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What’s the hardest part of the writing process?

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This should be a week of celebration. On Monday I finished the second review of my next novel. It is always a bit of mixed blessing to get through this stage of the novel because, in reading Balance of Betrayal again, I’ve realised there are still plot holes and characters who don’t make sense. Just when I was beginning to think I was almost finished! On the plus side, I think it does hang together as a story, so even if it needs work, it doesn’t need a total re-write.

Completing the second review brings me to the hardest part of writing and self-publishing any book: Waiting. I’ve done my review but I’ve also passed on the draft to a ‘critical friend’ (CF) to read and I have to wait for her to finish reading before I can produce the third draft (no point in making changed based on my review, only to get a different perspective, which changes it all again).

CF is being very conscientious. “I’m reading it really slowly,” she tells me. That’s very good of her but patience isn’t my most abundant characteristic and I’d like to get the book published before I go back to work (February). I’m rattling with the desire to get on with things. CF says she wants to read it again, once she’s read it slowly, a prospect of which fills me with dread – even if it might give me a better perspective on the book. It means more waiting. Oh, no!

I hate waiting and now there is such a lot of it to endure. The world of the self-publisher isn’t blessed with a team of people who’s full-time job is dedicated to helping me publish my books, so I’ve got to fit in around their schedules. Like my photographer friend has agreed to provide the cover images – but he has a full time job (and a wife and rabbits and, as of two weeks ago, a waterlogged car). More waiting. Surely it is supposed to happen faster than this?

Of course, until the cover art is done, I can’t start loading up the manuscript to the publishing site, even if the final draft were ready. More waiting.

And then, once the publisher has everything, the proofs have to be produced and sent to me before I can review it again. More waiting. I really hate this part.

I have been using my time for others things, of course. I’ve been doing a lot more research into ways to sell my books more effectively. I’ve started to build a twitter following to generate interest (very excited by my 42 followers, I have to say!!) and I’ve been looking into ways to add PayPal ‘Buy’ buttons on my website.

It has taken a few days of research to find some clear instructions on selling using PayPal and, even now I’m not 100% sure that I’m going to be able to do this for myself. Every guide I’ve found talks about using the “HTML view” of the web design in order to insert code but I created my website in Microsoft Publisher and it doesn’t seem to have an HTML view. Hmm…

While I’m not entirely sure I’ll be able to make the required changes to the website for myself, it has become something of a mission to learn this new skill. You never know, by this time next week I may have cracked it. If I haven’t, I’ll need to get help from my nephew, currently studying computer science at university (handy that). Mind you, he doesn’t get home until next weekend.

Even….. more….. waiting…..

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