IT TAKES A VILLAGE
If someone had told me three years ago when I started writing my memoir, it would take this long to write, edit, polish, rewrite, edit, rewrite and edit some more, I wouldn’t have believed them. I’d have said, “Oh, not me … I can do it faster!”
I’ve pretty much completed my work with Linda Joy Myers, from the National Association of Memoir Writers (NAMW). She played a valuable role in coaching, teaching, editing and encouraging me for nearly a year. As I entered her last edits into the manuscript at 4:00 pm on April 28th, I emailed her to say, “I’m done!”
She kindly emailed back, saying I wasn’t “done.” In fact, she said I now need to find a line-editor to go through the manuscript again. Yes, AGAIN—to see if there are any grammar problems, misplaced comma’s, em-dashes, elipses out of place…” (And, yes, I now know what em-dashes and elipses are!)
I about fell off my chair. “THERE’S MORE???”
So here’s where I am in the process.
Ø The manuscript (which by the way grew from 86,000 words to 107,000 words during this last year), is in the hands of a New York editor. YES! A New York editor.
Ø My nephew Ric and his company, Superior Website Services, are creating my website—at the family discount rate, thank goodness. I will let you know when the website is up and running.
Ø My writing friend, Quentin, told me about his fabulous illustrator, Yoko, and she will be working with me to design the front and back covers of the book.
Ø Through a local ad, I found a man who restores pictures and he now has my 37-year-old pictures and newspaper articles from The House of Hope, and is getting them ready so I can include them in the back of the book.
Ø And two friends of mine are reading the manuscript checking for flow, pace, and overall interest.
Who would have thought all of this went into getting a book written, edited and published?
There’s more. Although I’ve been encouraged by several professionals to seek an agent and through an agent find a traditional publisher, I’ve decided not to follow that route, at least not right now. From my research, I’ve learned agents seldom agree to represent a new, unknown author who has little or no social media platform—meaning thousands and hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers, FB followers, Blog followers, etc.
And that’s okay—heart-breaking, but okay.
The good thing is that in today’s digital world there are lots of ways to get a manuscript published and that’s what I’m researching right now, with the help of my writing buddy, Leo and others.
Stay tuned. From Tears to Triumph, My Journey to The House of Hope is nearing completion! And yes, “It takes a village,” to write, edit, and publish.
What are your experiences in this journey of writing? Send me an email or post a comment. I would love to hear your story.
("It takes a village" picture from cps.regis.edu)