So I’ve always dreamed about writing a book. I never knew what kind of book, or how long, or even what it would be about, I just knew I loved to write and one day I would write a book. Finally after taking a trip to Portland with my best friend, I knew what I wanted to write about. It’s going to be a fiction book with made up characters, but much of the content is going to be based on real life things that happened while we were on our trip.
I’m really excited about this idea, and I want to get working on it soon, because even though I took extensive notes on the trip, I want to get most of it on paper before it’s been too long–and it’s already been almost a year.
I think I’m scared to start writing it because I’m afraid of finishing it. What do I do when it’s done? How do I get a book deal? Am I going to have to put money down up front to get started? Are the publishers going to laugh at me because I know nothing about the book business? I don’t know any of their lingo, I don’t know anything about contracts, I don’t really know much about formatting, or anything like that (I took journalism in college for 2 years, but that was long enough to know that writing books is different). As for the contract thing, I know people often say, “Get a lawyer!” but I don’t even know where to start going about that. Do I just call some random lawyer and ask them to go over a contract with me? Are they going to charge me some insane amount that I can’t pay? I guess I’m just afraid I’m going to put all my extra energy into this book and end up with a finished product as a paperweight because I can’t figure out how to get it off the ground.
Another thing I’m afraid of is people trying to change my book. I’m writing the book my way because I am the author. Many of the events happened to me and I want them to be portrayed in a way that they make sense. I don’t want some overlord coming down and changing all of my words to make them more appealing. If my book is going to fail, I want it to fail because it wasn’t the right book at the right time for the right audience. I want it to fall on me, not some editor who thought his way would be better. You hear of that all the time with creative pieces, where someone comes along and changes it into something totally different (cue up Family Guy, Season 8, Episode 15, where Brian writes a TV show and it is sabotaged by James Woods and CBS). I don’t want to coast on someone else’s vision, and I also don’t want to fail because of someone else. I want the book to be good or bad because of me.
I just wish I had supporters who wanted to help me with this. Someone who’s done this before who could help me with what to expect. It’d be nice to know someone who has a little experience and knows what publishers are worth going to and which ones are not. I guess getting burned and looking stupid are all part of the process, but I’m tired of waking up every day going to jobs that don’t fulfill me, constantly working for someone else and not getting anything out of it but a crappy paycheck.
I guess before I do anything, I should just write the damn book. Then what happens, happens. Until then, it’s just speculation, and that accomplishes nothing!