Or, well, maybe panic...just a little...I have no idea what I am doing. There I said it. First step to admitting you have a problem is admitting it right? Well there is my admission. I just don't have a clue what I'm doing. In many areas of my life it seems, but the one most relevant to this blog post, is with my professional life. Being a lawyer sure as heck isn't what it’s cracked up to be, and it’s certainly NOT what I want to do with my life. I want to write, I want to share my stories with others and I know, for my own sanity, I need to do it soon.
See, I have this short story sitting next to me, right now. And it’s basically done. I just have another round of editing and I can take the next step.
The next step…oh-em-gee what is the next step exactly…where do I go from here? What do I DO?! *totally starts to feel an anxiety attack coming on, grabs a paperbag…where the hell is my inhaler?!*
It’s quite obvious. I’m stuck, frozen in place and unable to take that next step. Mainly because I don’t know what that next step is and I’m terrified of doing something wrong. I’ve read magazines and blogs and done research to try and figure out this whole self-publishing thing, and I’m just so confused at this point that I think my head has the actual potential of exploding off my shoulders. I like order and lists, and instructions, and with all the notes and ideas I have scattered about me, I’m just…lost. I have a legal pad in front with a list of questions and random thoughts, like:
-Where do I publish? Smashwords? PubIt? Amazon? iBooks? All of the above separately? Doesn’t Smashwords distribute to all? Should I just do Smashwords and Pubit? What the F*$k am I doing?
-If I do the whole e-pub thing, what do I about the book cover? I cannot even draw stick figures! And the copyright stuff? And an ISBN number? Where do I get these things? I don’t want to put my stuff out for people to steal and I also don’t want to run afoul of copyright laws etc. (I am not anywhere’s near THAT kind of attorney. Family Court is more my thing *blechhhh*)
-I don’t want to publish under my real name—for several reasons including the fact no one can pronounce it right, and also to keep my writing life and my law life somewhat separate for now. So can I publish under a pen name? If so, how do I do that? Is there other stuff or requirements I need to be able to write under the pen name? How would I get paid if the short story is listed under a pen name, but the bank account is in my name? How, how ,how does this work?!?!?!?
-How do I start this whole social networking thing? Do I do that AFTER I publish or before? Or at the same time? And if I am using a pen name, can I use that on things like twitter and facebook? Goodreads? And where else should I go? I am not technologically stupid, and already have some of these accounts (FB, twitter, etc) for my non-writing life, but holy crap I feel like I’ve lost all rational thought and ability to perform even the simplest tasks.
So far my lists and notes consist of places to publish e-books, price guides, helpful hints from the magazines and blogs I’ve been reading and other information, and it’s all GOOD information! But then, why do I feel so lost and so unbelievably and completely alone in this? And why can’t I, with all this information around me, answer these questions that are keeping me up at night and unable to concentrate during the day? I know there are others out there who are in the same boat, and others that have been through this, but at the moment I can’t pull myself up out of this sand trap of self pity and actually DO something.
And that…I think, is what is pissing me off.
I don’t like to feel sorry for myself. I don’t like to feel this lack of self-confidence, cause honestly, it’s not like I have a lot to begin with so I kind of try to take care of what I have. Don’t get me wrong, I never thought this was going to be easy, but I also didn’t think it would be this daunting. I’m freaking out. I’m overwhelmed. I’m frustrated. I think that this short story is actually good, which for me is a real change in and of itself, since most of the stuff I write I think is crap. So maybe that’s why I’m feeling the crush of emotions right now? I actually, for the first time, WANT to get this out in front of people’s eyes. I think. But what if it does end up being crap? Or horrible? Or it’s edited poorly? Oh my lord, here we go again…when will this madness STOP?!?!
So as I sit here, staring blankly at the screen and the post-its that liter the desk and walls around me, I’m going to try this one more time. Cause I don’t want to let this mother-trucker beat me. I want…no I NEED…to publish this short story. Whether no one buys the damn thing or not, I have to do this. I need to go make another list—a step by step list of things to do, a sort of map if you will of where I need to go from here.
Now to just un-freeze myself would be most helpful at this point. Anyone have a cup of boiling water?