To kick start the Concept to Completion blog posts, I’m going to
tell you a little bit about my journey as an author. Because that is where it
all starts of course—with someone sitting down and writing the
They say that writing a book is one of the hardest things to do in life. Well, they don’t, but they should because it is.
The idea of writing a book is pretty huge in itself, and something that not many people ever actually go on to fulfil, usually having it as something on their bucket list. And I know why.
For many years I put it off myself, as a kid it was all I ever aspired to be—an author. I continued to scribble stories in to
books, and pads, jotting down ideas and getting friends and family to read them. Yet, the idea of actually sitting down,
writing a book and then actually sending it off to people to publish was just so mind-boggling, that I never did it.
In 2012 I got an idea for a story, and while over the years I’ve had tons of stories pop in and out of my head, this damn
story wouldn’t let me go.
So, begrudgingly, one night I sat down at my laptop and decided to write the scene I had in my head. I thought that was
the end of it, but no, that was just the start.
More ideas came to me and they wouldn’t go away until I wrote them out. They came to me at night while I slept, while I
was driving, while I showered. I had notes in pads, on the laptop and on my iPhone. It was irritating and annoying and…amazing! To see this story coming to life, and the characters forming and fleshing out in my mind. I felt blessed to be a
part of this world, a world that I had created. And a small part of me was so damn happy to be writing again. I hadn’t
realised that I had missed it so much.
Then I stumbled upon a site called Authonomy, where authors critique each other’s work, and so one day, on a whim, I decided to go for it. I published the first eight chapters on to it and slowly critique came in. It was good…and bad, but the response was that it was a great story, it just needed work. So that’s what I did. I’ve since realised that this stage of
writing is called beta reading.
The time was fast approaching when I would have to decide what to do with the manuscript. Would I send it to agents?
Would I keep it just for me? People were talking over self-publishing, and that seemed like the least painful way to do it,
so I set my mind on that goal.
I pored over my manuscript along with some other very talented authors, me and my husband designed a cover, I wrote
my blurb, my hubby formatted for me (which was incredibly hard) and then I hit publish! And I’ll be damned if it wasn’t one
of the scariest things I’ve ever done.
Because you see, all of a sudden, the book was bigger than just a woman sat at a computer writing a story. Now I would
be judged…it would be judged. The editing would be judged, the cover would be judged, EVERYTHING WOULD
BE JUDGED! And to be willingly judged is freaking hard!
But then what? No one knew little ole’ me, so I began searching out bloggers, people who would Read and Review for me, scouring Facebook pages
until I found blogs which seemed right. I’d never done anything like this
before, it was weird and awkward, and I didn’t know what to expect.
One of the first bloggers to reply was a great woman named Lauren Dootson of Beckstar reviews. Beckstar Reviews(Facebook)
She was so kind, and totally put me at ease, and I’ll always be grateful to her for that, because truth be, if she would have been even a little bit shitty with me, I’m not sure I would have carried on. But she was lovely and so I did. Truth be, I'm very shy and sensitive, and what person likes to be judged? Especially on something that they have spent months and months working on. Crazy people, that's who!
Thankfully, I've developed a thick skin as time has gone on, because you need it in this business, and as an author, one of the hardest things to do is NOT reply to the negative feedback. Take the comments on board and work harder.
The hardest part for me wasn’t writing the book (Limerence) it was the editing and the cover and the formatting and finding reviewers and bloggers, and so much more! You have this preconceived idea in your head on how it’s going to be to write a book, and it’s nothing like that. Sure some people excel in some areas where others struggle, but that’s it isn’t it? Everyone is different, and everyone writes differently. The more experienced you are, the more you learn along the way, and I want to share some of the things—and the people, that I’ve met along the way so far.
I have a little team now, that without, this would be a really crappy job. I have my 'go to' bloggers, my wonderful 'beta-readers' 'proof-readers' my fabulous 'editor' and great writer friends that help me with ideas, and cover concepts, poster designing, and so much more.
In the next month or so, I’m going to cover all the basics from cover designing, editors, formatters and bloggers. Be sure to pipe in with anything that you feel relevant. Again, I can’t cover everything and everyone, but I’ll cover as much as I can,
and hopefully we can help some other new authors along the way.
Come back next week to talk about building your author profile and platform!
Happy Reading…and writing.
Claire C Riley
Author of 'Limerence' 'Odium. The Dead Saga' 'Odium Origins. A Dead Saga Novella Pt One' contributing author to several anthologies including 'Fusion' 'One Hellacious Halloween' & 'Let's Scare Cancer to Death'
PS. Yes, I'm still crap at grammar and punctuation!
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