Sunday, 4 September 2011

One Writer's Journey into Publishing Cheat Sheet . . .

My Uncharted Journey into Publishing My First Book has been quite exceptional, to say the least.  Little did I know the hard work and wonder that lay ahead when I started this blog on April 9th . . .

In utter loneliness a writer tries to explain the inexplicable.        - John Steinbeck
Summer is waning like a melting ice cream cone dripping on the sidewalk.  We in California know scorching days still lay ahead as Fall brings golden school busses filled with chattering children back on the road.  And once again, it's time for serious adults to venture back to school, tackling classes to further their education, or quench their utmost passions.  I know I am!  Too bad there's so few days in the week . . . there are half-a-dozen more classes I'd love to take.  Guess that's what I get for being a Gemini . . .
My journey becomes more challenging . . .

This fall I continue my Write From The Start class on WRITING / PUBLISHING at Santa Barbara Community College each Thursday morning.  I long to be back with my peers and stimulating new writers.  On Thursday evenings, I start a Public Speaking class offered at a nearby church, where I hope to get over any shyness that may stand in my way.  And one weekend a month for 3 months, I'll be attending a Counseling Class at my church. Once I complete this 30-hour requirement, I'll be a certified NANC Counselor with skills needed to talk with readers and others who have shared my experience, or something similar.

Nothing like being visible, publishing one's work, and speaking openly about one's life, to disabuse the world of the illusion of one's perfection and purity.            - Joyce Maynard

This week I've chosen to take a break from my normal blog . . . look back over my shoulder and share my journey with new comers . . . there are so many of you!  I'm thrilled!  Your interest is humbling, yet gives my work meaning.  May I say, "Thank you so much!"

If you joined in the middle of my journey, you probably haven't had time to go back to the beginning where it all started and why.  I wanted to make it easier for you to find specific areas of interest.  Therefore, I've provided, shall I say, a cheat-sheet of each blog and it's content.  No need to hunt for it.   

Once my book, Diary of a Vet's Wife, subtitled Loving and living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, is published and things settle down, I plan to turn this blog into my second book . . . aimed at those of you on their own journey.  Maybe it will help eliminate some bumps along the way . . .

Below is a list of my blogs for those who might be looking for a specific topic: 

     1.  In The Beginning                                                            April 9
          How my book came to be . . .
     2.  This Closet Writer . . . Goes Public                             April 16
           My first writing class - posting my blog
     3.  I Never Planned to be a Writer!                                   April 23
          Blogging - my writing class - my free-lance editor
     4.  Publicize Your Book . . .                                                  May 1
          Publicizing - blogging - writing class - book query
     5.  Write Your Heart Out . . .                                                 May 7
          Blogging - why I wrote my book - book proposal excerpt
     6. Q is for Query Letter . . .                                                 May 15
          Posted my original query letter
     7.  B is for Book Proposal . . . Part One                             May 21
          Elements of a book proposal - my proposal table of contents
     8.  B is for Book Proposal . . . Part Two                            June 12
          More elements of a book proposal
     9.  What Next? . . . Time for an Agent                               June 19
          Some basic agent information
    10.  Marketing in an Electronic World . . .                         June 26
           First steps to marketing my book
    11.  Will Self-Publishing be My Only Option?                      July 3
           Posted excerpt from Chapter One of my book
    12.  A Platform . . . Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone   July 11
           Start to develop a platform for my book
    13.  The Marketing Medusa . . .                                           July 28
           JK Rowling's success - more marketing
    14.  2011 Agents . . . What Do They Really Want?           August 7
           Identify agent's most asked for requirements
    15.  What is a Synopsis and Why? . . . Part One             August 27
           Details to begin synopsis process

What stage are you at on your writing journey?

Lesson Learned . . . or my two cents

There is a voyeuristic appeal to readers of memoirs.  Since many memoirs are traumatic in nature, the reader will feel that someone had had it worse than they could imagine.  The reader can read about surviving poverty, drug addition, a lost love, or a father who sexually abused his young daughter.  As publishers say, "Agony sells."  Reading a memoir is like stepping into another person's life.                                                         - Cork Millner, Write From The Start


  1. You are a busy woman. As noted before I continue to feel as if I am cheating because I stop by for the sparks notes version of some wonderful insight. The workshops you are enrolled in sound wonderful. A fellow writer I've met since I started writing regularly does Open Mic (reads her poems) to help her overcome shyness. It's seems intense, but she survives. Thanks for the post recaps..

