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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Figuring it out


That's my daughter sitting in my work space; her expression captures my mood. I'm working on a book proposal. Everyone in the nonfiction book business will tell you proposals are the worst—way harder than writing a book. You have to wear so many different hats at once, and be dashing in all of them, killing it on the sample chapter, the overview (which is like another sample chapter, plus the why of it all), the chapter abstracts (meaning you have to have the entire story arc already in view), the marketing and promotion section (ugh—publishers are all about platforms these days), the competitive analysis (double ugh), not to mention random bells and whistles like evocative photographs sprinkled in just so and superlative quotes about the author from high profile influencers who will catch an acquiring editor's eye.

So that's why I've been a little scarce in these woods. And while I don't want to bore you with the details, sometimes it helps to just process, to say out loud, I wrote one thousand words of the sample chapter today only to realize it wasn't working, and I needed to stop wrestling with it, needed to just throw it out and rethink my whole idea about what the sample chapter should be.

I need to remind myself that this was not time wasted.

Tomorrow, I will begin again.


8 comments:

  1. Your heart is in it, that much comes across. Keep it up. You are a wonderful writer!

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  2. I am fascinated by the processes you describe. Writing seems incredibly complex all on its own, never mind the salesmanship aspect. And I, too, would be all "ugh" on the requirement for various media platforms. That part would probably be the "ugh-est" thing since I am so strenuously opposed to Twitter and Facebook as meaningful communication ... sorry, this is not helping you at all, I imagine. I just want to say I am in awe of your ability to do all this, on top of actually writing books. And I'm so interested in the book-writing process itself. I hope your new day brings a successful approach; remember that Edison tried many times before he invented the lightbulb - but they all led to the lightbulb :)

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  3. Yes- not wasted at all. The sculptor has to cut a lot of stone away before she gets to the image within she is searching for.

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  4. Oh, Lord. I admire your tenacity. This is why I have never attempted to write a book. (Well, one of several reasons!)

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  5. I never have considered any of this. Wow! Get a good sleep and begin again.

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  6. You know I hear you, loud and clear, and I'm right back at you.

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  7. Love that pic! Gave me a good smile-thank you :o) Best of luck with the tough work, I'm sure you'll rock it.

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  8. I am in awe of you, and your talent. Best of luck in your new venture.

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