Becoming Ourselves - The Podcast

From Author to Authority Series - Episode 5 - Self-edits and Pre-reads

April 20, 2022
Becoming Ourselves - The Podcast
From Author to Authority Series - Episode 5 - Self-edits and Pre-reads
Show Notes Transcript

Hooray! Your first draft is complete! Now what? Well, it's time to clean it up before sending it off to your publisher. This week we're stepping out of author territory and putting on our editor hats!

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Juli Wenger:

You are on this earth for a purpose, you want to live a life that matters. So let's get through the fear and the overwhelm and all the crap that gets in the way of you living the life of yours. This is the becoming ourselves podcast where we are fired up about you getting clear on who you are, what you're called to, and how to get there. Because the world is waiting for you to show up and own your power. I'm your host, Juli Wenger, a coach, a speaker at Jesus lover, and Enneagram, two, and a tree shaker. Let's dive into what's keeping you stuck. Because on the other side, is a life that's fired up. This week, on from author to authority, we're talking about what happens after you get the first draft out. And it's interesting because in the environment that I was in, there was all of this celebration around, you wrote a book, and you can claim your authorship, and you're not an author, and you've made it past where most people ever make it. And all of that was true and worthy of celebration. And what I didn't realize was just how much work still lay ahead of me. I am so grateful that I didn't allow myself to get sucked into the wets next, and yet there still comes a point where we really need to focus in on okay, what are the next steps? What kind of capacity and time is that going to require? So that's where we're going this week is what are those next steps? What are those following pieces, once you get the first draft out? Well, number one, you're going to celebrate, please celebrate, for the love of God, take some time and be happy and be excited and be in awe of the fact that that first draft is done, because that's a big deal. And then we need to get into a few follow up things. Once you're done celebrating, there's a really important phase that I had to build in. And it was a phase of recovery. So that was the second step in the process. Number one, celebrate. Number two, take some time to rest. Because ultimately, there is a lot of energy out there's a lot of out flow that's involved in getting that first draft on paper. So creating some space where you can just let it sit, because it's good to walk away from it and look at it with fresh eyes. And that may be a couple of days, it may be a couple of weeks. For some people, it might be a month like it is your own process. And you get to trust yourself. And you get to trust God's leading as to Is it time for me to step back in or do I need a little more breathing room. And then when you're a little bit recharged, or fully recharged, which is great, then you can lean back into what we'll call your first round of edits. Now, this is before it ever goes off to editors. So it's before it ever goes off to a publishing company. This is before it sees the light of day and someone else looks at it. Period. Because as you're writing it as you're just getting the content out, we're not focused on grammar, we're not focused on sentence structure. We're not focused on making sure it's tweaked and right. Because that means we're in an editor, headspace and not in an author headspace. It takes us out of creativity, it takes us out of flow. So we want to be just getting the content out and saying like screw it, leave the spelling for later. We'll leave the Grammarly checks for later. We'll leave all of that stuff for later. Well, now you're at later congratulations. And what happens in the later is now you get to go back and reread and tweak the whole entire thing. And this is not a two hour process. My book was about 40,000 words. And doing that first round of edits on the book required me to spend like two weeks of just consistent time coming back to it and coming back to it and coming back to it chapter by chapter by chapter and going through and tweaking. Going through and fixing the spelling going through and finding things that were consistently wrong. I have this thing where I really love the capitalization of any term that refers to God's identity and he him his he God anything like that capital. So I was doing searches through my entire manuscript for the word him. And then word his and going through word by word by word by word, making sure that they were right. I was going through and double checking all of my references, I was double checking all of my verse quotes, I was double checking all of the possible things that I could find a double check. And it just takes time. And it feels kind of like writing the book again. But it's mandatory, because if you're going to give it to somebody else, and it's full of very obvious errors, or it doesn't have a flow, or you're reading through it and going, I really need to add a little more context here. That's what's going to allow for a better pre read. So go through the whole entire thing, chunk it down, into achievable sections. Keep notes on the side of things that you need to go through and check all of later like check all of the verses, check all of the translations, check all of the references, check all of this word, check all of the punctuation around these things, you're going to have other people in your process that are going to help you look for this. But the more that you can do upfront, the simpler the process gets. Grammarly is your friend. This is something that I leveraged throughout the process to try to catch some of those things that because I'm not an English major, I maybe don't know. Now, Grammarly is not perfect. So don't just go accepting all of the changes that it gives you this is not a good plan. But use it to trigger in you the curiosity factor for things like references and building out a reference page or for things like disclaimers, Google search that stuff. There are so many tools that I wish we had in university to help you build out references without ever having to actually go through and type them up from scratch without having to buy the handbook on this is how you do APA citing. We're getting a little into the weeds here on that. But leverage the tools that are available to you leverage the tools that make the process simpler. Couple other tips on the first round of edits, read it out loud. This is something that has been one of the most powerful tools in my tool belt in making sure that the book is good. Making sure that the book flows and making sure that the book makes sense. When I read it out loud, two things happen. One is it slows my brain down enough that my ADHD can't skip over things and just make the connections in my brain that maybe don't exist. It helps me to hear it the way that other people would hear it. It helps me to create emphasis where there needs to be more emphasis that allows me to just notice things that I won't notice if I'm just scanning it through if I'm just reading it through. So leverage that. And when you're done, then what? Then we need to get other people's eyes on it. So this was a process that my publishing company had recommended for us get it in front of at least two to three pre readers. Okay, so a pre reader is going to be someone from your audience, someone that matches the ideal reader avatar of who is going to pick up this book, who is going