My self-publishing experience is over a month old and while a true writer never stops learning, I wanted to share some thoughts about the process without rambling.
When I hit the publish button on my first e-book a wave of relief came over me. Finally, after writing short stories, poems, essays, term papers, opinion pieces and blog posts I finally put a piece of work out for purchase. My debut book is helping me prepare for the release of the paperback version and other future work yet to come.
The long hours I spent editing my book were not a waste and since I spent more time editing versus writing the actual story, I would like to humbly share a piece of advice to those who want to publish their work but have fears of the editing process. My advice is to use a grammar check (I use Pro Writing Aid) and a self-edit program if you don’t have hundreds of dollars to pay someone to edit your book for you. I could’ve released this book when I originally finished it, which was last year but my fears of it not being perfect and cost held me back. That’s when I went to YouTube and internet for further evaluation.
I won’t lie to you. The editing process was daunting but it only cost me a $30 monthly fee and lots of hours. My biggest fear has always been “what if I misspell something or leave out a punctuation mark?” My mind went to the many books (yes, some are NY Times best sellers) and magazine articles I have read that have had typos, missed punctuation and sections that should have been bolded. I don’t mention these things to bash the authors of these pieces. Their small mistakes are a reminder that writing is a human process and there is no such thing as a perfect body of work. If it’s fear of rejection or your need for perfection holding you back, allow me to give you these three words, let it go.
Does this mean you should skip the editing process? Heck no. Editing is very important but don’t let the writing snobs convince you that the only way to edit is to pay someone hundreds of dollars. If you are on a shoestring budget, you need to invest the TIME, trust me, your writing is worth it. The main reason I didn’t hire an editor for my book was because we live in a world where writing gets stolen. Sure, I could’ve hired a lawyer and had an editor sign a non-disclosure agreement but that would have taken the fun and grit out the process. Honest writers will tell you that writing is a life-long process and there is always something new to learn.
They say everyone has at least one story in them; I hope that after you have read this post; you reach into that file folder wherever it may be, pull out your writing and get to work. Kick fear to the curb and never look back.