On any ride, there’s a bit of adjusting, right? Seat belt fits? Everyone got enough room? Plus that awkward moment when you decide who gets to use the armrests between seats.
Well, there’s been a bit of adjusting on this ride to publication, too.
I’ve been signed up – something I’ve hoped, waited and worked for.
But there were some consequences I hadn’t thought of: I am not, technically, a totally unpublished writer anymore – or I won’t be by the time the next round of competitions closes.
Which is great, but messes with the natural order of things. The old way when my writing life was pegged along deadlines for competitions and awards.
Instead of casting the manuscript seed far and wide (pitching, submitting and entering comps almost constantly) and waiting and hoping for something somewhere to sprout, I’ve now got to concentrate on nurturing a growing plant. Do I still scatter seed? I don’t know!
I did pitch a couple of picture books with no qualms, as Cranachan don’t do PBs, but my focus has to be the seed that took. The shoot that grew: Fir for Luck. For the last few weeks, my head has been buried in this manuscript – and shall be again after this blog post. It takes a bit of effort, you know – I think I’m on my fifth reading of the whole thing since signing the contract. I cheerfully admit that last week’s promise to stop tinkering was hollow – tinkering is in my nature. And fixing the manuscript has to be the first part of the ride, I get that.
Nevertheless, it can be hard to focus when there is such a lot going on: it’s a busy time in my day job, and there seems to be a never-ending string of writing tasks to tackle ahead of the launch:
- I bought the barbarahenderson.co.uk domain for example. One day there will be a proper writer website (Aaaaargh!)
- I am working on Twitter and Facebook profiles and have been told to check out Pinterest and Instagram
- I am investigating tie-ins and ways of promoting Fir for Luck once it hits the shelves.
- I am looking at book covers (my wonderful publishers are going to take my preferences into account!)
- I have begun working on a book trailer
- twenty other things which would bore you to tears
All of this can feel a bit daunting from the start of the ride.
I’ll do my very best to go with the flow – and not to look down!