Every writer I know has trouble writing. ~Joseph Heller, American author
Not so long ago, I thought writing a novel would be the hard part.
Struggling to make sense of varied plot lines, fleshing out believable characters, choosing a point of view to tell the story from, and tying up loose ends felt like a mountain to climb.
And there were all those rules.
Magazines, books, and the Internet offer lots of advice for wannabe writers.
Helpful advice, to be sure, but overwhelming to someone wanting to do the right thing in order to be published.
Someone like me, who had no MFA in writing and who was trained as a journalist — a fact-finder, not a weaver of stories.
Then there were the technical issues. Computer crashes, glitches that caused whole sections of prose to disappear, frustration when the Internet went down.
Somehow, my novel got done. Somehow, I found a publisher.
And we went back and forth more times than we can count getting my story ready for print.
Not because my writing needed heavy editing, but because of formatting.
All those technical issues conspired to bring about differences between the version I sent my editors, what they edited and returned to me, and over and over.
Gremlins, I guess.
But eventually that, too, got done.
Now I’m waiting on the published version to arrive from the printer.
But I’m also wondering about the marketing I’ll need to do because publishers (for debut authors, at least) rarely do all the promotion needed to make a book a success. Much of that falls in the writer’s lap.
So I’m back to research.
The image of me sitting curbside with a tin cup and a sign proclaiming “Buy my book … please!” comes to mind (and makes me shudder). Surely there’s a better way.
Those who’ve trod this path before me — any advice?
Those who are readers and social media consumers — how much begging can you stand?