Writing a book is a big freakin deal

July 15th 2014

Since Grunge Gods‘ June release I have been overwhelmed with compliments. Family and friends of family have come up to me or left me a message on Facebook to tell me they bought and read my book. That they loved my book. That they can’t believe I found the time to write a book with three kids. But because I know so many writers who have also done the same, I have a tendency to shrug it off like it ain’t no thing. “Aw, it’s nothing,” I say.

But last night I got to thinking about writers and writing to publish. And you know what? It’s not just writing that’s hard to do in general, and I’m not just saying that because I have three kids (Danielle Steel had eight), but because writers who write novels do so without knowing if it will ever pay off. Think about it. A writer spends a year or more sacrificing time with family or even just time doing fun stuff like shopping or playing Candy Crush. They might spend their lunch hours (because they have to have a day job) working on their manuscript or they might lose sleep staying up late to work when their kids are in bed (a la Danielle Steel). After they’re done pulling their hair out in frustration over plot holes and runaway characters, they’ll send their manuscript to critique partners for feedback and then use those criticisms for revision. It might take them another year to revise. At some point, they will start researching the publishing industry (if they haven’t already) and prepare a query letter and synopsis which, all writers know, takes foooorrrreeevvvver to do and we freakin hate it. At which point they will send their novel to agents hoping someone will love it enough to want to pitch it to publishers. That could take awhile. These agents may not be able to sell a novel, so that one gets trunked while these authors then writer another novel. (breath) But we’re not done. Let’s say the author gets a book deal — hooray! They may get an advance, which the author may or may not earn out. It takes a year or two to publish. Finally, the book is released into the wild. And now the author’s greatest dreams have come true. But…that author then has to sell that book. To everyone. Everyone needs to read the book. Writers need to eat so they’re working a day job, but if they want to publish again, their book has to have a modicum of success. So now, they’re hustling at book signings and library talks and social networking has become their second life and they’re begging, begging bloggers to review their book — all these things just to get people to read this damn book that took them years to get published. All because, they, we, I wrote a story I loved so much that I was willing to do all this shit to get it out there into the world. And you know what? …

Yeah, I wrote a friggin book. And I plan on doing it again and again.

Thank you to everyone for their praise and compliments. Thank you for buying Grunge Gods because you have your choice of thousands of books, but you chose mine. It’s a big deal. Next to those three kids, it’s the biggest thing I’ve done.


4 comments on “Writing a book is a big freakin deal

  1. Jill

    Your post made me think of a perpetual issue in academia: should new graduates, especially newly-minted PhDs, really bother with all that regalia? (Run with me here.) Some people answer yes, because they’ll wear those robes again (at every future graduation as a faculty member . . . or as Harry Potter costumes), but the more relevant argument for this post is the one that compares graduation regalia to a wedding dress. The point is that finishing school (esp. with a Ph.D) has every right to be viewed as just as important a life event as more traditionally-respected ones. Writing a book (or a dissertation, or any other big project that’s important to someone and takes lots of time and energy to complete) is and should be considered a big deal.

  2. Leandra Wallace

    I think a lot of people don’t understand the labor of love writing is. It’s not something that you’re just ‘good’ at, so you type away w/out any sweat and blood until it’s all done and of course it’s a masterpiece and doesn’t need revised. I only wish it worked that way! You summed it all up very well. And yes- it’s a big freakin deal to have a book out there in the wide world! You did it, and I’m proud that I know the author behind such a fantastic book.

    1. Kimberly G. Giarratano Post author

      Aw, thanks Leandra. And you’re right to call writing a labor of love. Only artists seem to work on something without ever expecting it to earn out. Look at singers, painters, dancer. You work at your craft in hopes someone appreciates it and that’s it.

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