April 10, 2017 by Gregory Josephs
Committing to the Plunge—An Update on The Novel
Have you ever stood at the edge of a dock, toes curled and suspended above the blue, deep water? To jump off requires a binding commitment to the force of gravity. Once off the edge there is no reversing course; you will fall into the lake; you will submerge. Deciding to jump is a commitment to this eventuality.
Perhaps you leap without hesitation. Perhaps you stare at the sandy bottom for a minute or more, considering whether this is the course you really wish to take. Perhaps you decide you’d like to jump another day, because, again, once your feet leave the dock the decision is final. You’ve always talked about jumping—always wanted to do it—and you’ve told everyone you’re going to. . .
I’ve just jumped! I’ve completed the latest draft of my novel, selected a freelance editor, and submitted the manuscript for a professional polish. This means two things. First of all, I’m one step closer to releasing the book. Secondly, there is no turning back now. Editing is expensive! I’ve made a financial investment. I can’t return it to the store.
So today I’m not writing an allegory or anything philosophical. I’m just sharing this news because, well, I’m incredibly excited! Here’s what comes next:
In four to five weeks I’ll get the manuscript back from the editor, approve or reject any changes, and make other modifications/alterations as the editor suggests. Assuming he doesn’t recommend I just set the whole thing on fire (he won’t, I know its a good book), I should have a final draft by Memorial Day! If I make significant changes based on the editor’s recommendations, I might need to submit it for one more copy edit, but otherwise, it’ll be really, truly done!
After the final draft is in hand, I’ll shift my focus to actually constructing a book! I’ll be commissioning a cover design, laying out the print and ebook versions, and gathering promotional materials (like a book blurb). I expect to put the novel on preorder for sixty to ninety days while I build some hype, offer some pre-order exclusives, and get ready to take an even bigger leap (think cliff diving rather than jumping from a dock) into becoming a self-published author.
Somewhere in there I’ll be recording an audiobook version as well.
There’s a lot still to be done, but the first real step in the business of publishing the damned thing has been taken. I’ve submerged now—committed.
Thanks as always for your support. I’ll keep you updated on my progress!
Have you had a similar experience? Have you ever committed to a project knowing that once you begin, you have no choice but to follow through, even if you’re terrified? Let me know in the comments below.