My goal is to publish by 2019, or at least be midway in the publishing process. I understand that traditional publishing can sometimes be expected to take two years. It’s really difficult to predict just how long this process is going to take, and there is also a possibility I may turn to self-publishing. At the moment, I don’t know. But what I do know is that I won’t tolerate this year going to waste.

I can feel my progress slowing down now that I’ve finished my first draft. Maybe it’s because of the holidays. But there’s also a possibility that I’m not as motivated as I was during the month of November—the month where I had a goal to write 50,000 words. That’s where this new goal comes in.

I have a feeling that this is going to act less as a hard-set rule to follow, and more of a motivation. If I don’t have a ticking clock to work with, I might progress as slow as a slug, and that’s definitely not something that I want.

Storytime with Melissa

When I self-published my first book at the age of ten, I never put any work into editing. In fact, I was so excited to publish my book that I made my own cover online in about two hours. All my hard work writing that novel from the age of seven almost felt wasted when the product came to my door. That’s when I thought, “This book isn’t done yet.”

Even with that experience, I still made the same mistake three years later. No editing. No beta readers.

There’s something exciting about the word done. I just wanted everything to be finished. I was so caught up in the excitement of publishing that I rushed through the editing process, only looking for grammar mistakes.

It’s about time I start taking my novels seriously. The reason why I don’t share my old books with all my friends here on TAJ is because I’m not proud of that work. But more importantly, I don’t think that work is me. As both readers and writers, all of you deserve to read something that I pour my whole heart into, not something I rushed through.

Should I really unleash my writing?

Sure, I’ve shared some of my writing (and even books) with some of my in-person friends and family members. I’ve been embarrassed about it, but I still did it. What I haven’t done is shared my work with the public under my real name. Besides these blog posts, none of you have read my writing before.

The thought of sharing my book with everyone here on TAJ scares me. I’m worried my image all of you have of me may change. That my book will suck. That, just like the last two times, this book will not be my best work. When these thoughts came streaming in, I came across a quote online:

Whatever art form you’re working in, it’s crucial to see it clearly, to feel it clearly, and not to worry about the results, or how someone else will see it.

-Omar Epps

So I’m going to make everyone a promise. I’m going to make sure this book is my absolute best before I share it in the world under my real name. This time, I’m going to write something I don’t feel the need to hide in the shadows. And I hope everyone who reads it will be able to hear what it is I’m trying to say.

Please share your thoughts on how other people reading your work makes you feel!

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Melissa Torrefranca

Hello writers of the world! I'm Melissa, the founder / designer of Teen Authors Journal. Although I create blog posts every Tuesday at 4 p.m. (Pacific Time), I have absolutely no clue what I'm doing! I'd love to learn more about all of you, so please don't hesitate to shoot me a message! 🙂

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  • This was perfect timing. I was just now worrying about how I didn’t think my book would ever get published, that I forgot the whole reason I write is because I love doing it, not enjoying the end result (though it is very nice to think of all you’ve done to get there). Keep up the good work!

  • Oh, hon, I totally understand where you’re coming from. I worry so much about what other people are going to think of my writing, especially whenever I think of the terrible things that I wrote in middle school. They’re all sitting in a file somewhere in my room…
    Good luck with editing! You can do it! 🙂

  • YOU CAN DO THIS MELISSA. I have to say… any freshman who can even get through a first draft is a serious workhorse. I can’t wait to read your work. I completely agree–it’s hard to come out of your shell. Put your heart into the words you write, and others will want to read them. And 2019 is a great goal! I admire you for taking it slow and steady. That’s my goal too–to put my absolute best work out there.

  • I’m sure your book will be a fantastic read. I hope you’re enjoying the whole process too! I often feel like my work is also mediocre or silly for anyone to even glance at and that pulls down my self-esteem a bit. I think the hesitation with showing the public your work is very much what you described and its so relatable. Sometimes, as a writer, you just have to breathe and let the uncertainty fly from your mind. Best of luck!

  • I actually had a very similar experience with my writing. If you looked on Amazon, I do have a book that’s ‘published.’ I threw it on Amazon a couple months after I finished draft #1. I’m not proud of that story and I don’t talk about it because it’s not a good representation of me and my writing. I still have the print copy too, but I never touch it. But with Show Me, I’ve been working on it for almost a year, and I’m finally looking into publishing it this year. So I totally understand not wanting to share your older works.

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