to be helped by this book, who is going to be inspired by this book. And so I had to think through Okay, who do I trust with this? To give me honest feedback, and not just like, oh my goodness, it's amazing, because he wrote a book and I'm so proud of you know, people who would actually give me real, legit feedback. And also, who met the target demographic? Who were the people that really wanted to create impact, who are the people who are after living out purpose and calling who are the people who are already walking that out? Who are the people who are struggling with that, but are totally aligned? Who are the people who for my book, are Jesus followers because it is targeted to Jesus followers and the Christianity curious, it's like straight up Christian self help. So I had to find those people that matched that match to likely age demographic that matched a likely space in life where they're having those questions come up of is this all there? Is? Is this why I'm here? Why am I here? Who am I have I lost myself to my career those people and so I sent it out to my buddy Matt, and to my girlfriend, Shirley, and to my author, friend Jason, and to my assistant. Now this is really an Christine, we're gonna jump into provision here for a minute. Remember process, personal growth and provision? How does God show up? When I signed up for boot camp, I was also hiring an assistant. And this was hilarious to me, because the one person that caught my eye, the one person that I interviewed, was Lindsey, and Lindsey is an editor. She was taking, editing training, and I was like, what? So I had this opportunity that he placed in front of me to leverage my assistant to take a first run at it. And not only that, but she met a lot of the target demographic tick boxes, of who my audience is, there was this, you can't make it up kind of beauty to it. Of course, you can't make it up. Because that's how God works. He's like, let me do something that is so phenomenal, and mind boggling and where the timing is just so perfect, that it can't be coincidence. So I had Lindsey go through it first. And I know that's not going to be an option that everybody has to have a editor Assistant, look at your manuscript before anyone else sees it. But it was beautiful, because she caught so many little things I didn't catch. Because it's not how I'm wired, because it's not how I'm trained. And then we sent it off to Matt into surely into Jason. And we gave them some time with it. And we gave them some time to not just read it, but to sit with it and to give feedback on does it flow? Does it make sense? Are there gaps? Are there spaces where it needs more story? Are there spaces where it needs more context? Are there pieces that are just straight up unnecessary? And when that came back, then we got into Guess what? Another round of edits. Now, this round of edits was much more minor than my first self edit. Because this round of edits, was just taking their context and going through and looking for those sections, those pieces and saying, all right, is there something here that I need to tweak because there's something here that I need to get curious about. So let's just circle back here for a second. We've got celebrating, we've got recovering, we've got your first round of self edits. And then we have it going out to pre readers, reliable people, people that meet that audience requirement, people who will give you real honest feedback, because you don't need someone patting your ego and then you release it into the world. And it sucks, okay, that's not what we want. That's not what we're after. We're not giving so much of ourselves to this process to put a book out that is subpar. Or just not. And fundamentally, for those of you who are also, Jesus followers, if he's asking you to write a book, it's his book. And when it's his book, his book needs to do him justice to the best of our ability. So let's talk about the personal growth piece of this. Because there is something very ego triggering about this whole piece of the process, okay, it's not a particular piece, it just goes and goes and goes. And particularly what I saw show up was imposter syndrome, and perfectionism, which were backstopped by my inner critic. My inner critics name is Bertha. Bertha showed up with the Who do you think you are? And what if your pre readers think it sucks? What if it's terrible? What if you're an awful writer? Oh, you're reading through and look at all these mistakes you made? What do you think you're doing? Because you're going to see all of the things that are not to the level that you want it to be when it's done, you're going to see all of the spelling errors, you're going to see all the grammar errors, you're going to see all the holes in the story, you're going to see all of the flaws. And that's a big, fat opening for your ego to step in and go, let's just stay here. Let's not finish this. Let's not put it out there. Let's not open you up to rejection or ridicule or failure. I really don't like failure. I don't think most people who are listening to this like failure, but I really don't like failure. Okay, so there was a lot of trigger there and there was a lot of that impostor syndrome sense and I had to keep cluing into okay, but am I aligned with what God's telling me to do? Yes, then the imposter syndrome is an invitation to keep moving. Then this is just the enemy trying to weaponize my ego and I will not have it because he has no authority over this. I will not be moved. I will not be stopped. I will will remain steadfast in getting this done and completing the assignment. Period. That's it, we have to choose to step through that stuff, we have to choose to be like, Okay, you told me to do this. Here we are. And I'm feeling all the resistance. And I'm going to step through the resistance, but you're going to have to give me that piece that is a promise to me, you're gonna have to give me that hope that is a promise to me. That is my birthright. And then we move through it. We just choose to keep moving to keep stepping forward. Now still, in this process, I was not giving a lot of thought to the launch. Because getting through those edits, sending it out, stepping through that fear, stepping into that next phase, that was enough. And I was not going to allow myself to get sucked into an overwhelm level that would stop the process. So here's where we're going next, is we're going to talk on the next episode about picking a publisher. And that formal editing process. While there is plenty of opportunity for you to write a book and to self publish, or to hybrid publish, there is some important consideration that needs to go into how do you make sure that this book lands? How do you make sure that it's done well? How do you give it its due. So that's where we'll go next week. In the meantime, thank you so much for walking this journey with me. I'm so excited that you're here. I hope that you are inspired to get working on whatever the next project is that's in front of you, whatever the next call is that He has for you. And that might be a book it might be something else. But know that if I can do this, you can accomplish way more than you're getting. Until next week, all my love and virtual I hope this episode triggered something in you and got you thinking about your next growth curve. Make sure to check out the show notes for more details and links to resources or people that we've mentioned today. And make sure you hit follow or subscribe and if you have a hot minute leave an awesome review. I would be so beyond grateful. Until next time, be to much DARE YOU