Writing a book can be a daring task. It is a shout into the void. It is in an echo in the abyss. At the same time, it is a hurricane across the world all caused by the wings of a butterfly. It is something that started turning long before we were born and will carry on long after us.
With all that said it can be hard to know what to expect when you’re writing, finishing, and publishing words.
Every journey is different, and isn’t that the beauty of life? But here’s how it generally goes for me:
Step One: Delight
The blank page is one of the most thrilling sights! Adventure awaits and the words are flowing! An idea sparks an away we go!
I find the first few chapters I wrote some of the most thrilling. When a character walks in and introduces themselves to you in your head… well, there’s no feeling quite like that.
Step Two: Absolute Terror
At some point, lazily as if on a hot summer day, it dawns on we are really doing this. Terror ensues. Who am I to amuse myself with this? How far do we have to go?
Step Three: Doubling Down
At this point I normally double down, tell myself it’s okay, and go hard at the words. Anything goes! I tell myself There is no wrong answer!
Step Four: Confusion
Finding a plot can be hard and the search for it perplexing. Sometimes, there wrong answers.
Step Five: Plodding Along Nicely
The words are flowing like a well oiled machine. Things are ticking over nicely.
Step Six: Photo (Crawl) Finish
I’m generally always a slow finisher. As somebody who writes to find a story, once I’ve found it in reluctant to finish. I want to live in the pages.
Step Seven: Exhaustion
Finishing a novel is tiring. Sleep ensues.
Step Eight: Edits
No time like the present to edit!
Step Nine: More Edits
Step Ten: The Edits Never End Do They?
Step Eleven: Stewing
Letting something stew is important. Generally things seem better after time has allowed them to steep.
Step Twelve: Edits
Ad infinitum. Sometimes there’s even huge rewrites.
Step Thirteen: Query Writing
Or sometimes just releasing into the world
Step Fourteen: Waiting
As with anything in this world, there’s also a lot of waiting involved in writing a book. Expect to be waiting 30-40% of the time. Expect the waiting to feel unbearable, times stretching on and on as slow as molasses.
Expect all of it to be worth it anyway.
Expect to write a book