It’s a Very Long Road

This process has been an incredibly long one, and if anyone out there wishes to write a novel, make sure it is what you truly want. It will test you as a person far more than you’d expect – certainly far more than I expected, anyway. Your determination must be unwavering, and your drive unstoppable. Nothing on this earth can stand in your way, and if it does, ram straight through it. That’s what it felt like, and still feels like, because I am not at the end of the road yet.

As I said before, I feel as though I am a little ant climbing Mount Everest, slowly making my way to the peak… apart from I don’t even know where the peak is. I just know it’s up there somewhere. I think it’s shrouded by fog at the moment.

This has been my process thus far:

  1. July 2011 is when I started out on my intrepid journey, and I had absolutely no idea where I was going. I just went. I first got the idea and inspiration for my story, and I spent 6 months planning it. I didn’t write a single word of the story – it was merely planning.
  2. In December that year (specifically 26th December, according to my document.. which looking back was a really stupid time to start) I started writing. ‘Twas exciting, but rather demanding, and I remember getting myself ridiculously stressed if I felt I hadn’t done ‘well enough’ on a particular day. I was so hard on myself (and still am), but then perhaps that is what makes me so determined. Who knows.
  3. Near the end of November 2012 I finished writing my story. Hallelujah! It felt like a miracle. After slaving over it and letting it take over my life, I had finally done it. However, that elation did not last long, because I knew there was still so much of the journey left…
  4. I gave myself December 2012 off, purely because I needed a break or else I would have gone insane. I say off, but I spent that month doing the first proof read/edit, which, for me, really was nothing compared to what I had been doing.
  5. And so the new year came! January 2013. I got myself firmly back to work, and in a way I was quite glad to, because December felt too idle for my liking. Idle, but desperately important. I have been spending this month writing the appendices for the book, which has been even more gruelling than writing the story itself. I am relieved to say that I have very nearly finished them.
But there is so much more to do! I have had others read and edit whilst I have been working on the appendices, but now it has come back and so I have to go through it probably about a million more times. I am paranoid that I’m going to publish it with about a zillion mistakes throughout.
As well as more editing, this is where I now want to repeatedly smash my face into a brick wall. Actually publishing. And self-publishing is even worse. I have to edit and format and design, and then there’s all the legal malarkey which reduces me to near tears. And I need an ISBN and registered copyright etc etc and then I have to market. Thinking about marketing is incredibly surreal and awkward, but I guess I’ve already kinda started that process. It’s not cheap either. But hey ho, it’ll be worth it, and there’s no way I’m giving up now.
I cannot help but think that if I wrote an easier story I would be done by now… but this long journey is all part of the experience. I like to throw myself in the deep end.

"What does your heart tell you?" - ToO, chpt. 32

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