When I began the writing process, I envisioned going from idea to published book in a year, but it has taken far longer than that. In fact, the interviewing and writing stages were the easy parts -- at the time, I was consumed by the ideas that were floating around in my head, and I couldn't help but write them all down. I often fell asleep thinking about my book, and then woke up thinking about it too. I read voraciously. And I talked to myself a lot - turning ideas and reflections over in my mind.
But then came the hard part. Especially for an introvert like me. I had to find an agent, then wait till she found me a publisher.
And then came the really hard -- the excruciating -- part. I had to work with an editor, who often had significantly different ideas about the book from me. "Who is your audience?" she demanded, and I weakly replied, "Well...people like me." She looked at me and declared, "Well, that's a very small market, isn't it." And then she cut out whole sections and chapters -- "they don't work for the audience we've defined, and anyways, these profiles, they're a bit bland," she added. Now that the process is over, I can look back and say that she was a wonderful editor because she was deeply invested in the book and she was honest. I still feel bad about some of those sections that were cut though - but perhaps the book is a little more focused now.
But that's not all. So after those agonizing months of editing, there's more. Who knew that authors have to send their manuscripts out to other authors and academics in search of endorsements (or book blurbs)? And who knew about things like galleys, proofs, and typesettings? And who knew how much anxiety and dread an author feels when the manuscript finally goes off to the printer?
The process took more than twice as long as I had anticipated. But it's done now. And I have a beautiful hard cover book with my name on it on my bookshelf.
And you can order it from Amazon if you'd like!