up for it, because according to every writing rule I’ve read, I should be doing a bunch of stuff to further my writing career. Blogging, Twittering, Facebooking, e-mail lists, etc.
That’s all good and well, and they are probably right. In an ideal world, I would be the kind of person who wakes up each day and and dutifully executes all of the tasks outlined with precision, marking off my tasks joyfully, with coordinating color markers in my perfectly-decorated bullet journal. I would happily engage in all these activities and I would know. I would magically know what to do with every minute of my day. I’d have plans and next steps and mission statements and focus.
But that is not me, and I am living a real hot and messy life. I tried to be that person, and I about lost my mind with the stress of it. I am an intuitive introvert. I walk the line between worlds, between logic and gut. I can only do what I can do. The older I get, the more I go with the flow – I have to intuit the next steps and do what is right for me, for my family, and for this particular book. The only thing that felt right was to hyper-focus and actually finish my book. I needed to let go of the guilt of not building my platform fast enough. I had to let go of my own expectations about the process and double down on just getting the book done. Blogging was a distraction to the primary goal: A finished, complete book.
So, I let go, and focused. I finished writing my memoir at the end of September. I edited through October, and got it done in time to get it ready for submission to a contest. My first contest! I still think there is a lot more editing to do, but it was good enough to submit. It’s also good enough to start engaging with my beta-readers. Last week, I started sharing it. Three of my beta readers are people I know only through social media. Because it’s a memoir, I also want to give the people who appear in the book a chance to read their parts, including a few well-known artists.
Needless to say, I’ve been experiencing waves of terror in my belly, and then waves of deep, juicy satisfaction. I don’t know if I believe in the writing, I’m not sure it’s great, or even really good. But, I absolutely believe in my story. The writing might be choppy, but the story is good.
So there will be more editing and tweaking to come, I’m sure. Just because I was done, does not mean I am done. I want it to be the best book possible, and that comes from getting feedback. From the contest, from my beta’s, and from people I know.
I’m starting my book plan this week, and hope to include some of that feedback in it. I’m realizing that a book plan is almost like another book, itself. It needs to be researched and drafted, and well-written. It is a marketing document, and it is important. I want to find an agent that believes in my story as much as I do.
So, while going through the last stages of finishing this book, I couldn’t even think about blogging. My whole mind was consumed by the book. It felt absolutely counter-intuitive to focus on something else. I consider Instagram my primary blog, and I post, @metalheadlibrarian a few times a week. I also created a Facebook page: Adventures of a Metalhead Librarian. And while promoting this book is a fine use of these tools, more than anything, I want to connect with other writers.
If you find your way to me and want to say hello – drop a line or connect with me on social media. I’d love to connect with you, especially before I start my next book.