Iâ€™m going to say that again because I like the way it sounds (and looks in print): I wrote a book last summer.
Iâ€™ve posted before about why I write and about how I sometimes struggle to get words on the page (despite how utterly overrun my mind is with ideas at times). Iâ€™ve described the feeling before in various ways â€¦ words upon words floating, bouncing, squiggling in my head like a pot of eggs boiling, boiling, boiling to the point of dry, then suddenly you have egg remnants stuck to the ceiling and walls â€¦ or characters that resemble those animated mucusÂ things in commercials that find it hysterical that theyâ€™re host body canâ€™t breathe, think â€¦ or characters in stories who lay dormant all day long only to cause a ruckus â€“ er, have a dance party â€“ at night (the vampire playthings in my head).
So, completing the book was big for me. I think Iâ€™d been working on so many different projects for so long â€“ seriously, Iâ€™m talking years on some â€“ that Iâ€™d psyched myself out of actually being able to finish anything longer than a short story.
But I did it. I wrote a book last summer. The working title is How To Be a Good Mom (Or At Least Not An Epic Failure). And itâ€™s still written. Still on my computer (and backed up, right? Right). So what do I do now?
What I really want to do now is move on to the next project. Start knocking some things out of the park. Because I know I can do it now.
But what I really need to do is see this one through â€“ to publication. So thatâ€™s where I am right now. Thatâ€™s the â€œwhatâ€ in the â€œNow what?â€ Get published.
But short of cold-calling publishers (and by â€œcold-calling,â€ I really mean emailing because surely we all know by now Iâ€™m not actually calling anybody), what do I do? Iâ€™ve put out a couple of queries but who knows how long that will take. I know self-publishing is an option but Iâ€™m not sure thatâ€™s the route for me. I know my strengths; finally, at 40-something, I can say what Iâ€™m good at, and what Iâ€™m not, without feeling like Iâ€™m bragging or shooting myself in the foot. Iâ€™m a writer. Itâ€™s what I do, who I am. Iâ€™m not a salesperson. I have a message (messages, actually) to share with the world and I really believe (some) people will want to hear those messages. So how do I get from words on paper to messages heard? Given my previous conundrum (vampire playthings to words on paper), this canâ€™t be too hard, right?
So, fellow writers, any advice? Do you self-publish? Or use an agent/traditional house? Or some third option I canâ€™t see right now through the egg remnants/mucous things words?