So after a quiet couple of weeks here on the blog away from the laptop and writing only sporadically the sun had been shining, in between the rain storms here so I decided to get out in the garden. To allow myself to be attacked by Roses and make the outlook a little bit brighter. Summer is here and with it brings the urge to create nicer surroundings for us all. So I have been weeding, digging, growing and sharing cuttings, re-potting and tying back unruly plants and trying to forget that there is a whole huge expanse of space which has yet to benefit from my attention, if only I had the energy to tackle it.
After a couple of weeks of leaving my draft alone and then returning to it to edit again and print off a copy for someone else’s opinion. Here is a list of the Lessons I have learned while preparing a physical book for someone to read for the very first time.
1. Disregard the fears that you may have done it wrong. They are just concerns, you have to start somewhere.
2. Have a back up title in case you have done it wrong.
3. Make Lists.
4. Edit, Edit then Edit again, there will always be something you have missed. Surely not, well Yes actually!
5. Remember to insert the page numbers so that if there are corrections noted, you’ll be able to find them to fix.
6. Make sure that your desk is sturdy, more important than you know.
7. Make sure that you have more than enough printer ink for the job
8. Give your printer a service before you start to print.
9. Do not hold your breath when you hit PRINT, it may take longer than you think.
10. Print in batches of 10 pages at a time, that way if your printer begins to shake uncontrollably whilst doing its job, or misalign inexplicably you will not waste time and resources with fuzzy pages.
11. Reprint any fuzzy unreadable pages. These things are sent to try us!
12. Since your first reader is a family member. Make them swear that it is for their eyes only and they will not send it anywhere until you have got it back and corrected everything. Stating for all to hear that this is “definitely not the finished article”.
13. Write all over it that it is the “First Draft” Confidential might be a good idea too!
14. Realise as your heart sinks that although this is your baby, other people have their own lives to live and it might take a while to get it back.
15. Remember to breathe. Eagerly anticipating their response will only cause added stress and upset, especially if they tell you that it isn’t your best work, or you should include something else.
16. When your family tell you that there are more important things to life than being wrapped up in your book, as their patience has run thin smile sweetly and agree with them.
17. Try to convince yourself that it’ll all be alright in the end.