So – it’s here! My editor returned my manuscript and the next step is the final look over and hitting “self-publish”! It has been a journey of several months and it isn’t over yet. One of the lessons I learned throughout this process was a surprising one – sometimes ignorance is bliss. I have said before that I always wanted to write fiction, and one of the things that stopped me from writing a book (fiction or otherwise) was the lack of a big juicy idea. I grew up reading long series, and fiction writers to me seemed to have this great capacity for never running out of ideas. But this is something that I feel permeates my life – I love to know what the end result will be and plot a path towards it before beginning. Can anyone say – control issues? So imagine my surprise when earlier this year, I started writing a book with no idea what the next step would be. And honestly – it was the best thing I could have done.
The truth is – the journey to getting here to self-publishing has been surprising. There were many things I had no idea about when I started, and there are still a few things I am figuring out in terms of designing and marketing it. I have learned much along the way, and I got an idea a few days ago from someone else to make a comprehensive list of everything I learned along the way – perhaps the subject of another post. But one thing is for certain. If someone had given me the big guide to self-publishing to read before I began writing my book, I can promise you – I would not have done it. It would have looked so daunting the skills I would need to develop, the costs that I would incur, the time taken doing things that are way outside my comfort zone. There have been several times during the process that I thought that there were issues I could not resolve, and somehow they have been done. Sometimes I learned the skill myself (thanks Google), sometimes I took a class (thanks Shannon), sometimes I asked for help, and sometimes I outsourced it altogether.
There are 2 truths I learned from this. We are capable of so much more than we give ourselves credit for, and sometimes we look at a situation and think – I can’t do that – however when thrown in at the deep end, we have tremendous capacity for figuring things out. And secondly – we don’t have to know everything in order to start (or finish) anything! That is what google is for!! And if all else fails – outsource!! I can think of many things I have done over the past few years that I had no clue what I was doing when I started (and sometimes they came to an end and I still didn’t know everything). I am about to embark on some new projects now that I definitely do not have all the skills to tackle, but experience has taught me that I am capable of learning as I go along what is required – and that there are always people out there who can answer most of the questions I have.
It may very well be a good idea to look at what is required to tackle a task before you begin, and I am all for thinking ahead and being prepared. I am not suggesting that we hop into things willy nilly without a clue about what we are doing or the commitment to making it work, but I also know that if I waited until I was ready and had all the knowledge to do several things – they would NOT have been done. None of them. Sometimes it is crucial to start before you are ready. And for me I know now that it is also important not to let the knowledge of what needs to be done and learned prevent me from starting down the road. In fact, I know now that it is probably best that I don’t know much at all!! They say ignorance is bliss, and on this occasion – I think they might be right!
I bring you big love from a small island