Well this is the second blog post about writing my book (CLICK HERE to check out the first one) and I am sorry for the huge time gap between the two. But I figured out that the editor I was working with wasn’t going to work for me after being overwhelmed with the original edits I received. Also, they were unresponsive when I tried finding out where the other material I sent them went. So I just decided to cut my losses having only paid them $250 and not work with them any longer.
The next roadblock was my health. My migraines became a real problem and would take away months of my life at a time. My migraines last weeks not hours and when I wasn’t feeling well writing was the last thing I wanted to do. I have been seeing all kinds of specialists for my migraines trying to find answers. But between doctor visits, multiple emergency room trips, and just trying to hold on to my day job, the book took a back seat. When I feel healthy I try to find time to write and I am so thankful to everyone who has encouraged me during this process and offered to Beta read. You are all the best! I was completely naive to how long this process would take and my health made it even more of a challenge but I have been writing! And basically there is just a montage of pictures of me working at coffee shops to prove it. And now that we are all caught up let’s talk about what is happening now.
Today I printed out my book for the first time ever! It was the most glorious feeling to be able to hold an actual thing in my hands! I can’t tell you how big a deal this is. As an artist I create things and after putting in effort I have something to show for it. Every single day whether at work or at home I work on something and then something is created I can see or hold… and writing isn’t like that. I have been working since 2016 and had nothing to show for it and holding this means everything to me!
This long weekend I am going full steam ahead on working on the book. I have to insert pictures, add all my references, finalize two chapters, add quotes, and make sure the order of all chapters and sections makes sense. I can do this! Then I will officially have my first draft to start editing!!!!!
I am already at 250+ pages for the book. Which is WAY longer than I want it to be. I want it to be around 150-200 pages and I have TONS of pictures to add so I have lots of editing to do. I have to take down all the sections to my main points and keep it simple. I want people to page through the book and feel like they can read one section quickly in less than 5 minutes and not feel like this thing is academic in any way. So my work ahead is going to be quite an undertaking. Did I mention I also have 176+ pages of writing that didn’t make it into the book? I have to review all of that too just to make sure I didn’t leave out anything important. Yeah, that happens when you wake up in the middle of the night and have to write down your thoughts.
I wrote my final sentence last night for my first draft. There it is.
I am even taking down the wall of planning because I now have a table of contents to work with and don’t need it any longer.
I am officially on to editing. Biggest problem right now is I wrote too much. But seriously... without pictures my book is now 264 pages long and I want it to be less than 200 pages so... I have lots of editing to do. And lots of that editing will unfortunately include rewriting. But it feels great to write in all the images needed and just do that all by hand with a red pen. I can see why editors love this.
I am officially editing my second draft. I spent about 25 hours this weekend working on editing. I am about half way through but only cut about 5,000 words. I was hoping to do twice that. But I have a second round coming so I am hoping to cut more then. I keep telling myself ‘done not perfect’ because if I want to get this book out this year I have to just keep going and get it done!
Well, since I last posted I finished two rounds of edits and additionally running the book through Natural Reader (which is a voice ap that reads text). Hearing my book being read to me really helped me catch all sorts of typos that my brain skipped over while reading. I also got frustrated in the middle of the editing process so I went and asked for professional help from a creative coach. You may have heard of Dina Rodriguez. She runs Women of Illustration and Letter Shoppe and does business coaching for creatives. She advised me to go straight to the professional edit instead of the beta readers because I needed a win on the project. She understood how typically we as creatives see finished work much more quickly than the process of writing and I agreed with her 100%!
So today I am excited to announce I have an editor! I just have to sign the contract. I can’t wait. She will get going this week and told me the turnaround time will be about three weeks. And she has already looked the entire book over and feels it doesn’t need too much work. (I am really proud of that fact because I don’t look at myself as a writer.) So in that time I am going to work on the cover. Which honestly as a creative I think that is the fun part!
All throughout this process I feel like I just keep saying “I am almost done!” But for real you guys… I am almost done!
My book has been with my editor for a bit and unfortunately today she called the President of my company and told her I was avoiding paying her for services rendered. Yup, that happened. Turns out her emails she has sent me have gone into my spam folder so I didn’t know she had finished and had invoiced me. I am actually dumbfounded… Instead of trying to contact me via phone, or my website contact form, or maybe all the social media platforms I am on (I am on all of them basically) she went to my work’s website and found the President’s phone number and called the President. Mind you on the very same page that our President’s phone number is listed so is mine along with my flippin’ work email. I am so unbelievably upset. I just want to cry. I had no idea this woman was going to pull something completely out of line like this and humiliate me at my place of work and accuse me of not paying her… but yet here were are. So I am going to pay her for services rendered and that will be the end of our professional connection.
I am so mad. Two editors now and both have totally sh*t on me one way or another… maybe this is why people don’t think they can write books. Because not only is it a ton of work and it is scary to put something like that out there but just to get their words edited is a hurdle. I won’t give her name but just know today was not a good day in my book journey.
UPDATE: I just checked everything in my junk folder. She literally sent the invoice YESTERDAY!!! F*cking YESTERDAY!!! And she called my President and told her I owed her money the next day. Truly I find it unbelievable if it hadn’t actually happened to me. Anyways, the check is in the mail.