How many writers does it take to change a lightbulb?

Answer: Zero. They’re too busy sitting in the dark with their laptops, tapping out rewrites.

And that, my friends, is why you haven’t heard from me.

I have absolutely nothing interesting to report, except to quote Hemmingway, an author who famously agonized over every sentence, that “the only kind of writing is rewriting.”

When I embraced the writerly life late in life, I thought it would be a refreshing change from my previous career as a model and actor. Those jobs required a zen-like approach to a life that was either careening at full-tilt or skidding to a screeching halt.

Since then, I’ve learned that writing is no different; the creative high is great, but the lows are what will kill you.

The good news is the manuscript edits, copy-editing, and proofreading are behind me; it’s now out of my control and up to my readers to decide.

Next on the agenda is to emerge from a three-year, hermetic existence and suddenly become a marketing genius on social media. On the platform of my choice—FB, IG, TikTok, YouTube, Snapchat, Pinterest, Twitter, whatever—my publisher expects me to miraculously burst forth, drawing thousands of followers with my unique mission statement. On what grounds or by what message, I’m not exactly sure. A TikTok boomer dancing to “Moves like Jagger?” An aging Instagram model, weeping and baring her soul? A silver-haired Facebook vigilante trumpeting silver-is-the-new-blond? Oh wait, all of that is already out there.

So…

Maybe I’ll take a cue from an episode on Seinfeld, where George and Jerry pitch their show as a show about…

Absolutely nothing.

I sold my book. Now what?

After announcing to friends, family, and social media earlier this year I’d sold my memoir, many expressed surprise when they learned the publication date was set for almost a year later, in spring ’23. Why such a long lead time, you ask? You’re in good company! I asked that very question myself.

Naively, I thought that after slaving (for years!) writing my book, then landing an agent, and ultimately selling it to a publisher, my travails were over. I could hand over my masterpiece to more capable hands. Freed from responsibility, I would sit back and relax while I waited for the hardcover to show up on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and every other bookstore in the land. Wrong! 

Instead, the scenario went more like this. After my contract was signed, sealed, and delivered (which took six weeks), I had to abide by the contractual word count, which was 25,000 words less than my manuscript. Mind you, my first draft at 160,000 words was brutally and mercilessly edited (with the help of a stellar freelance editor) down to 135,000. I edited it yet again to 120,000. The last edit down to 95,000 words happened AFTER my announcement, as I worked from morning till night for four straight months, to maintain the narrative.

Any day I’m expecting a red-lined, crossed-out copy of my manuscript to show up in my email because other published authors have told me this would happen. I won’t be surprised by my editor’s markups, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he will feel I delivered as promised.

Mind you, while this has been a tough education, I would gladly suffer the process all over again! I learned more about myself, relationships, and life from writing than I did from all the decades of therapy. Stay tuned for more of my adventure!