Although I’ve been writing all of my life and spent many weeknights and weekends working on creative pieces, I’m fairly new to the author’s profession. Twist of Fate will be the first book I’ve had published. Like my coauthor and mother, I wish I’d started earlier; but I’m ever so glad I finally got around to it.
However, I have to admit being an author is driving me insane.
You get to the end of that first draft, and you’re ecstatic. Finally, I’ve finished a whole book. You celebrate with a glass of cheap wine and a bubble bath. The next day, you begin reading through it again and realize how much work there is yet to be done. That’s a tough morning, but you get through it, and you settle back into your writing routine. Many more weeks of work pass. A second draft, a third draft, and one day you just realize: this is as done as I can be. You’re ecstatic—you’re finished at last. You celebrate with an expensive glass of fine wine and a massage.
But then the real work begins—you need to find a publisher. You become your own secretary spending months researching on the Internet, narrowing the list of places to solicit to those that might be interested in your story. Then, 55 rejection letters and many crying jags later, you receive two emails in the same day asking for more info, the full manuscript. A contract arrives. You’re ecstatic. You pop open the bubbly—real champagne. You take your husband to dinner.
And then the real waiting begins. The publisher has a lot of projects in the hopper and an editing/approval process to get through with each one. You understand that reality, but begin biting your nails as weeks, then months go by. You get back comments from the publisher, go through several more drafts, keep your spirits going in between drafts by writing, writing, writing on other projects. Your hair gets a little grayer. You add a few worry lines. A mock-up of the cover arrives, and you try hard not to run screaming through the neighborhood: the book is coming, the book is coming!
Then one day, an email arrives that sends you over the top: “Twist of Fate’s publication date will be mid October.” It’s time to buy champagne for the entire neighborhood, massages for all your favorite friends, dinners for your entire family and gift baskets for every person who helped with the book.
OK. That last bit didn’t really happen yet, and I’m trying hard to contain my urges to celebrate. But I can see that being an author is dangerous – at best you’ll go broke. And at worst, you’ll be glad several of your dear friends are psychologists!
—Genilee Swope parente