Today, I came to the conclusion that life is about to get very, very, very busy.
I’ve (practically) finished my book, which is the memoir that I have been writing since the age of thirteen. At first, I thought I would be stuffing the events of my entire life (but focusing on the years wherein life was flipped over and inside out) into one single, long book. At fifteen, my mom gave me a suggestion: “How about you split the story into two parts, and from now on, work exclusively on the first half without worrying about the second?” I thought it was a good idea, and immediately a weight was lifted. Trying to cram in the details of our story into one single book didn’t seem legitimately possible.
After all, when you think about a life, a body, a family, you are thinking about the three-dimensional aspects that constitute one. The hundreds of conversations. The hundreds of facial expressions. Tones, sounds, scents, inflections, movements, phrases, ideas, thoughts, feelings. How do you capture the essence of a person, of a memory, of an event, and put it into words? How do you do the same for more than one person? For a life-changing event?
And on that topic, how you do even begin to explore the realm of grief and death and loss, when at the time that these occurred, you were only ten years old, and thus too young to even grasp the depth of it?
As you can probably tell, I’ve had a lot of time to think about this stuff.
Mashing all those different elements into one thick book was the original plan. Like I said, that changed. However, by the time I was seventeen, and had a firmer grasp on the objectives of my endeavor, I had changed my mind again: I didn’t think anybody would pay hard-earned money on two books that described the same themes, the same family, the same gruesome, dragged out tale. It’s a sad story, there’s no doubt about that. And I don’t know about you, but I like to pace my sad-story-intake. Better lump it all in the same volume, I surmised.
Well, plans changed. Again.
Here I am, at twenty, with the nearly finished first half of my story. I still feel the same way, about how I don’t think people will want to purchase two books, but my family has repeatedly told me the same: it would be better to split it into two parts. There’s too much to say, and I wouldn’t want to risk cutting out or skimping on certain details in order to make it more package-able. So. Two books it is.
This year, I have fully immersed myself into understanding the publishing universe (oh, and its a doozy). At this point, I get what a literary agent is, a book proposal, a query letter, a publicist, a publisher, an editor, a platform, etc.
I’m still a little foggy on these topics:
- a book launch (who organizes it? who helps with that?)
- translation (whose job is that? mine or the publishers? and is it possible to publish both an English version and a Spanish version simultaneously?)
- marketing and promotion (when does that officially start, and is it all on me, the author, or can I pass it off to a professional?)
- and endorsements (apparently, these are different from reviews – just learned that – and I’m not sure when it is that I’m supposed to start seeking them. I’ve started recently, but I don’t even have a publisher yet, so I don’t know if I’m jumping the gun or what).
What I’ve definitely learned beyond a shadow of a doubt is that networking is a must, and forming connections with people who care about your project is so important.
Aside from learning all this stuff this past year…
- I started blogging (thrice… but three times the charm, eh?)
- rewrote small sections of my manuscript
- began a book proposal (but haven’t worked on it, because I still don’t know what route to take in terms of publishing)
- started bookmarking literary agents and Houses I would like submit to if I knew for sure that I was going straight to traditional publishing (I’ll do a post on this later, explaining my dilemma)
- and at this point, halfway through the year (whaaaat?), all that remains is for me to finish up the final chapter of my memoir before beginning the second book (which I have a lot of written already, and wow, I use parentheses a lot).
So what does all this tell you?
I’m about to get really, really good at multitasking.
Blogging, writing, social media-ing, and publishing a book, all within the next six months. Talk about an adventure in the art of not losing my mind whilst accomplishing huge life goals… Despite the fact that blogging is on my Will Accomplish list, it’s also the means to chronicle this whole experience. (The only small problem being my perfectionism demands that I spend exorbitant amounts of time on piddly-diddly things so everything gets slowed down in the process… and that, my friends, is why I’ll never be a daily blogger.)
If somebody reading this has any tips for me on any of these topics, then leave me a comment below! How do you juggle blogging and day-to-day life? Do you carve out chunks of time to work on it, or is it more like whenever the inspiration hits you?
GIVE ME YOUR SECRETS.