Ready to Launch

Somewhere in the middle of last year, I decided that I would write a book.  I had the content captured in my blog and my private writing, but knew that it needed to be organized and re-written and edited.  Still, it was something I wanted to pursue.In the last month or so of my pregnancy with Autumn, I distracted myself by working on this project.  I did research on self-publication.  I gathered and began organizing my content.  Even in those last few weeks, not convinced that I would be bringing a baby home, I thought “Well – that’s an ending to this story either way: either I am bringing home my rainbow baby, or I’m not.  Either way, I will be writing.”

After she was born, I began to further organize.  I printed out pages of writing at a time, did some editing, revision.  I was making incremental progress, finding that working on very short segments per week was manageable between the house, the kids (including a newborn) and my actual paying job.  Then the Christmas season arrived and everything went bananas and I fell out of my routine.

Now, the new year.  My resolution to myself is to make progress.  Still, I felt a bit stuck.  I was too close to my own writing.  I knew it needed work, but I didn’t know how.  Through the interwebs, I found a young woman who was a freelance editor.  She had worked as an editor in a more formal setting, but had left and started her own business.  Being new in the field, she had reasonable rates.

I decided to send her only a portion of what I had written, because I needed some direction and sending her the entirety would likely not change her feedback.  I sent her the entire first section, a portion of the middle, and the very last chapter, explaining how the “gaps” were filled with what she did not have, and forewarning her that what I sent was rough and not fully edited.  To some extent, I just needed to send it.

Her response came within a few days, and included fourteen typed pages of feedback, prefaced with “My feedback is meant to be constructive and I know it can be hard to hear for something so personal.”  But she also wrote that with some key changes, she thought it was a powerful and much-needed story.

So now I need to sit and absorb the feedback.  I glanced through the first few pages, and know it was what I needed: outside eyes, pointing out issues that I needed to address.  It will help me become “unstuck” and be able to move forward.  But I can also see that I need to do a lot more work.  And also need to set a realistic goal for myself for when I can complete this project.

In the meantime, I continue to send essays to various websites (had another one accepted this week and cannot wait for it to be published!)  I started a Patreon account for people who want to support my work.  Putting my story out in small pieces will help build for a larger story.  I have more story than what I have ever written publicly, and know that it is a story that I want to tell.

(Rocket ship picture courtesy of my wonderful husband)