Thursday, August 14, 2008

On Being Published: What a Road Trip

(part 2 in blog series)

To continue my story, below . . . I now had a solid first draft of something. What to do next? Life ensued, busy as always, and my daily writing work took precedence. In addition, I’d been hired to co-author another nonfiction book with a woman in Hollywood (I promise to talk about that amazing story in an upcoming blog entry); the writing of that project was to commence in the fall of 2006. As spring warmed to summer, I thought about MY manuscript. If I didn’t do something with it soon, it would have to wait until the following year.

So I made a commitment to polish that draft—again, in my spare (!) hours—enough to feel comfortable showing it to an editor at St. Lynn’s Press. Honestly, I didn’t know what I had (was it substantive enough for a book?) and didn’t actually think the publisher would be interested in it. My goal for sending the manuscript to the editor was November 10—my birthday, a gift to myself. The following week, I dove into the co-author project and stayed immersed in it through the following May.

Here’s where the story gets really good—well, for a writer, anyway. Within a few weeks after turning in the co-author project, I received a call from the editor at St. Lynn’s. The publisher was interested in my project! On a mid-June afternoon, a contract arrived in the mail. Warm summer rain fell on my arms and face as I tore open the envelope . . . warm, cleansing, redemptive rain. With outstretched arms and my face lifted heavenward, I began to twirl right there on the driveway, a happy dance of dreams come true. I signed the contract on July 14—France’s Bastille Day—as a symbol of my independence and “uprising” as a writer!

In the meantime, a second contract with Findhorn Press was offered for the co-authored project. Go figure. I’d hit pay-dirt: 2 book contracts for 2 separate manuscripts with 2 different publishers…in 2 months time.

So now I’m on a different sort of road trip. These past months, I’ve been traveling to promote Everything Matters, Nothing Matters: For Women Who Dare to Live with Exquisite Calm, Euphoric Creativity and Divine Clarity. How these writings came to be a book is itself an example of the topic I’ve written about.

And in keeping with my book’s theme of embracing paradox, I will end with this: I’m somebody . . . I’m a published author! And I’m nobody . . .meaning, if I can do it, so can you.