One of the most exciting things that has happened to me on my self-publishing journey, is the opportunity of sending my work to the editors. I say ‘exciting’, but what I really mean is ‘nerve-wracking’!
I go through a whole host of emotions when I’m writing a novel: excitement, desperation, frustration, anger and depression to name just a few. This is because I’m what you might call a ‘moody guy’. Some days I take a look at what I’ve written and feel like deleting it all and starting again. Or just giving up. It’s that bad. Other days, I think the polar opposite… I can actually write! I literally dance around like an idiot.
And every other shade of emotion in between.
This makes the discipline of writing difficult. I have to slog on through the moods regardless. And that’s what I do, day after day. In many ways, I actually find the writing process cathartic. Finishing a story that I’m proud of is an achievement that always keeps giving. And that’s all well and good… when it’s just me.
At some point, though, I have to send it off to the editors….
My first novel, Blue Into The Rip, was copy-edited by myself. It sounds a dumb thing to do, but other than letting a friend read it, who spotted one or two typos, that was it. Luckily, and because I have a robust redrafting process (and because I put the novel in the bottom drawer for six months, and because I was shit-scared of fucking up), the novel was well received with mostly five star reviews. Phew!
But I was lucky. Luck played its part again when I was edited by Indie editing genius, David Gatewood for the short story anthology From The Indie Side. Working with David made me realise that I needed a more professional approach. I advertised on Twitter and found four editors!
The first time I sent my work off to the editors, it happened without me really noticing. I was banging through the three stories for my IronScythe Sagas and it was only when I’d finished and they’d been emailed off that I sat back and thought… oh shit!
It was an awful wait. Should I email the editors to see how they’re getting on? Should I ask if they liked it or not? How many marks out of ten? But I did what I do best, which was nothing.
Why break a winning pattern?
Within a few weeks the manuscripts came back. Reading their notes I soon realised that I was being precious. I found the process invaluable. Sure, there were a few red-faced moments, but at least they had been spotted. Changes were made and the MSS did the rounds again. And it turns out, the editors liked the stories as well, which was a nice bonus. I felt cool, on top of things…
Last week I finished my latest novel, Vatic. I was writing a short story for my upcoming anthology – just 8000 words – and damn and blast if it didn’t turn into a novel. Vatic is a ‘space mystery murder thing’ written in First Person Present. So it was a big departure for me. It’s now at the editors. And guess what? Nothing has changed. I’m just as nervous as I’ve ever been.
Hopefully, they will read this and let me know…