“Make hay while the sun shines,” Mom always said. I try to follow that advice. For instance, I planted the garden early this year so it will have a good start before the summer drought hits. It’s lookin’ good.
For some reason, I had the notion that retirement meant plenty of time for my hiking, tennis, lunch outings, volunteer work, housework, club meetings, reading, cooking, visiting, and pursuing my writing career in earnest. Well, for some reason, that expectation hasn’t panned out as well as I thought it would. There is never enough time. My blogging has suffered this spring, my housekeeping has taken a back seat—way back—and my cooking is almost non-existent. That darn sun keeps radiating and insisting some kind of hay needs to be made every day.
I thought retiring from my education career and replacing it with a writing career would free me of stress, time constrictions, dealing with hard decisions, and compliance with other people’s guidelines. I was wrong. Well, not at first—writing articles and short stories and having them published has been a blast. Writing my books has taken me into happiness zones where I feel clever and imbued with the certainty of my own creative powers. (It’s good to like what you do.) Winning awards for my writing has been uplifting. One could argue that the contest winnings are reward enough.
But no! I want to publish my books. Let other people read them. Put my witty plots, my little insights into the universal story, and my characters (who are so much more interesting than I) out there for others to enjoy. Now, I’m stressed. I mean the TJM, tense shoulders, stiff neck kind of stressed. The decision about how I should have my book published is driving me crazy. Should I self-publish, query agents, or try to find a small mystery novel publisher? The plethora of advice regarding the pros and cons of each method has me stymied. I’m sitting here with my double award-winning book, doing nothing.
I fibbed. This week, I registered and formatted my book for CreateSpace, the site where one can download a manuscript to be printed as a paperback book and to become an e-book for Amazon Kindle. I did something. But I didn’t make up my mind yet whether I’ll self-publish my books that way or will send them to a publisher.
The sun is shining now. I won an award in Oklahoma and one in Kansas for my book, CATastrophic Connections. Does that mean I should make hay by self-publishing, which might get it out there to the readers a little faster? Or does it mean I should send it to mystery novel publishers who will be so impressed by the awards they will publish the book and the next ones in the series and take them to national and international heights and help me make great mountains of hay?
I heard someone on the PBS series, Mr. Selfridge, say, “When in doubt, do something. It may be the wrong thing, but at least you’ll be doing something.” That person was talking to me. I’m going to decide how to publish and then get started—soon.