Thursday, November 13, 2014

It’s Never Just One Book, Is It?! ... by Nancy L. Reed

I just published my first book! Words Left Behind – tales from a life gladly lived (Wooden Pants Publishing).

[Pause] . . . [Pause a bit longer]. No loud “Hurrahs!” resound across the universe, though a few of my friends mumble “It’s about time!” I’m proud to have it out there, but I don’t feel the sense of completion I thought I would, because a wee issue has arisen.

I may be a lady of a certain age and been writing for seven decades, but I’m as innocent of understanding the process of book publishing as a scribbling toddler. The learning curve regarding the responsibilities of a published author has been high and the need to develop a platform overwhelming. Until four months ago, I didn’t have a web site, but now I do, complete with Musings – my nod to blogging. I’d never blogged on another site until this past October when I posted on the Wooden Pants Publishing site, and I now have the opportunity to utter some words on Pat’s blog Thanks, Pat, for encouraging this neophyte. If not for the teaching, mentoring, and camaraderie of fellow writers, I’d have missed the opportunity to see my words in print.

Working diligently to develop my author skills and publish for the first time, I pulled up short when it dawned on me I’d stepped onto a treadmill with no off button. It isn’t enough to get my first book out there. It’s a matter of continuing to publish in a timely manner so any potential readers who enjoy my work might have something to read next – and so on and so on. I could step off the treadmill, take a hiatus for months or years, but I’d lose my momentum. Unless I intend my first book to be my only one, I need to get ahead of the game and begin stockpiling manuscripts to be released one after the other. Egads! Will it stop before toes-up time rolls around?

One large cabinet in my study – approximately fifteen cubic feet, the size of a freezer – is filled front to back, side to side, and top to bottom with hundreds of manuscripts in the beginning, middle, and completed stages. It was fortuitous I kept everything I ever wrote, readable or not, because at least I now have raw material to develop additional manuscripts, to have the next one lined up. I never dedicated myself to working on one project at a time, and now I’m grateful for my flitting ways – and a bit less panicked.

Currently, I’m finalizing a collection of short stories, A Short Story Olio, to be published by Wooden Pants Publishing in March 2015 and am also working on the ninth and final (I swear it!) rewrite of my novel, Reflections and Whispers. I plan to have a completed rough draft by the turn of the year.

Prompted by publisher, anchored by author site, baptized by blog, and fortified by family and friends, I’m learning to control my treadmill’s speed and build my author pace.


Nancy L. (Nan) Reed began her writing career at the age of four when she created the menus for her fictitious café complete with descriptions of each menu item. She wrote short stories and compiled two books of poetry before her creative writing was interrupted by years of academic composition and completion of a doctoral degree in Education. Since that time, she has written a collection of short stories, a compilation of poems and songs about dogs, and a book of memory snippets. Her current projects include two novels, a readers’ theater script, and a collection of vignettes.

Visit Nan at her website for Musings, Fun With Words, Write a Caption, and announcements of her current and upcoming publications. Her blog post, "A Magical Place," can be found on the Wooden Pants Publishing site.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Congratulations, Nan!
Glad you have some manuscripts to fall back on. It's not about just one book. That's how I got suckered into this author thing as well.

Dean K Miller said...

Welcome Nan to the crazy world of "the published." Yes, we look like zombies but we are full of support and love for our fellow authors/friends. Your book is awesome (Thanks for allowing me to read an early copy!) and the universe is a better place with your words in it.

I prefer the treadmill, too, since I get dizzy on a merry-go-round. Let's keep walking at our own pace toward success.

Richard Keller said...

Congratulations to the first author at Wooden Pants Publishing who is not me. Now, please buy her book. I have five kids to get through Harvard ... Harvard Community College, that is.

Margot Kinberg said...

Pat - Thanks for hosting Nan.

Nan - Thanks for sharing your journey with us. I've learned that writing means you're always learning. You're always working on something, revising something, or doing something to promote. Usually simultaneously. The treadmill may be onerous at times, but I don't think I could stop writing...

Anonymous said...

Lovely post, Nan. I'm looking forwarding to reading Words Left Behind and the many more books of yours to come. Congratulations!

klahanie said...

Hi Patricia,

Very well done to Nancy and it seems that Nancy is really working her way through the learning curve within the world of writing.

Thanks for bring such attention to "Nan".


LD Masterson said...

Wait a second, Nancy. Listen again...


(You deserved one.)

Shauna Renee' said...

And here is another hurrah! I can think of a plethora of clichés, but will settle for a simple congratulations. Perseverance wins.

M. K. Theodoratus said...

Have fun with your "trunk" manuscripts. Writing will keep you young ... I hope. I'm floating down the same river.

Eileen Goudge said...

Having those manuscripts handy is a godsend. I have boxes of them somewhere. The question is, where? God only knows.