I write about my life and life itself seen through my eyes for who can write through the experiences of others if not their own?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Getting It on Print

In the last few years since I befriended professional writer Chris Robinson she consistently, not only praised my writing, but insisted I should publish.  Another friend, Deb, had also encouraged me to publish, still I was reluctant. Let’s be realistic, self-published authors do not become best sellers. Publishing is done for personal reasons, and hopefully no one hopes to get rich. Until then, I felt I had no reasons strong enough to incur the expense.  

It happened one evening as I was picking up my kid from college. During dinner she asked me what had happened to my blog; “I like to read it” she said. I told her I had changed it to another address to eliminate unwanted traffic. Having left my phone in my car, I asked for hers, I brought up my blog and showed her a post I felt she would like. She read it, put the phone away and we finished dinner. She wrapped herself in her blanket on our way home. I noticed a light under the covers and gently pulling them away I asked what she was doing. She did not answer, but I saw the phone in her hands, she was reading my blog.  

It was then I realized there are a few things of me my kids will keep with them; my race is a good legacy, my passion for running; the cause to which I am so committed; my loyalty to friendship, but what about my writing?  They know I like to write, but will they have something to show to their kids later?  That night I decided I would publish a book for them. 

Easier said than done.  

I had about 600 essays written.  How difficult could it be to select a few and send them to a publishing house? 


Choosing the ones I wanted was only a portion of the task. Reading them again, rewriting part of it, combining some that were similar, eliminating others,  moving sentences around for better flow, choosing pictures, getting a cover picture photo, and finally sending it to a publishing house.  Once the publishing company had it in their hands, I would receive their updates and request for corrections, better pictures, etc. 

·         A note I found on line by the editor filled me with pride: “Posted on July 29, 2012 by Linda Austin”

I finished editing a memoir this past week and celebrated. Celebrated my job being done, but also celebrated the writer, a woman whose native language is not English. Astonishing to me, her spelling was near perfect, better than Spellcheck, which, as you should know, doesn’t account for usage in its basic version. (Spellcheck thinks blue is fine when the word should be blew.)

I was very impressed by this woman who wanted to write about her life lessons, mainly for her children, but I know her friends will enjoy them, too. Even I did, and I am a stranger. She had the guts to set aside any fears of inadequacy and write. And she had the smarts to hire an editor. I told her that even the best writers need editors. Even editors need editors!

A physical copy arrived 7 months after I started the process. As expected, there were mistakes I had overlooked in my 4 months of editing. Corrections made, second proof requested. Proof approved, book now ready to be published.  

The real book arrived ten days later. It was not the major high I had been told to expect. However, to see my book on Amazon.com under search by author was.  

An imaginable high has been the response from friends, and acquaintances, and the reviews.  Some of them made public some personal.  

Last week my daughter and I sat in the same restaurant where 9 months ago she told me she likes to read me. I handed her a copy of my book. She smiled proudly and thumbed through it.  I could see in her expression how happy she was.  

I don’t know that I will ever publish another book. I continuously write so there will always be material. Nevertheless, the purpose for publishing this one has been fulfilled, my kids have a copy of my book. You never know, I’m sure there’ll be room for two books authored by their mother in the same bookshelf.