So this lunchtime I did something quite terrifying – I finally let go. I took a year’s worth of agonising, second guessing, swearing and maniacal cackling, stuffed it in an envelope and threw it in a post box.
My regular (and infinitely patient) readers will know exactly what I am talking about, but for those of you just poking your noses in – I am writing a book based on this blog. A book I have been writing for what feels like forever.
It’s not the writing that’s hard, that’s what I do – it’s as simple as breathing. I’m not saying that I am spectacularly good at it, just that it comes easy. Other things, not so much. Like marketing and sales-pitches and trying to work out what kind of book people actually want to read.
I could have churned this book out in a month if I’d had the time and the space, but it would have just been a gratuitous travelogue – and while those certainly have their place, I wanted to do something different. And also, let’s be realistic here, I wanted to write something that people would buy.
Once I thought I’d achieved that I then found myself in the position of having to convince other people that they wanted to publish it – and that was where I fell down. Basically I am a rubbish salesperson. I’m short and I’m loud and I’m stroppy but I’m really crap at talking myself up. What right did I have to assume that publishers would want to take a punt on me? What if all the people who have given me feedback on my blog were just humoring me? What if I really actually suck at this?
So I agonised. I did a tonne of research into what publishers wanted – how to present it, how not to present it, how to write chapter summaries and covering letters, and discovered of course that everyone wanted something different. I hit a complete brain-block. Things that should have taken me an afternoon took me weeks and there was no real reason why.
But finally – with a lot of patience and support from family, friends and of course the Skipper – I got there, Today.
Saying it was like printing my hopes and dreams out onto A4 and dropping them in a letter box is probably a little too melodramatic. It was more like ripping off a Band-Aid that has been there so long it has kind of fused into your skin. It hurt, but it was also enormously liberating. There is still more to write, but as I said before, that’s the easy part.
It’s out there now, for better or for worse, and if it isn’t what the publishers want then so be it. I’ve had enough interest that I am quite happy to have a crack at self-publishing, but the book-snob in me wants to try traditional route first.
So wish me luck!