When I began writing full-time last August, I decided not to make my blog about the progress of my first book, mostly because I thought it would be tedious (I wrote 5,000 words today) and uninteresting (I stared at one paragraph for two hours today). Also, when I decided to write a book, I was terribly unenlightened about the entire publishing world today. I've learned a lot since then.
All I knew was that after leaving a job in fraud investigations, and dealing with a debilitating back problem, it was time to do something different. Something I'd always wanted to do. Writing was that something. Was it too late to start? The most wonderful thing about aspiring to be an author is that it doesn't (really) matter what age you are. Some hit it big in their twenties, others in their fifties, or later. One woman had her first book published at ninety. Ninety!
I took two online courses, from September to December last year: Beginners Writing Workshop and Advanced Fiction Writing. Both of them were worth it. I learned to write better dialogue, backstory, characters. By New Year's, I'd written about 60,000 words and decided on a title: Chocolate for Breakfast. That title, and the unedited manuscript, have been copyrighted.
Meanwhile, I've been building my "platform," essential for any writer these days. I use LinkedIn, Facebook (adding a Martha Reynolds Writer page link to my personal page), and Twitter (where I am TheOtherMartha1). I began following authors, publishers, bloggers. I joined Goodreads and Pinterest. With all this online presence, how did I ever get any writing done?! It's a challenge, and requires some discipline in order not to be distracted. I write every day, these days for at least three hours.
I'm reading. I find authors who write the kind of books I want to write. I read biographies, fiction, classics, poems, essays. I also read writing blogs and books about the craft of writing.
I've learned about self-publishing, but there's a lot more to learn. I accept it as a viable option, and enjoy reading about the successes of self-published authors like Patrice Fitzgerald http://patricefitzgerald.com/ and Juliette Sobanet http://www.juliettesobanet.com/.
I found an editor through my Twitter contacts (and with research), who read my manuscript and provided me with an eight-page analysis of what worked and what needed improvement. It's what I needed to get to this phase: revisions. I'll return to her for the final annotation, and if she likes my work enough, perhaps her small publishing company will want to publish it. But self-publishing is there for me as an option. All I know is that if I'm putting my name to it, I want it to be the best work I can produce.
Every day is an opportunity to do better. Onward!