Writing carries with it so many different kinds of energy. There’s the energy of thinking about a new book, then the resistance against sitting down to plan it out! There is a long process of planning the new book, laying the foundation, choosing a theme, dreaming up the characters and all their personal details, which all must be noted down carefully. In one book my character had blue eyes in one chapter and green eyes in another. Good note-taking in advance avoids such calamities.
Then there is the special energy of slogging through the whole writing process, when we become lost in the story, go around for weeks with our hair standing on end, looking like death warmed over, mumbling confused phrases about our main characters. Dreaming and eating the book. Falling in love with our own hero, the stuff of our own imagination. Not real, but seeming so very real.
And of course, the editing. Oh yes the editing. Doing something like thirty or forty edits of your own before you would dream of submitting it anywhere. Stuffing it under the bed for two or three weeks to ferment while you avoid thinking about it, for there is no other way to do a final edit except to approach it from a new place. For that, you have to forget about it first.
Finally, the submission process. Most likely rejected by one and all, and you know perfectly well that no one has even read it before shooting it back with a reject note. How great it is, no one knows except yourself.
Then, perhaps, the energy of placing it on a Free ebook site, letting the public download it and pass judgement in the form of a number of stars or lack thereof. You leave it there for many months. Once in a while you remember this child of a long winter, this creation you slaved over to no point, and you go in and take a look to see if anyone is even reading it for free. To your surprise, you’ve had, maybe a thousand downloads. You maybe have some five star ratings, maybe three or four of those.
Suddenly there is hope. You wait a bit longer. Check again. You decide how many downloads you want before you try again to submit it somewhere.
Then one day you say, “ENOUGH!” Having chosen a publisher once more, you dare to submit this orphaned little being, this product of endless days and nights of sweat, blood and tears, this product no one probably wants.
In the morning you turn on your computer and take a look at the email and see a missive from the publisher. The word ‘contract’ is in the subject line. You freeze where you stand, staring at the screen in disbelief, your coffee clutched in your hot little hand, your housecoat belt dragging on the floor unnoticed, bare feet getting cold from early morning chill.
Then there is a whole new energy. You rush to take it off the free site. You reply to the publisher, you go through the first struggle of trying to return a signed contract of many pages on your elderly printer, thankful you have a scanner. You find that your old printer can’t handle it, it will only scan, like three pages at a time. Or something. So you send it and send it and send it and finally get it right. Whew. It’s done. You have a contract. You are now a published writer.
Then the energy of telling all your family and friends. If you have a lot of M.A.’s and PhD’s in your family, they may not be all that thrilled with your little romance. They don’t read romance. They inform you it’s not a novel, it’s a novella. And so on. But you know, nevertheless, that you have achieved something very special. You are getting published. You aren’t publishing it yourself. You have a publisher. What an achievement! It took a long long time though! You can’t remember the day you finally decided to sit down and write that book. But here you are at the conclusion of that long trial.
And then you start trying to sell the book. There it is, up on Amazon for the world to see and buy. But getting folk to buy it is another story. The publisher trusted you, and expects some sales from this risk they are taking with a new author.
So the worry and frustration begins. A whole new kind of energy. The kind you don’t want, being a writer, and we all know writers tend not to be good at marketing. Right?
Then one day you find someone you trust, a webmaster, a marketer, who knows the business from both ends and inside and out. Kind and patient and interested in helping you get some sales going. But you have to get your credit card out, right?
Oh anguish. I was trying to get it paid off. But if I can make some sales, I’ll be better able to pay it off. So we need a website. We know nothing about this stuff. We just write books. We don’t want to do this stuff.
But we get instructions and clear explanations from our trusted marketer, and bit by bit we go ahead, spending a little here, a little there, maybe a bit more somewhere else.
That’s a different kind of energy again. You get tired easily because fear is blocking your chakras. Oh yes. Overspending is an awful feeling. But you know you have to do it. So you’re careful. You risk your money slowly and carefully. But you can see that things are going to start happening.
Your publisher will no doubt be quietly relieved to see you finally got a website up. Or it could be a blog, a WordPress blog, for example. The marketer is busy optimizing everything toward getting you some sales. They are busy using words you never heard before like “newsjacking”. They send you success stories and you think hard about it all. Then you go ahead and spend some more.
And in the meantime, there is the energy of looking over the bits and pieces of the new website the marketer sends you. It’s beautiful. It’s breathtaking. It’s fabulous. You offer suggestions for some small adjustments.
None of this is as much fun as writing the book. But slowly we realize we have to sell that sucker, somehow. Or there won’t be any more emails with “contract’ in the subject line.
And so it goes. And one day, finally, your website is up there. You have an URL you love and are proud of. You send it to everyone you know and put it on all the social media sites. You start getting things moving. Your marketer is busy planning your first promotional effort.
You realize you have to do stuff to your own website, expand it a little. Slowly you learn. And the sales start to happen. And you know you did right, you had to take a risk and you did and it’s all working out okay.
All these parts of the book journey call on a different kind of energy. It’s quite tiring and also quite thrilling. Just think: for every book you ever read, for every book out there on the big sites like Amazon, an author somewhere, some small, inspired, hard working person, hidden away in their home office, unseen and untrumpeted, has gone through all this. For every single book they write.
It’s quite an energy journey. But then, you gotta do something with your time on earth, right? This is as good as anything else. And I really love my characters.