These last two weeks, I’ve been working on getting a short story ready to publish via indie. The story is called “The Sea Listens,” a contemporary fantasy.
I’ve also spent the last four months saying I was going to go indie and never quite getting going. I know there are people out there who type “The End” on their manuscript and throw the story up immediately, without even proofreading, and expect it to turn into an instant best seller.
Me? I felt like I’m going to screw it up all up.
So I’ve been stuck — procrastinating by writing!
My muse finally rebelled on me over the last month, and put her furry feet down (because she looks like a Golden Retriever). Every story I tried to write, I got stuck.
And I started thinking that I needed to take the first step. Just do one thing, and try to pretend like I wasn’t going to screw the whole thing up.
That first thing became “Pick the first story.” This one was already edited, and it was one of the stories that disappeared when my hard drive crashed.
The cover was simple, but then I’ve done graphics. I just have to be careful not to get lost in looking at all the pretty pictures. The fact that I have a balance of credits helps keep me from going, “Ooh! Shiny!” and downloading all kinds of images. Just the ones I’m going to use.
Formatting was a little tricky, and that was just because I worried about getting it right. I know, I know. I can go back and update it if it’s not right.
The blurb was an interesting experience to write (okay, I know I’m weird here). I’ve certainly seen some dreadful examples of them, like where the author just pastes in text from the book or complains about how hard it is. I started with the character, because that’s what readers want to see.
I think it was just hard because I’ve spent most of my life being berated for making mistakes. I’m not detail-oriented, and I can easily miss a typo that jumps out at someone else. Instead of just saying, “Hey, you missed that,” I would get people treating it like I’d committed a mortal sin. I got into the habit of checking things three or four times over, and someone would still find something. It was very frustrating. I even had a boss accuse me of lying because I missed a typo, and I was just going, “Seriously? Why is this worth all this effort?”
It got to the point where I would cringe if I spotted a typo and think, “I should have been more careful. Why didn’t I catch that?” And I would apologize to the person I was doing it for, like I’d done something wrong.
But work’s been helping me shed that. There’s been so much of “make do with less” that I’m finding that a lot of people aren’t checking anything in the effort to push it through. The story’s up, and I’m off to think about what the next one that will go up will be.
Ooh, shiny … I get to look for more covers …