Updated: May 23, 2021
They tell you to persevere. They tell you the process of writing and publishing is not easy. They tell you to have patience.
Who are all these "they" people? They are the ones who have travelled the path you are traveling. The reality is that only you can decide how "intense" you want to make your path or the process.
For me, writing is a relief. Yes, I want to be publish and anxiously await the debut of my first picture book. It is an exciting time but it did not come easily. It is the process.
What is the "process" you might ask? Well, let me tell you some of the steps that you might not hear much about. You write a story you believe is really good, then you send it to friends you call your critique partners (CP). These CPs are wonderful helpers or elves who will help you improve this really good story you have until it becomes fabulous!
Listen. That is a piece of the process you do not hear much about. Listening. Your CPs will provide you with critiques that help improve your story theme, focus your work, correct your grammar, and talk through what you want for the reader to hear from your story. Listen to your CPs, for they are there to help, encourage, and support you as a writer.
Listen to the agent or editor who wants to represent your work or publish your work. It is not a decision an agent or editor comes to lightly. After all other work that is submitted, you have been chosen. He or she sees something in your work that is good and wants to help you make your story even better. The agent or editor, like your CPs, is there to help, encourage, and support you as a writer.
Listen to your heart. Keep in mind that in the end it is your story. Never lose sight of what you want the story to be, for it represents you more than your CPs, agent, or editor. With this said, don't let your heart override what your mind is telling you. Listen to all, for all are trying to help, encourage, and support you as a writer.
Next comes the step that will some days try your patience. Illustration. Remember that once you have written the story, the illustrator is there to help make your story come to life. This does not happen overnight. Now is the time for patience. To help, you should move to the next story you are working on and trust the illustrator. Trust the process. Trust in patience for it will pay off.
(c) A sample illustration from debut PB, Twas the Night Before Christmas...A First for Gus. out August 31, 2021.
Another time that will try your patience, the cover reveal and then the first view of illustrations. You are so excited and you Tweet your cover reveal. Now you patiently wait again. The process. It is a long process. A book will not appear overnight. There is still so much more to the process until that final book is in your hands. Just practice patience.
Book Trailer for debut book by Sherry Roberts
So here is the wrap up of some parts of the process...
Now that the process of holding that book has happened, it is up to you how well the book is viewed by the public. It is time to market not only the book but you.
That is another topic for another day!