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The Road to Getting Published

In my previous ramblings I talk about outlining, my journey, and the story.. I used to think getting published was the big “hurdle” when it comes to writing. Things like formatting a manuscript, querying, trying to get an agent, and reaching out to publishers. And getting picked up/optioned and voila 18 months later the book hits the shelf.

I should note here  the random thought that is rolling through my head. Seeing MY book on a shelf in Barnes & Noble is still the dream here. And all roads, paths, untravelled paths through the weeds/brush/forest and across rivers, ALL routes regardless of which one I take, lead to this dream.

But.

The daunting challenge of “getting published” or “what do I do now that I have a novel/story” is starting to appear easier and easier compared to the journey of creation.

I thought in 2004 that I had “written a novel”. It was a little over 50,000 words, I had “won” NaNoWriMo, and even though it didn’t have a proper ending, I had a “finished” work. That was my state of mind. I struggled to finish it for the next 11 months, meaning, to get to the point of writing “The end”. Off an on, for a year. Then did it all over again with a whole new “novel” 11 months later.

And still I thought “what do I need to do to get published” and “how do I query an agent?”. I didn’t even have a finished project.

I picked up the first NaNoNovel Darkness of the Northern Sky again in late 2020. You can find the story behind why posted here on Medium. And since I started fleshing out the story, I’ve added 50,000 words. I even sent it to an editor and got lots of feedback. Now I have decided to outline, summarize, and flesh out the world.

I see the value in spending months on outlining/planning/building etc. BEFORE writing. I love being a Pantser. But at the same time I am certain this project would be DONE if I had picked up the 50,000 “draft” and worked it over for 6 months. Then wrote. Then sent to editor.

And this is odd to say since I a PMI certified project manager. I tout to my stakeholders, all the time: plan first then execute. If I knew then what I know now.

“Every minute you spend in planning saves 10 minutes in execution; this gives
you a 1,000 percent Return on Energy!” – Brian Tracy

It’s been a journey. It IS a journey, it’s not over yet. My deadline to self-publish this year is June 7th, 2022. That’s an entire year later than my original deadline.

And soon after I will trod into Barnes & Noble and see the book sitting on a shelf.

Then what?


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Like stories in the Fantasy Sword & Sorcery realm? Check out my current work in progress Darkness of the Northern Sky.

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