I find it difficult to describe the effort it takes to create a novel, edit it, rewrite, redraft, and worry the whole time whether it will be enjoyed or vilified. Then, after all that, the hours spent formatting the layout, obsessing over spacing, indentation, and calculating page counts, remembering to insert promotional materials for past and upcoming works. Now, find an artist and stress over cover art, back cover promotional language and decide whether to include a selfie. Go online: two separate websites, two completely different processes to publish paperback. Hard cover? Yeah, right! EPub? Sure, but previous formatting doesn’t work here, work it all over. Again.
Imagine that for every word published, over a minute is spent in a sound studio, reading aloud, stumbling over those awkward phrases, and forgetting the pitch and tonality used previously for that character, editing out goofs, inbreaths, sighs, coughs, sneezes, and explicative made in frustration at the umpteenth mistake, compiling chapters, prelude, endings, and more promotional materials. And waiting for uploads and initial analysis, more editing, and more submitting. Once you think you’re done and everything is ready for sales, yes, there’s more waiting while more analysis and review is queued and processed. Oh, yeah, just try and make a male baritone sound like, um, you know, a teenaged daughter. I mean, come on, really, how hard can it be? It’s not like it’s rocket science, or anything like that, is it?
Think I’m done, yet? No way! Now I have to promote it, in a day when social distancing is both ignored and required, when assembly is discouraged and feared. Book signings a thing of the past? Yep. Will they come back? Hard to say, even after vaccinations are handed out. Will last years’ conventions, postponed due to the pandemic, occur this year? Will we rub shoulders and take in the ambiance of the hallway, enjoy the atmosphere and table conversations over dinner? Or will I sit in my living room, promotional material as a backdrop, and hope people follow the link to my corner of the universe? Undetermined.
Will I continue writing, voicing, creating images and movies? Absolutely. Wouldn’t have it any other way. Do I care about making money? For now, no, I’m interested in perfecting my craft. Ahem, crafts. Do I have enough time for all this? The only deadlines I have are the ones I’ve placed on myself.