I've written a book.
It's been four years in the making and it's done. Finite. Over.
I'm now faced with a choice - I either leave it on my laptop forever and occasionally open it to read when I'm feeling depressed, or I can try and get it published.
I know what you're thinking. Get it published, Emma! The hard work is done, now you can send it off and get it on the shelves of Waterstones! The truth is, I want to just crawl under a rock with my printed copy and my trusty red pen and spend the rest of my life reading it over and over again, editing it to perfection.
Although I've sweated and toiled over what I consider to be my life's greatest achievement, I need to face up to the reality that the hard work hasn't even started yet. I've got a long and tiring slog to get this thing on the shelves and bag that dream book deal and if I'm honest, I haven't got a clue where to start. I've done this on purpose. I knew when I was in my lovely fantasy land and buried deep in writers heaven that if I even started to look into the realities of the publishing world, it'd put me off and I'd never have finished The Book.
I'm a sensitive little soul when it comes to my work, you see. I've never been any good at anything and I don't consider myself to be a really great writer but I do have a fabulous imagination. Overactive I'd say. In fact, I probably teeter on the edge of insane. Hey ho, I thought to myself one day when I was imagining several different ways of murdering an ex-boss. I should harness the madness and channel it into something productive.
And so, The Book was born.
I finished it about a month ago and got four copies printed and bound - one for me and the others for three fabulous people in my life who kindly agreed to read through and edit it. This is my Panel. My unofficial Story Editors.
Having read through my copy twice already, I'm now twiddling my thumbs waiting for the others to come back to me. Whilst twiddling said thumbs I realised I was stalling. There's absolutely nothing but my own fear stopping me getting my book out there under the noses of literary agents. So, I slurped the rest of my coffee and wandered to WH Smith to see what magazines they had for aspiring writers giving advice on getting published.
I wish I hadn't bothered.
"I probably get about 20,000 pieces of work per year."
"I take on about 4 writers a year at most."
"I only take on writers that have been recommended by other writers or publishers."
"They definitely need to be recommended."
"It's who you know in this industry."
Oh. Holy. Shit.
I put the magazine down and raced home immediately. What the hell am I going to do? I don't know any writers. Nor do I know anyone who works in the publishing industry.
I've just finished a cheese sandwich and now I'm setting up a blog. I've never blogged in my bloody life and I have a feeling I'm probably about ten years behind but I had to rant to someone. Even if that someone is just cyber-space.
So far, I have an unpublished book and a pen name of Emma Silver (my real surname is Polish and not Google/Amazon friendly and I've dropped the 'G' from my first name - no real reason, just prefer Emma). I'm going to use this blog to document my journey to get The Book published so that I can hopefully drop the 'Un' from the title.
Wish me luck.