I’ve been meaning to participate in one of The Daily Post‘s daily prompts for a while now, and this one seemed like an excellent one to start on. The prompt is as follows:
Tell us about one thing (or more) that you promised yourself you’d accomplish by the end of the year. How would you feel once you do? What if you don’t?
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, or if you’ve ever seen any of my “Accountability Wednesday” posts, you probably already know the answer. I have four goals for the year 2014, and of those four the most important one is to completely finish and publish my zombie apocalypse novel, Nowhere to Hide.
My other goals are are important to me as well, but this is the one that I feel I must accomplish, even when I don’t feel at all like working on it. A little while back I officially decided (if only in my own mind) that I am going to self-publish this, my first ever novel. I did a lot of research and weighed a lot of pros and cons, and what really brought me to a decision was the timing. For the past few years zombies have been kind of a big thing – there are tons of movies, books, TV shows, and video games that have taken advantage of that trend. But that zombie love is on the downward trend. If you want to jump on the zombie bandwagon, the time to do so is fading, and fast. And that’s why traditional publishing isn’t really an option. Even if I did manage to snag a contract with one of the big publishers, it could take months or years to do so (since many publishers insist that they be given exclusive chance to check out your manuscript before ultimately rejecting it), and even after all of that the traditional publishing market is extremely slow. If even half of the sources that I’ve read are telling a quarter of the truth, even after scoring a contract you can expect to wait years for an actual physical copy of your book to be printed. In all that time, zombies could easily become the last thing in the world that people care to read about.
Thus, it’s self-publishing for me, at least this time. But even with that decision made, I still have to, you know…finish the manuscript. I’ll give myself a few props: the story is written, edited, and beta-read. What I’m currently struggling with is the last set of edits, which includes a couple of small revisions that I’ve been struggling to get myself to work on. The problem, I think, is that while I believe these changes will make the story better overall, I also dread actually having to make them because I’ve never done such a thing before. In the past, when I’ve decided that something in one of my stories required changing, I would – though it’s outrageously counter-productive – re-write the entire thing. I’m not sure why, but I find it extremely difficult to change something in the middle of the story. I can change it as I approach it, via a complete rewrite, but actually going into a chapter in the middle of a story and taking stuff out in order to put other stuff in…somehow the process eludes me. It’s like novel surgery, and I haven’t been properly trained.
And yet, I’ve sworn to myself that it is going to be done, and while I’ve given myself the year, I would really like to see it done by October so that I can promote sales for Halloween.
How will I feel once I’ve done it? Outrageously good. Productive. Like an entrepreneur. Accomplished. I’ll feel like a real author.
If I don’t get it done? Well, let’s just go ahead and not find out, okay? Okay.