Did I write the first 50,000 words of my novel? Is that why I’ve been MIA from my blog for so long? Sadly, no. And, happily. Instead of writing a pile of you-know-what, I’ve been working on some excellent projects with some excellent clients.
November 1st saw the release of The Addict Among Us, my second book as a developmental editor with prescription drug abuse activist Bradley V. DeHaven. In this picture to the left, the completed proof sits upon some of the hardcopy work I did, as we took the manuscript from 100,000 words of stream of consciousness writing and copied/pasted emails to an organized self-help book about how to prevent, detect, treat, and live with opioid (or any) drug addiction. This is another excellent book on the subject by Brad, who has been on the go spreading the word about how this epidemic sneaks up on the most unsuspecting of families, and of course, spreading the word about his book as well.
The Under the Gum Tree editorial staff selected the next group of pieces for Issue 6 from a nice batch of submissions. The mag is getting designed as we speak and will be on the newsstands in the first weeks of the new year.
During November, I also began a substantive edit on a 600-page mainstream fiction manuscript with an author I began working with in November of last year. At that time, I did an evaluation and critique on an earlier draft, which he took to heart and spent nearly the next year revising. I really enjoy seeing a writer develop his or her craft, being receptive to feedback about plot and character, point of view, and the finer points of language. And I enjoy seeing the result of hard work on the page. While this writer was planning on going directly to self-publishing, I am going to encourage him to seek a traditional publisher because I think the manuscript could attract interest in the current market and he doesn’t really seem that interested in becoming a publisher/marketing professional.
Speaking of this, I have two other clients heading on a traditional publishing path. Of course, I’ve advised them to stop querying agents now, because agents like to have a holiday too, you know. But these writers have had some promising attention and I have high hopes for them.
Meanwhile, three of my former clients have successfully self-published their novels in the last few months, and my friend and mentor Andrea Hurst has done so as well. There are many paths to publication, and everyone has to do what feels right to them. I don’t want to spend time here discussing the choice between traditional and self-pub, as there are so many excellent bloggers out there doing it for us. Let me just say I believe there are very good reasons to pursue either one, depending on one’s goals and resources. The debate is, frankly, getting pretty stale. Just do what you’ve got to do.
I guess I feel the same way about NaNoWriMo. For some people, attempting to meet a writing goal with 300,000 other people is the way to go. Just the motivation they need. For others, not so much.