I avoid running into dark rooms - there might be hairy things with pointy teeth and long, pointier claws in there - and prefer to switch the light on before advancing, so that I can at least anticipate potential hazards or, conversely, choose the most advantageous routes around any hairy/toothy things. Good grief, I may have to bottle and keep that metaphor for future use...where was I...oh yes. At present, I feel a little like I am hurtling into a black void as I throw myself and my work into the meat-grinder of publication with absolutely no insight into the process. The fact that I have made a significant financial investment in order to do so (I have less than ten percent of the patience required to wait for a publisher to notice and accept me as someone with even the faintest glimmer of talent and have consequently gone down the self-publishing route) adds a soupcon of risky garnish to an already engorging dish of chance-taking recklessness. Holy cow; another metaphor!
My lack of understanding/knowledge/intelligence around the publication process was highlighted yesterday when I submitted the latest round of revisions to my long-suffering, very pleasant AND professional account manager. She even has a sense of humour, which is undoubtedly necessary when dealing with my obtuse questions. Having responded to her directions in what I felt was double-quick time and reviewed my book yet again (I must have read, re-written or otherwise edited the work at least a dozen times), I was feeling just a little pleased with myself until she replied to me. In admirably enthusiastic tones, she explained that it's going to take another two weeks for the changes to be applied to the book. I admit it; I snorted.
After wiping the snot from my keyboard and blowing my nose properly, I fumed for a short while about how it had taken me only three days to re-read the entire work and make the adjustments that I wanted. I briefly pondered on the practicalities of fashioning publisher's effigies (not quite sure what a publisher's effigy looks like, but that's why we have Google) and manipulating them in evil yet personally useful ways, but then quickly realised that I had no idea how to make the objects of my dark fantasies work any faster, since all I really had in mind was sticking pins into the tiny figures in acts of peevish revenge.
In passing, the two words 'no idea' seared themselves into my tiny brain for a moment.
I have no idea what I'm doing. I'm the proverbial fish out of water in this endeavour; a rookie hobo who has grabbed hold of the door of a passing freight car, with no knowledge of the final destination. I suppose that I just have to sit back and allow the train driver to take me wherever it is that we're going. Bloody hell, that's three metaphors now (four if you include the fish, which I don't); I'll have to go and have a lie down in a quiet room when I stop typing.
This is indeed a journey, one which I am profoundly hopeful will be life-changing. Writing is what I hope to do to support our lifestyle which is evolving (or perhaps devolving?) into simplicity and hopefully peacefulness. I must (grudgingly - I'm fifty now, and surely entitled to some curmudgeonly behaviour) learn to accept the process as I try to break through an invisible barrier and get my work out into the wide world...but I still hate being new.