I really am cheap, I could try and dress it up as frugal, but that would be wrong. If I can do something myself, write, edit and design, whatever, instead of pay someone else then I’m going to have a crack at it. But they’re professionals you say, they’ve got more experience and talent. Well, I say that they got there by practicing and working on their craft. Which is what I can do too.
I write in my spare time as both a form of entertainment and low expense hobby. I’ve been doing it seriously for at least five years now.
I edit all on my own stories. I have yet to hire a professional to do what I can do for free. And for the record, I’m a pretty decent self-editor. Turns out that editors are not some mystical being that all writers absolutely need. I’m also full of a crippling fear that drives me to be a bit of a perfectionist.
I source all my cover photos from stock websites. I spend hours mulling over what image I should buy because for the last few years I’ve been living with the aftereffects of having a budget and sticking to it. I die a little when I waste money now.
I do all the photoshopping/editing when it comes to my book covers. Here is where I admit that I do not have much experience with that skill. That is why I keep things simple. I pick an image that I think represents the story as a whole and I keep the text over it simple.
Shiny new idea!! Better write it down.
Spend a month or two writing the first draft.
Feel good once you finish it.
Go to another project because you’re exhausted from writing this one. Also look at cover images from iStock and fuss over the title.
Do a second draft weeks later because you’re excited about it.
Go to another project for a while because you need space.
Do a third draft weeks later.
Repeat five more times (minimum).
Start to feel amazed at your productivity. Then as you stare at the manuscript again, you shout at it for not being as good as you thought it was when you finished it.
Cry and stress because you ultimately know that it’s you that is the problem. It might be a good story but are you good at writing it or vice versa. Is anything you ever write, the definition of good?’
Do another draft and restrain yourself from throwing a tantrum because you just want it all done now!
Still frustrated, so you cope by playing the sims and realize that you’ve started down a terrible path of addiction.
Somehow wean yourself off the drugs and go back to the unfinished draft. Find you have a bit of renewed energy for it.
Make a funny blog post about your process because you need stuff on your blog or no one will see you or buy your book.
Realise that your following is so small that if you somehow fail to self-publish then no one is going to call you out. But if you do put it online then no one will even find it and if they do they will buy it even less because you’re unknown 😦
I finished the 7th draft of Jumpstart last night and at times it was like pulling my fingernails out. There were times when I was taking an hour to do a single A4 page 😦 The previous draft was a lot easier and I thought I was nearing the end of the process. But this one just shows that there was a lot of mistakes to fix.
It makes me think that maybe I haven’t improved as much as I thought when it comes to writing/editing. I mean it’s been five years since I first completed my Feet or Fins manuscript and three since I managed to put it out there. That book took fourteen edits before it was ready and in the time since, I’ve written so much. I should have leveled up by now.
But maybe I am leveling up and I can just see more errors? Hopefully, when I come back to the next edit, it’ll be better 🙂