Birthing A Book ~ Or An Author?

Casi McLean Headshot ColorOne would think that teaching creative writing and drama for fifteen years prepared me as an author, but the truth is, honing my craft was merely the tip of the iceberg. I learned very quickly that creative prowess doesn’t prepare you for the world of publication. Writing is the easy part. When you finally scribble the wonderful words “The End” on your masterpiece and accept a publishing contract, a sense of elation washes over you, the likes of which I can only compare to holding my newborn for the first time. The feeling was pure ecstasy . . . followed shortly there after by wave of complete consternation. Now what?

I had thought that once I signed on the dotted line, I could sit back and begin writing book number two, while my publisher turned my fabulous manuscript into a best seller. That’s the idea, right? Not even close. Little did I know that “The End” was really just the beginning. Reality is often a far cry from dreams and getting published was no different. Especially if you’re navigating uncharted waters alone.

Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t trade being an author for anything in the world. I’m living my dreams. For me, writing has never been an option. I’m compelled to write. It’s a part of me as much as my smile or my heart. I can trace the compulsion back as far as age three, even before I could print my name or read more than a few words. According to my mother, I loved dictating stories to her and insisted she read them back to me along with my favorite fairy tales at bedtime. Like Sarah Hamer, my favorite author as a child was Madeleine L’Engle. Her Wrinkle In Time series thrilled me and ignited my passion for time travel. All through school my favorite subjects involved writing or drama. As a teen I kept my stories and poetry under lock and key in diaries. And as a young adult I wrote in journals and fell in love with romance.

But there’s a big difference between writing for yourself and releasing your craft to the world. If you’re lucky enough to find a publisher that is totally in love with your manuscript, they’ll put you in print. But how long will it be before they move on to the next budding author? The reality is, it’s usually up to you to get your book seen. So, did I birth a book or an author? The truth is both, and the arduous odyssey was truly a roller coaster ride. Sometimes the task was so overwhelming, I felt trapped by my computer while my friends and family were sure I had fallen off the planet into some mystical cyberspace universe.

I didn’t mean to ignore them. But, in a way, they were right. I had been sucked into an unfamiliar world that beckoned me with an alluring whisper––like a mermaid’s song that enchants all who hear her, distracting each soul, then enticing them to dive into the depths of the seas or run their ship aground. Okay, so I went a little overboard there, but the lure is as real as my imagery. I was charting unknown territory and it was exciting, demanding, amazing, exhausting, daunting, thrilling and sometimes downright scary. At times I felt as if my brain might explode if I took in one more sliver of knowledge.

But GDB has your back. I’ve walked the road ahead of you and, like a big sister, I will grasp your hand and hold on tight as you cross the next street. I will help you discover everything you didn’t know you needed to know to make your dream of becoming a successful published author a reality.

Hugs to you all,

Casi

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12 Comments

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12 responses to “Birthing A Book ~ Or An Author?

  1. Casi, you nailed so many of the feelings writers share. Writing THE END is just the beginning of a writer’s journey. You rock as an author and will rock as a guide.

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    • Thanks Mary. I was so excited to hear Nancy talk about how she wanted Gilded Dragonfly Books to be a kinder, gentler publisher. The industry is constantly evolving and navigating rough waters isn’t easy. GDB authors are so fortunate to have a publisher who will guide them beyond publication.

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  2. Jackie Rod

    Every writer’s goal is to complete a book, but finishing a manuscript is just the beginning. Then the editing and rewriting process begins. When the book is finally published, we can breathe a sigh of relief. But wait! Now we must market the book–PR and more PR.
    Thanks for leading the way, Casi.

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  3. Great post, Casi. You described that journey perfectly . . . well, as perfectly as it can be. After all, every writers’ journey is different. Thanks for sharing your amazing journey. I hope we can make other author’s dreams come true. It’s a wonderful feeling of anticipation as we embark on this publishing journey.

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  4. hamerse

    It’s such a joy to find a fellow Tesseract lover! It’s a wonderful book and the world L’Engle created is amazing. I look for that same skill in every book I read. And, thankfully, I often find it. I Love Books! 🙂

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  5. what a great post, Casi. I read a Wrinkle in Time too. My happiest days as a child were spent reading. Your energy and writing are inspiring.

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  6. Casi, constructing a story well is one of the hardest things I’ve done in my life. It makes me appreciate all the great books and authors I enjoy reading even more.

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