Sweet Sour

This week has been a strange one to say the least. I started off the week in a buoyant mood. As you will have read from my last post, I finally finished the first draft of my second book Lost Creatures: Book Two in The Dark Sanctuary series. An uplifting achievement considering the headaches I had gone through to finish it. And so with a smile on my face and a nervous tremor in my heart, I posted it to my merry band of faithful readers and am currently waiting for their feedback.
A good week then? Well, strangely not. After a few encouraging comments from people on my blog and my writing, I began to tread the murky waters of thinking about self-publishing again; something I had abandoned in favour of wrestling the second book to the ground by its horns, like the veritable rodeo bull it was.
Okay, so maybe I’m not being completely truthful there. If I’m being honest, I would have to admit that what I actually did was run away. In fact, I fled, scarpering for the hills with my tail between my legs and waving my hands in the air. I’m quite good at running away – one thing that Sarah and I have very much in common.
But with positive feedback ringing rather loudly in my ears, I began to once again think about self-publishing and then…….well, then I came face to face with the same monstrous obstacle that I did before.
Editing. Oh editing *shudders*.
If you have read my blog before, you will already know that I hate editing. It’s my demon. It sits on my shoulder and pokes me in the head with its nasty little taloned finger and laughs very loudly into my ear. Muah-ha-ha-ha.
But now I have more reason to hate it. It’s bloody expensive!
If you want to get your book edited, and let’s face it, if you want people to take you seriously as a writer and also make your novel fit for public consumption, then you need to get it professionally edited. I believe in that whole-heartedly. Self-publishing is a wonderful world, but it is also a cruel and unforgiving world. If you don’t bother to get your novel edited, then how can it ever stand against the fruits of traditional publishing? And just because you can self-publish, and can do it relatively easily, does it actually mean that you should?
The answer to that is, quite simply, no. Thanks to self-publishing, the marketplace is saturated with wonderful books that may never have seen the light of day if left to the whims and fancies of traditional publishers. But unfortunately, it also means we are also inundated with sub-standard novels that should never have found their way to the book shelf. Of course, there will always be bad writers churning out guff, but when I say sub-standard, I am referring to the distinct lack of editing in these books.
Think about it. You have slaved away for months until your fingers are bleeding and you have a constant migraine beating at your temples. Then why, after all that, would you publish without getting edited? If you were lucky enough to get a publishing deal, would your publisher say “Hey, don’t worry about the editing. No one cares. We’re just gonna throw this one out there and stick two fingers up at the idea of getting it edited.” No. Of course they wouldn’t. So don’t you give the good ol’ British two finger salute to it either.
But, my issue is this: I simply don’t have the funds to pay for it. There, I said it and I’m not ashamed to say it. I’m looking at close to a thousand pounds to get it done and get it done well and that’s not even considering a full editorial service. Well, I don’t have that kind of cash. When I have bills to pay, a mortgage that screws me literally every day (and not in a good way) and am obligated to feed my child (because if you don’t, they tend to start eating the furniture, or the dog), I can’t justify spending that kind of money. I just can’t and I feel like the only one who can’t. I feel as if I am alone, clutching onto driftwood bobbing in this sea of writers, all of whom have lifeboats and are paddling quite comfortably towards the shore.
So I find myself stuck. I’ve hit a brick wall. Yet again. Literally the day after I finished Lost Creatures, I found myself plunged back into the fiery pits of editing hell. I cursed my editing demon and it muttered a few expletives back whilst dancing that evil little jig that it does so well. I spent the rest of the week pouting, sulking and generally feeling sorry for myself.
And then today, two things happened. I awoke to a great post from indie author, Michelle Muto. If you haven’t already, go check out my review of her great novel The Book of Lost Souls and then go read the book. In today’s post, Michelle gave some insight into her career as a writer and the path she has taken leading up to publishing her two novels. It was inspiring. It was an eye-opener. And it definitely gave me the boot up the arse that I needed.
Secondly, a good friend of mine had what she called a ‘sweet sour’ day yesterday. A day that she wanted to celebrate, but also a day that made her feel sad and a little lost. It really put things into perspective for me.
So what that I cannot afford editing rates? I will just have to find a way to afford it or simply just find another way around it. If I want it enough, I will do it. It might take a little longer than I would like, but what does it matter?
And in the meantime? I’ll carry on regardless. I love writing. It’s as simple as that. And I will continue to write whether or not I decide to dip my toes into the self-publishing shallows.

12 Comments

Filed under Random stuff

12 responses to “Sweet Sour

  1. Tony

    Stick with it sis, good things comes to those who wait. Have faith and belief in yourself as we do. Patience!!!!

  2. You are an amazing writer hun it take me a lot to get past a first chaper of a book and get hooked on the story line enough to want to read the rest and have a need to know the end and quickly as with home/work life being mad I dont get a lot of of time to read so there are a few authors that get me hooked enough to stay up late and read and your one of them I have every faith your books will be published there to good not to be. The prices of editing i had no idea how much they cost but I’m sure its a hurdle you can/will over come keep faith in what you do I know good things will come your way x

  3. Yes, I’ve thought a lot about the editing process (as discussed in a blog essay a few weeks back). One thing I didn’t mention there but find can help is reciprocal editing (bartering) with a writer one respects. It’s not quite the same as a pro editor, but can catch a lot of stuff and really improve a manuscript with that second pair of eyes that also possess some intelligence and thoughtfulness.

    • Hi Carl thanks for the follow and also for your comment. I checked out your blog post on editing and it made me smile as so much in there I could relate too. Thanks also for the suggestion, I am starting to see there is a way forward with the whole editing issue!

  4. Editing is a definite worry for all us indies. I use several beta readers and my hubby is a copywriter, so he edits all mine. No way can I afford a heavyweight editor, but I do spend a lot of time getting my MS as near to perfect as possible before unleasing it on the world. Good luck with yours! Beta readers are a great way to go! xx

  5. Lol, shoulda got my husband to edit my comment – ‘unleasHing’ !!

  6. I’m rooting for you, and you’re right. You have to edit. Must, must, must. Good luck!

  7. You’re writing for yourself, first and foremost, and that’s the most important thing. Keep at it because you enjoy it, and should the chance come along for you to hire an editor, you can cross that bridge when you come to it. Don’t let it swamp you.

    And take heart in the fact that I bought a new hardback two weeks ago by one of my favourite authors and there were abundant mistakes. She’s a worldwide bestseller! So it seems having an editor ain’t all that anyway ;)

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