Updated: Nov 1, 2021
The butterflies in the stomach are real. We are so close to announcing our first book! Steve wrote a story 10 years ago, and countless times it has been relayed to wide-eyed daughters and the fuzziest of stuffed friends. We never had a drawing or an illustration. The characters and scenes were only in our imaginations, but that book was as real 10 years ago – scrawled onto a worn notepad – as it will ever be in print.
Wait. Backup. 10 years?
You read that right. First, it went through four years of minor tweaks and edits. It seemed it might never actually be complete.
How many delightful stories will we never read because of perfectionism and self-doubt?
Then after we moved houses, it was tucked away in one of those boxes you never seem to unpack, despite your best intentions. We didn’t know what to do next. We talked from time to time with our kids about the scenes we all saw in our heads and what the characters might look like. Funny, they were all very similar.
We talked about submitting it to a publisher, but we were never ready to let go of those pictures in our minds. We were apprehensive to hand it over to someone who might not treat it with the attention and affection we felt it deserved. But after all that waiting, we finally came to realize something that is very important if you are ever going to see your story in the hands of readers.
The story won’t write itself, and it won’t sprout legs and walk out the door, shouting to the rooftops in all its paper-bound glory.
Our number one piece of advice for new authors: Finish it! Whether you are writing, illustrating, publishing, marketing, or anything in between – set a goal with some milestones, and get it done!
There are so many resources available to authors, and with eBooks and print-on-demand options, audiences are more accessible than ever. Whether you are self-publishing or going with a traditional publisher, don’t wait 10 years. Get that wonderful story out of your mind, onto paper, and into the hands of your readers.