The Last Lap

So far, I’ve written and researched, and edited and formatted. I’ve listened to criticisms, comments and suggestions. I’ve tracked down and acquired permissions. I’ve taught myself new word-processing techniques and decided on a title. I’ve listed all my acknowledgments, considered some footnotes and started work on collecting the Gaelic names I’ll need for authenticity. I have an ISBN, a book size and a preferred font.

And just when I thought I had everything done that I needed to do in order finally to put my first novel together and into print, I discover I need to acquire a whole new set of skills.

Today, I somehow created a stunning book cover on a graphic design website that I found by accident – but I don’t have a clue how I made it or how I can now change it to include a few extra details or even if I can upload it into CreateSpace.

Not having grown up with computers, every new innovation is a major learning curve for me, so much so that as I work I have a second Google page open, ready to ask: ‘What is a —-?’, ‘What does —- mean?’ and ‘How can I —-?’ Thank God for the internet.

But the end is now in sight, and it gets more and more exciting, the nearer it comes. I remain sure that if I can put in all the required effort to learn the process of book production at this stage, then it’ll be easy – well, relatively easy – to do the next six books which are sitting in my head. Three of them are, in fact, seriously underway, with numerous chapters already completed in long-hand.

I have to say, although this journey gets a bit scary at times, it is also tremendous fun. And that’s important to me. I love it that when the finished book is finally sitting on my shelf, I will have been responsible for every stage of its production, and I will have expanded my knowledge – even my brain cells – to another level. And that’s important to me, too.

There’s so much to explore, discover and experience in this world of ours, I often wonder how anyone can possibly be bored. I swear I could live to be two hundred and still be finding things to learn and find out about.

And one of the joys of being a writer is that this newly-acquired knowledge can be neatly incorporated into the next story. I can never run out of things to write about because there’s always going to be something new popping up on my horizon which will intrigue and entice me, and slowly seduce me into its own particular storyline.

I may be entering the last lap of this project but it is undoubtedly only the start of the next great adventure.

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