I'm back in business.
I had a minor epiphany...I'm not sure you can call it an epiphany, since I knew was coming, I just didn't know how it would turn out.
I've been up nights with a 'monkey on my back'...yes, it used to be 100+ pounds, so who could complain about a little monkey...well, me. You see, that 'lil monkey has turned into a gorilla...a big old greyback...only a girl one (OK, yes, you're right, I used to have a baboon as$$...the first thing anyone noticed when looking my way...take a peek at those 'befores' again, but you're off subject...).
Anyway, when you all finally talked me into the book, I was a bit naive. I moved over to Blogger hoping to reach more Banders needing help, I decided the book might be a great way to pay-it-forward in a bigger way, I announced my intentions (thus committing me, and a proven way to keep me accountable, thank you), I started writing, and then I started research...
O. M. G....yes, I'm an 'almost OCD' researcher (I got my Dr's. license on the Internet...it took me weeks...it's framed), but O. M. G...If I told you all how involved and confusing the publishing piece of this is right now, I'd have to kill you...because your head would explode (maybe that explains the ramp up of migraines I've had this year). You know I'm no sloucher, I'm not afraid of hard work...but if I got to eat one M&M for each hour I've spent on this, I'd still be severely obese...just ask my family how much time I've given this. I thought I'd write a few sample chapters, send them off with a well written cover letter to an agent or some publishers and sit back and see what happened...I'd write and they'd handle the rest...naive.
Sometimes 'naive' is a good thing...like when I didn't know what 'sliming' really was until I had to figure out what to do with the endless unbroken gooey strands of it hanging from my chin to the toilet bowl 3' below...but in this case...naive = O.M.G. I now have huge lists of possible agent Co's., and then thesis papers figuring out which agent to send directly to (them's the rules), and templates on exactly how to write a query, and then how to write a huge proposal, and how to write the first chapters, the table of contents, and on and on and...OH, did you hear? The economy is bad...AND...have you heard of ebooks? Will there be any bookstores in the near future? Will there be any libraries even? Apparently the whole publishing industry is in a serious upheaval...most are in their own financial turmoil and most aren't even talking to new authors. Well I stuck it out and sent off my letters to the top agents...rejections from a few and *crickets* I just built back up my self-esteem for the past two years only to have it knocked down with this? I felt like not only was I disappointing all the struggling Banders I was hoping to reach, but also all of you, because this book is as much your story as it is mine. I no longer really believed this would ever happen...I think I lost faith in my ability...I doubted...Maybe they were just being supportive when they encouraged the book, maybe they think I'm crazy? Writing was becoming more of a chore than a pleasure. Should I just let it go (that would certainly be the easy thing), or recommit?
And that would be the gorilla...I know I have choices...I've got mad skills at business process improvement and I know there are always other choices...and there are...the thing is...it's a lot more time and work and probably an investment (maybe one we can't make)...and basically starting over with different approaches (choice 1. ebooks + tech challenged blogger = big learning curve...and choice 2. I'd sell 50 self-published paperback books...to you guys, because I'd be flashing those 'write a book' posts in your face...and then, good thing I've got DIY skills, because I'd be fashioning large furniture out of the 2,500 other books I had to prepay for...Etsy here I come!)...and there's still only a tiny chance that even with all that I'd reach my goal of not just publishing, but my real goal...actually reaching a bigger audience and paying-it-forward (or maybe that''s backward).
So my epiphany has been coming for a little while now, I put things to the side while the kids were home and we enjoyed the busy summer, but I knew this Fall was coming. I started getting signals again...I had another article interview for the LB site, and a request to be a featured writer on a big WLS site (thanks Lonicerna for the recommendation), and ongoing I, like most of you, get notes from Banders needing help, or newbies that have read your blog beginning to end (mine's way longer than any book...well, maybe, I seriously need an Editor), and I had a recent flood of those...they always talk about how important it is to hear all the new information from an actual Bander...it always reinforces that there is a need for this book. I've also found out that others (not here) are taking my thoughts...hey, if it's good enough to steal, shouldn't I believe it's a good enough message? So I've decided to recommit.
I'm approaching this like a business plan...I'm taking all the tools I've learned and successes I've had, I'm setting deadlines and goals, and I'm going to continue giving this my best until the end of that plan and then I'll be proud to let it go, if need be. Most importantly though, the real epiphany is believing in myself...no, I'm not the best writer, or the best Bander...no, I didn't lose the most weight, or follow every rule...no, my story is certainly not the best one...but I have to start believing...that it's representative of all of us, it's all our story, I've written about all the choices they can make (what works for me, but also what works for you), and it's an opportunity to get information out there that would help a lot of people...I know I'm doing this for all the right reasons (and LOL, let's face it, I'm not working, I've got some time that you don't have, and I owe this to everyone who ever helped me...yes, that includes you), I need to believe it's an effort that others will truly benefit from...I need to keep the faith...
Thanks for sticking with me. More about the beginnings of the new plans tomorrow...