Wednesday, July 16, 2014

An Inside Look at a Working Indie Author: The Writing Phase

Being a working Indie Author is not an easy task. Now one might assume by "working" I mean full-time as an author. Alas, I do not. Many Indie authors write in addition to their regular jobs and I am no exception. Recently during a conversation with an author friend she suggested that I would make a good guest blogger on the subject. It is a thought I would love to explore, but in the meantime, I thought I would give you an inside glimpse of what it takes to be a writer in today's working world based on my own experiences.  Thus, a new series of blog posts are coming your way.

First and foremost, organizational skills are a must! Dividing your time between working, writing, marketing, and running a family is not an easy task and there will be days you will fall into bed exhausted. I am not saying this to deter anyone! I only want to give future would-be authors a realistic look at what is to come should they choose this path. It is definitely one I wouldn't change. It has been an amazing experience!

I'm sure you've heard this all before, but writing is the easy part. If you are an author it is probably because it comes as naturally to you as breathing, you have cultivated your art, or you have something inside that is demanding to be put down on paper. After months--sometimes even years--of slaving over your computer, you finally take a sigh of relief. You have now put in your time and you have a neatly printed stack of paper before you. At this point you are probably feeling pretty smug. I know I did.

Well, it's time to knock yourself off your pedestal, pick up a red pen, and look at it from an editor's point of view. Slowly and methodically you work your way through your stack. When you are done, if you are like me, you won't be feeling quite so smug any longer. With a deep breath you start inputting the changes back into your document file and re-print the stack. Now what? You start all over with your red pen! You continue this process, past the point of thinking you can no longer read the same story "one more time,"  until you can go through your stack with a completely objective outlook and no longer find any changes.

Do you think you're done? No. Now you turn your "baby" over to a proofreader/editor; someone who can look at it without sentiment and make the proper changes and suggestions. Don't feel disheartened when you get it back! This is their job to help make your story better! Some of the changes you may agree with and some you might not. Do what feels right to you, while maintaining your objectivity. Do not let sentiment stand in your way!

Now it is time to start the editing process all over again with your red pen. If you do major changes, you will need to go back to the proofreader/editor. When it is all said and done, does it still read and feel like your manuscript? What can you do to make it better? How can you modify it? Does it make you feel good the way it is? This is your last chance to put your finishing touches to your story before you are ready to release it to the world. Are you proud of what you have accomplished? Is this how you want to promote yourself as a writer? If so, it is time to move on.

Please be sure to come back and join me as I continue the next segment in this new blog series: An Inside Look at a Working Indie Author: Illustrations and Cover Art. 

Wishing you all a little mystery and intrigue,

K. Lamb
Author of the Dani P. Mystery Series,
and my future young adult novel:  Max Donovan

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