“Publication is a marathon, not a sprint. Writing the book is only the start.”
– Jo Linsdell, Children’s Book Author
It’s Day 279 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and if you’re anything like me, a marathon sounds a lot more daunting than a sprint! And whether you’ve ever run track or not, as we get older running any race is not as easy as it used to be! This was a humbling lesson I learned on vacation last year when I challenged my twenty-five-year-old stepson to a race. It’s the first one I can remember ever losing. That being the case, I’ve yet to watch the video his brother shot! Even so, as an almost fifty-year-old woman, I held my own. At 5’1” but with long legs, I was designed for speed and am still a pretty fast sprinter. But with my asthma, I’ve never had the stamina to go the distance required for marathons.
Like running, breaking into publication is not for the faint of heart. I’ve dreamed of doing it since I was a little girl and set the goal of accomplishing it by age twenty-five. Then I watched that deadline whiz by at ages thirty, thirty-five, forty, and forty-five. At forty-eight, after rejections from traditional publishers, I finally made it happen by self-publishing. But as was often the case with my races, though I won, I crossed the finish line with my heart thumping in my chest and my breath wheezing in my lungs – physically, mentally, and emotionally spent. Exhausted. Still, that pain was worth the gain – not only of having won the prize, but of having finished my race – on the track and as a published author.
The above is the rapport building section of a presentation I’m doing tomorrow night for our local chapter of Altrusa International. Next I’ll share the what I’ve learned from my publication journey and summarize by retelling what I told them during the presentation with this:
As you can tell from my publication process, novel writing is only one leg of the race. It requires intensive conditioning and training in the form of obtaining mentoring, networking and continually honing the writing craft. And because publication is a spectator sport, identifying and connecting with the targeted audience AKA potential readers – meaning YOU! — is critical to success. Finally, building a platform, reach and stamina will help authors to not only cross the finish line, but to keep going the distance in publication marathons throughout their writing career.
Then, I’ll preface a few words copied and pasted from a reader that make the grueling race worthwhile –
Whew! I’m winded just explaining my race to publication! But then I stop to catch my breath and read an Amazon review by a reader who may be someone like you, entitled “Beautifully Written Treasure”:
This book is a shining example of the work that God’s love can do in your life. You will feel renewed in your walk with Christ. Lee is a character that you wish was a real friend that you could call for sage advice, love and laughter. I’m recommending this book to all my friends and family. As a lover of music, the song that pops into my head as being the anthem for Lee’s story between these pages is Mandisa’s Overcomer. I hope there will be more to Lee’s story in the future for me to read. I’m already ready to reread this one!
Finally, I’ll close thus:
Though I’ve always been a sprinter, not a distance runner, it motivates me to pick up my track shoes – I mean laptop – to run another publication marathon.
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose debut novelist, I’m excited to share my publication journey with a group that supports women’s professional development and literacy, and I’m excited to share it with you. This is my maiden voyage speaking engagement as a newly published author! I hope it coaches, encourages and inspires you to keep running your race – whatever it may be!
What are you currently trying to achieve at home or work that feels like running a marathon? How can you be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and apply any of the above to help you cross the finish line?
Be savvy & chic,
~Pink Collar Coach