Friday, April 15, 2011

Carrie Ryan Book Video Award 2008 Finalist (The Forest of ...

I know I said I would not post again this week, however as this is a diary, when there are events that I need to record so that I can reflect upon them, an exception is made. Yesterday, was the worst day so far in the 7 months I have spent as a full time writer. After submitting a short story to Amazon Kindle as a test  and to gain some experience, I was shocked that within 48hrs I had received an email, congratulating me on the publication of my first ebook. I have to admit I didn't quite get the euphoria I was expecting. It is my hope one day to be published via the traditional route, but I thought as a new, inexperienced, writer with no history in print, I should start somewhere.

Anyway, as soon as I realised my book was available, I made the very quick and rash decision to notify everyone and anyone, sending the link off to my friends, posting it on Face book, attaching it to my blog, in fact any avenue I could think of,  I pasted the necessary details. Then I took a breath and thought very nostalgically, lets just take a look, I cannot tell you how many times I have read and re/read, but it had about a week since I last checked. Well, I nearly died,  words popped out at me that were either completely wrong or were spelt incorrectly, I was mortified. What was worse was the fact that it takes 24hrs for publishing and in that time you cannot make any changes. Leaving me sinking right into the floor, wanting to hide away from everyone, my head was throbbing so much I thought it might explode. I did not know quite frankly whether to laugh or cry last night. After waiting until 10.30 last night to see if the book would be active, which didn't happen. I went to bed, very unhappy even after eating several dark chocolate, coconut filled bars, the mini one's.

Needless to say I couldn't sleep. The thought that friends, people I know, anyone, would buy something that regardless of the quality of the story, it's likability, the characters, the fact that someone would pay money for a book where the spellings are less than what they should be or the very story does not make sense because of the incorrect words, literally made me want to cry. I question whether I have what it takes to really go through this journey as there are so many components to it, I get so impatient and frustrated at my own lack of knowledge, rushing almost, feeling as if I am late for a very important meeting. I am not sure why I feel this way, perhaps because I am a late bloomer, perhaps because I feel intimidated by other writers who seem so steeped in experience, knowledge, an unlimited vocabulary and just pure brilliance.

Anyway, this morning it was Live, so I went back in and requested that my husband act as a proofreader for me. He reads very slowly, which is perfect as he is thorough and after checking through it again, we reformatted the file and sent the updated version. The story is still the same, that has not changed however I now feel that at least you can focus on the story and the characters, rather than the mistakes . It teaches me to take a break from the manuscript, no matter whether it is a novel or a short story, see it with clear eyes and definitely get someone else to read it through. I have learned that whether your work is published via Kindle or the Traditional route, whether it is a short story or a novel ,your name is out there and it is terrifying.  I want my name to be remembered for the correct reasons,  to build up a credible resume, and to feel proud of my work. To do any of this takes time I have to learn not to rush and to understand the power of being in print. I endeavour to learn from my mistakes and move on.

I am taking a break now . After the holidays I have a meeting with my consult, I plan then to print out the whole manuscript make the changes by hand, and then go chapter by chapter rewriting the promise back onto the computer. This is a big decision for me, it is not starting all over again, but it is taking a new look at my work, rather than copying and pasting which is driving me to distraction as I completely lose all sense of the story. So, whereas I estimated the rewriting phase to be  around 2 weeks I am going to surpass that and at this stage I leave it wide open. I am not going to give up, my confidence in my ability is shaken , I can only apologise to those who bought the ebook already and if you want a refund let me know.

Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes.
More funny Oscar Wilde quotes


  1. Oh Jen I feel your pain. I get very excited about what I've written and pass it on to others, only to be mortified later by the errors absolutely rife within the text. I've even done it on a professional level as a technical writer, which is a horrible experience because I just knew my superiors were thinking "We're paying for this crap?" But whether you do it professionally or amongst friends, or quite publicly via the internet, ALL writers go through these moments of shame. Writing is all about exposing yourself, and you may have just learned a lesson that many of us won't for quite sometime. You just rushed the process that's all. Think of it as the first layer on your thick skin.

  2. Thanks, I do get so excited but as they say, more haste less speed,and this is so true. Check, check and check again is something I have to do, otherwise I may as well give up right now! Keep your comments coming, Jen .