When I’m ready to publish

Writing a book has various stages. I get an idea, plot the story, work on the characters (their backgrounds, personalities, style, profession, etc.), make a few changes to the plot as the characters are worked out, summarize the contents of each chapter, and then I write. And I write. And I write. And I get distracted. And then I go back to writing.

Once the first draft is done, I take some time off, plot or write something else, read, get some mental space from the manuscript, and later get back to it to read it. I edit it, work on chapters, maybe add or remove some, change the order of a part or two, and so on. Once the changes are applied, the story goes to draft readers and, again, I take some time off.

With feedback from readers and coming from a “distracted” mental place, I get back into the book. I focus first on the feedback, in terms of seeing whether information is missing or excessive, if something needs to be rearranged, or anything and everything that may have come up. After applying all of these changes, it’s time for another break, and I start working on the cover and certain aspects—like format.

Following the break from the content, I do another read of the text, looking at the story flow, character development, mood…And if, after whatever (hopefully small) changes are applied, I’m satisfied with the whole book—internal and cover design, format, etc.—I’m almost ready to publish, but I’m not quite there yet.

With the final version of the book, I need to work on a few more things.

For starters, there’s the content that I need to work on for the website. It’s not just copy-pasting the blurb, but also answering some questions, translating and adapting the text for my Spanish site, and also looking into the social media content. A bit (or a lot) of scheduling also goes into the different stages right before and after I publish a book in terms of verifying that the updates to the website will work and that posts are ready and in the appropriate dates (within the social media calendar structure).

And then…I take a deep breath in, feel a flutter in my stomach and a whole lot of nerves, anxiety and excitement, I leaf through the book, and just go for it.

Then I focus on how I’m feeling, I remind myself of how much I love to write to counter the self-doubt or wariness that may creep in subconsciously, and I get back to work because I’m lucky enough to have another story waiting to be plotted, written, edited, or published.

It’s a wild ride, but when I publish a novel, I feel lighter, hopeful and, simply put, happy. What do you do that makes you feel this way?

Moira Daly

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