I’ll tell you a secret: this attempt at publishing is for my third work. My first was a write-edit-type-print local chap book “Call Me Crazy!” I had my cousin (in her late 30s then), and it was the two of us working to put 100 poems together. we did everything ourselves with only family. I had no idea how to be successful in writing, but had been told by people who had no relation to me, and little to lose telling the truth, tell me I had a knack for poetry.
Having my cousin as the nuts and bolts was helpful, the thing was she didn’t share the same passion for the subject of that chap book: Shania Twain. If I hadn’t been around she would’ve never had anything to do with Shania. Hate may be to strong a word, but my cousin certainly didn’t like the music. I wanted to meet Shania Twain and hoped poetry might gain some of her attention. (She does write all of her songs.)
The poetry didn’t work. I made the goal of meeting Shania at age 11, and by age 21 some crazy things (and some predictable, but nonetheless funny things) happened to me. Every time I would share more than one anecdote about my path in life or to meet Shania I was told, “No really? You should write a book.” So I switched poetry for prose.
“I Ain’t Goin’ Down!” was a bit more professional, it was pay to publish ($1,000 without promotional assistance) I through a release party, did one reading to a captive audience, and one where no one showed up. I went to local radio stations and my local paper WITH FREE COOKIES! I tried to get it into local book stores…. I think I sold 80 copies since June 2009.
Long and short 3 things kept me from getting where I wanted to go back then.
1. Impatience: I pushed out content even as I struggled with my health and didn’t want to wait through editing and research and healing. I wanted to write right into America’s home libraries in a year with little knowledge and fewer connections.
2. Health: Cerebral Palsy, Severe Enduring Anorexia, Major Depressive Disorder, and Chronic Pseudo Obstruction (a rare bowel condition that put me through 13 surgeries and a lot of other things that I wrote about for my new Sickybeat manuscript…) I worked through all of it. After the majority of my intestine was removed, I came out of anaesthesia insisting I MUST take a walk. The spasms were so strong the nurses made me turn around after 100 ft or so.
The truth is because I would not let myself rest and heal when I was sick, I wasn’t able to put out my best work. I was lucky if I was coherent at times. My mental health played into the physical and until I was able and willing to break that cycle I couldn’t write the way I meant to.
3. Resources: I asked around to find out if anyone knew how to find a publisher or an editor back in 2008. I had no idea where one even looked for those things. I ended up bugging a librarian friend into editing for me because I was volunteering there at the time. I didn’t pay her for it (Eeek! thank goodness she did it anyway! THANKS CATHY! ❤ )
Today, my ducks are in a row and I want to help everyone who wants to share their writing so, I’ve made a page called “Tools Connections” with links to people and things that have helped me the most in writing/creating/editing and the publication process!
I invite you to check it out —HERE I hope it helps light your journey!