“The End”, but not quite

Last week I typed the words “The End” at the end of my first manuscript. About 75,000 words after I began. But “The End” is rarely, and it shouldn’t be, the end at that point.

That was just the first draft.

I have no idea if my final book will look much like my manuscript when I’m done with it and my editor is done with it. I’ve had a BETA reader read segments of it and give feedback, and I have a subject matter expert reading a few sections, just to ensure it’s technically accurate.

I am getting ready to sit down and do the first full read through since I started. I’ve read large sections of it, and I spent much of last week doing keyword searches for overused words, so I’ve been looking over segments many times.

I know I have some holes. I know I have some things I want to change. But, I’m pretty excited to send it off to my editor in about a week and see what she has to say. I’m bracing myself for a file full of red, but I look forward to learning so much from her first edit and strive to have a better first draft each time.

Equally exciting, I started a new manuscript this weekend. This one is not in the same series, and it’s a bit of a secret right now, but I’m excited to be working on my second manuscript as well – this one will be a novella around 25,000. And for those who know me, brevity is not my strong suit, so this will be a challenge!



I decided about this time last year that I wanted to start working from home. Not a lot, just to make a little extra money.

I thought for a while I’d look into being a bookkeeper. I even took a course. God bless my sister, who is an accountant, but it’s just not for me.

Then I decided I wanted to be a virtual assistant. I used to be a mid-level executive, being an assistant couldn’t be that hard. But finding clients is.

I stumbled into my first couple of clients. Because of a new years resolution. My resolution last year was to write more book reviews for the books I read.

That led to starting a blog (because one author I liked said she would give away review copies if you had a blog, so why not). If you want to read my reviews, click over here: http://allromancereader.blogspot.com

That led to my writing more reviews, and joining blog tours, and emailing other authors when I reviewed one of their books, asking if I could get the next one to review in advance.

Eventually, I met some authors that needed additional support. So I started providing PA support for them. And editing support for them (I’ve always been a pretty daggone good editor, but in the past it was mostly technical writing). And promotional support for them.

All the while, this story was swirling around in my head. Asking to be put down on paper. I finally decided in November to start putting the words on paper. For about six weeks, I dabbled at it, told a few people I was starting to write a book, and kind of left it at that.

But I finally decided that if I really wanted to write this book, then I needed to get serious about it. This is a JOB and I need to treat it like a job.

So, I booked an editor, started building a web site, rebranded my internet presence, started to get my first cover designed and set some schedules to get this book written.

And just like every job, I am now an author in training. Because getting a story out of your head and onto paper is such a little bit about what it means to be an author. Not having an English background, some of the tools and constructs of a writer are a bit foreign to me. So, in addition to writing, I’ve been researching… and researching … and researching.

And to take a page from the Classical Education model that I use for my daughter, I am now at the grammar stage (i.e. learning the basic vocabulary and tools of your subject) of my writing career – and the information is overwhelming. There is so much out there to learn, and I’m not even talking about the marketing aspect of publishing a book.

One thing I’ve learned, though, is that other authors are generous creatures. They don’t, for the most part, appear to feel threatened by a potential new author on the horizon. They share their tools, their knowledge, their insights, and their struggles freely and graciously.

Thank God! Because I need it!