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It Takes a Village

The title of this post is a very commonly used phrase regarding raising children.  Before I ever became pregnant, let alone had a child under my constant care, I genuinely did not like this phrase.  However, now that I have a small human under my care, I realize more than ever just how critical the “village” happens to be.  Now, I see that everyone my boy comes in contact with is shaping him as a human being.  Sometimes, there’s very little I can do to reverse the impact of any one person on my son’s life.  I can keep track of his interactions with outside forces, and ultimately prevent him from being around the wrong influences, but even that will only last so long (think teenage years).

Anyway, I’ve completely digressed.  I’m like Sophia from The Golden Girls that way.  My point is that my book(s) is very much the same way.  Right or wrong, I regard a book as being my “baby.”  Once I’ve put what I think are the final touches on one, I have to send it out into the world for ‘check-ups,’ i.e. editing or reviews.  Just like when raising a child, it’s tough to find out from someone else that there is something wrong with my ‘baby.’  Yet, the differences between the Village it takes to raise a human child and the Village it takes to complete a self-published piece of creative writing are vast.  I can switch doctors at little to no cost when I think a pediatrician is not meeting the needs of my son.  Switching editors, or for that matter even finding an editor for my manuscript who is good and also is affordable has been a challenge of the first-order.  So, at the end of the day, I have to be willing to send my “baby” out into the world and into the hands of someone I have not met face to face and pray for good results.

Luck has it that I found an editor who is a language genius, the likes of which I haven’t seen in years!  Seriously, if Jeopardy! wanted to rematch Ken Jennings with some new challengers, my editor should top the list!  She knows about grammar and tense switches, but also about the very origin and roots of words.  Easy, you might say, but being the creative writing type, that kind of thing intrigues me because I don’t often bog myself down with the exact reason why strait-laced is spelled the way it is and the fact that it ties back to the language of corsets and so forth.  [If you don’t like puns, well, too bad, because I practically live for them!]  Bottom line, I’m so grateful that I managed to find someone knowledgeable and careful to handle my manuscript(s).  Hands down, a great editor is a writer’s best resource to take care of and “raise” their manuscript to the next level.  Or more simply put, an editor is one of the most important people in the Village needed to raise my “baby.”

Obviously, an editor is not where the outside world interaction for my book will end.  Hopefully, a large number of readers will actually read my book, and I’ll have more “villagers,” helping to make my writing the best it can be.  It’s been eye-opening to say the least during the self-publishing journey to find out just how many different people will have a hand in my book.  I’m waiting on my cover, and obviously that will have a big impact on marketability.  I’m planning a 2-week book blog tour, which will help to build a readership.  I’m pretty sure that I’ve done many of the various things to publish my book completely out-of-order, but God willing, I’ll have a better sense of navigating the Village by the time I’m ready to release Inciting a Riot.