  2. Thanks for your post, from another Gemini hoping to sell my memoir

  3. Brenda, you always put wind in my sail. Yes, I am busy but I like it that way. Each day is a new adventure. Hadn't heard of Open Mic. Will try Speaking Class first, have two gigs waiting in the wings. :D

  4. Helen and Thelma, thank you for stopping by. May your day be filled with sunshine and laughter.

  5. Nancy - You are an inspiration. All three of those classes sound wonderful. I have not signed up for any classes in a while, but this makes me want to go out and find some. My son will be starting community college in January, so maybe I'll sign up for a class too! I'd say the stage I am in is the closet writer recently come out of the closet. So almost all of your posts will be useful for me to read. Thanks for sharing your experiences!

  6. What a fabulous class you are taking. You sound like one busy woman! The posts you have listed shall keep me busy for awhile, but what a terrific resource you offer to all of us! Lately I've backed away from trying to publish, but it is a wonderful link if I throw my gloves back in the ring!

  7. Thank you for this. I have bookmarked it to read a bit at a time!

  8. 108907279337394695259 - Welcome back! And thank you for your kind words of encouragement. Now may I encourage you? You're out of the closet, Whoopee! Next a writing class would be perfect. School gave my writing purpose, this is what you need. Validation. It's your "safe place," you're with peers and they understand. See my first "school" posts. I use to be scared, but no more. It's time to start you're own journey. And maybe you'll write about it . . .

  9. Annie, you delight me with your kindness. I'm excited about my classes, hope I can keep up with the homework. (I work part-time 3 days a week as well). Wish me luck. Sharing what I've learned is the least I can do, if it can help another writer. Writing is lonely, it gives us doubt. I'd like to open closet doors all over the world and gently coax new writers out . . .

  10. Michael Ann, thank you for stopping by. I hope you can find something new in one of my posts that will ignite a new spark within, learn something you never knew before. I think that's a main purpose of my blog. I just never put it into words before. Please come again.

  11. Nancy, so nice that you visited my recipe blog today! That is a very fine purpose for your blog and I will return for sure. Take care!

  12. There is a mine of information here and I thank you for sharing. I will 'follow' and return here often. Many thanks!

  13. You're welcome, Elizabeth. I'm honored to share anything I've learned with the amazing writers that have crossed my path. You're all so special.

  14. Hi Nancy. Thanks for visiting my blog. You're so right to be taking the speaking class because your memoir topic will have a wide audience you'll want to speak with directly. I've never had any trouble speaking in front of groups. I did it all the time as a teacher and at academic conferences. However, when I read a passage from the memoir I'm working on I thought I'd never survive. It was the first time I had ever read something that came from somewhere so deep inside. But it was great to hear my words out loud.

  15. Nancy - You have been awarded the Liebster Blog Award. You can pick it up at my blog Carol's Notes and post it on yours. The rules are listed on my post. Enjoy the love!

  16. Hello Nancy,
    Thanks for your comment on my blog. I love visiting your blog as it is full of helpful suggestions on writing - keep up the good work!:)

  17. I forgot to mention, plz check my follow up comment here:


  18. Julie - I'm delighted you stopped by. A seasoned speaker, how I envy you. But I'm getting better. My first read was in front of 46 in my first writing class. Chapter One of my memoir, and I was in tears. The scene was too vivid. My teacher offered to finish reading for me. Writers experience a journey like no other.
    Please come again. :)

  19. Oh, Carol, now I know your name. What an unexpected surprise, The Liebster Blog Award. I am almost speechless, which is rare. Thank you for thinking of me. I'm honored. You write so well, your every day accounts, and past memories always hold me captive. Thank you dear friend . . .

  20. Dear Nancy, Thank you so much for awarding ThelmaZ, who then awarded me. I am the recipient of much liebe as I have a German exchange daughter right now, who came to us by way of her elder brother two years ago. I love your post today. Perfect timing for me to read you as I am completing my first non-fiction book proposal right now. This week. And I need a lot of liebe. I'd love you to stop by my blog and see what I am up to. Thank you again and I will go pass the award on. Sincerely, Suzi

  21. Suzi - Welcome to my journey, and I see you're on your own as well. You do have much liebe with a German exchange daughter! Enjoy this gift. My post was different, not sure how it would fly, but I have so much to share with newcomers and there was no other way to do it. Everyone loved it! I stopped at your blog and really love the picture of you and JB?