GM insists that their cars are made with precision, while publishers endeavor to release books as flawless as possible. But, we can probably assume that not many people think or care about all that goes into the machine that allows them to take a drive on the endless roads, pick their children up from school or go grocery shopping. Chances are, most of us just care that our cars move and maintain dependability as expected.
Touch a reader's heart, and you've got someone who becomes intrigued and appreciative of all the time authors spend on formulating words into sentences that tell a beautiful story that leaves her feeling one way or another. Though any sane author would glow at a reader's delight, sadly, appreciation doesn't lessen the burden of any author's labor that goes into the finished product. And even if readers think they get it, they will never understand the hill that Jack and Jill had to climb until they decide to put on their best walking shoes and trudge along, too. Nothing is what it seems, until you do the action. Nothing.
Consider the fact that all too often, we hear singers say the same thing about their lifestyles. Maybe you've heard something along the lines of, "You just see the finished product and the glamour. But you don't see all the work that goes into the finished product." Or, models. They religiously preach that behind the beauty in the magazines, went hours and hours of sitting in a chair waiting on hair and makeup. Yes, friends. If you're thinking about writing a book, well, voila. Here is the simple truth: Everything in art takes a long, long time to create a Mona Lisa. That list includes: books, songs, paintings, modeling and anything else you can think of that is interpretive. So, if you want to become a writer, get ready to make your book your best friend. And if you thought you knew your significant other inside out, ha! You better know that book just as much or more.
This book, that you decide to write, will just be like a newborn baby when you type 'the last word of the story.' It will be bloody, crying with errors, and needing much attention. So, yes, your baby is here! It made it into this world! But no one will ever tell you that your insides are sore and that you need to heal, too. Nope. In fact, you may wanna keep it a secret. Go ahead. Tell people about your recent accomplishment, and all the other clueless souls just like yourself will think that you should be ready to have readers lined up. I can't tell you how many people will ask you when your book will be available. I mean, can you blame them for asking? It's your fault in the first place that they do this. You told them that you wrote a book. And now they wanna see your brand new infant drive off to college. Yes. I said that. Because your book is not even close to being ready.
Okay, so what's next? After you look stupidly into your computer screen with twisted lips and a tilted head, you must reread that story and clean it up. But first, take a two-week break. It reeks and you can't even smell it. Now, many, many days have even passed, maybe even a month. At this point, you should really be missing those characters by now. No, really. Okay, so be humble, and realize you're no Stephen King (not yet anyway, and yes, of course, he goes through a process as well). Open the book. Did you really mean to write that sentence, let alone that whole paragraph? Fix what you can. Mean what you say. Now, check your bank account. Make sure you're in a position to hire an editor. Yes, you will need money. How much? Depends on the costs of services. Find an editor and make sure they're not out to rob your wallet or your voice. And, know your editors. Do you want a proofreader for your book, or do you want an editor? Both? Know the difference. Know what kind of editing services are out there and that not all editors provide the same services. I'll leave that research up to you. Hire. Get your manuscript back and insert or reject the suggestions listed in red. Communicate with the editor and question them, but more importantly, consider what they have to say. They also count as readers of your manuscript, you know.
Realize, you will read that book over and over until your brain becomes mush. You will second and fifth guess yourself, and you never thought you would. You will feel like the artists as spoken above. The glamour is gone, the beauty is gone and this is when you now have to be a person of passion for this. This will not be for people who don't eat, drink and smoke writing. (Yeah, I'm not a smoker.) But the ones who want to make money from this for life and build a name for themselves, will retrace every step until they say, "F it. This is my vulnerable space and you're invited into it."
This is just the beginning, well, somewhat. How will you market this book? Did you build a platform? Are you booking? Are you subscribed to anything? This is where the sweat is. You're racing around trying to cover all bases and there aren't enough sheets to go around sometimes, so, some bases go naked, and you have to figure out which ones they will be. Yes, this process starts off bloody, but little by little, you will clean it up until you've run out of rags. Oh, and save some to wipe the sweat, too.
The tears? When you publish. Your beloved readers will wipe those away. After all, it's really just the beginning without an end in sight.