“Without wonder and insight, acting is just a trade. With it, it becomes creation.” (Bette Davis)
I would readily insert the word writing for acting in the above quote.
Maelstrom, my latest novel has been launched as an e-book and though I’ve had a struggle getting the softcover out, I’m hopeful it will be on the shelves early in the new year.
The decks will be cleared and I will plunge into extensive storyboarding and planning for the next book in the Crater Lake Series. This requires a definite change of hats from the work I have been doing over the last few months.
The self-publishing, learning curve has been steepest for me at the point where I realized that negotiating the process would be about so much more than improving my ability to craft a readable story. A wide variety of skills have been required.
Today’s post invites you to take a look at my rack of self-publishing hats.
Do you see that charcoal grey fedora? That’s my brainstorming, storyboarding, planning hat. I remember looking at post-depression era photos of my grandfather striding purposefully down a city street wearing a crisp suit and just such a hat. His eyes gleamed and I felt certain he was planning his next move as an up and coming entrepreneur. (No my grandfather was not Gregory Peck but I enjoy the comparison.)
Next on the rack you will find a black Stetson – my creative hat. This is my ride’em cowgirl stage. I am ready to tackle broncos, rope bulls and careen around corners in a chuck wagon race. Anything goes and I need a hat that emphasizes that attitude. As the picture below illustrates, sometimes the Stetson might need to be traded up for a crash helmet.
When I get to the rewriting stage, I’ve got to toss that Stetson aside. A tall, black, witch’s hat suits my needs. I am not one of those kill your darlings advocates but I am ready to be brutal where necessary and cackle as I cut.
Do you see that red ball cap hanging on the rack? That’s my editing cap. There is an excitement about editing that reminds me of the opening game of the World Series. And lucky me, editing has become a team sport because I’ve got such a great editor! Everything starts to come together and the book that emerges will shine like a champ.
I approach formatting with exhilaration and dread. I’m coming down the home stretch but I know the attention to detail is going to take a lot out of me. I carefully adjust my banker’s green visor and lodge a pencil behind my ear.
You might notice that flashy hat that is draped over the last peg. I don this one to do promotion and marketing work – grabbing some attention while hiding out in plain sight seems to suit me.
Oh … yes … you’ve got me there. I have missed a hat. I forgot to mention that thick, wool toque in the corner. I am embarrassed to confess that I put that on and pull it down tight around my face when the inevitable mistakes occur. Always good to have a place to hide out and regroup.
Now it’s your turn. How about sharing some of the metaphorical hats on your rack?