Keep Calm and Write On! (Part 1/3)

You could say November and December were wordless months; I know I definitely feel this way. As per my last post, the three weeks I spent in Honduras with my family were blissful. Family time is always a gift.

I haven’t written much, but much has happened in the past four weeks. To begin with, I had my very first conversation with an editor! The mom of one of my girlfriend’s works in a publishing house in Chile, and she was kind enough to set up a call with the in-house editor.

As I told the smart and lovely editor lady in my thank you note, it was my first real conversation with someone from the book industry. We did not talk about my book per se, but she did shed light on the publishing process-at least in Latin America. She was very open while sharing the steps and complexities of traditional publishing channels and her own selection process.

Wanted to share the highlights of that conversation:

• Identifying the genre is vital. If the book is too complex to categorize, this becomes a roadblock.
• An author should have clear and consistent answers to the following questions: Why am I writing what I am writing? Where does the voice come from? What moves me? What is the most unique element of my work? Who am I as an author? Who is the reader?
• Transforming oneself from a person to an author is an intimate process that requires extensive reflection and self-criticism.

We also talked about the selection process and how cumbersome it can get. I will try to talk more about it in my next post.

After the call, I felt overwhelmed, to say the least. I knew writing a book and publishing would be hard, but it just feels more real now. I acknowledged the overwhelming feeling and immediately conducted a self-intervention. I told myself a phrase that is often used by one of my (wisest) friends: “Those are situations that Marcela of the future will handle.” The most important thing to do now is write!

I am settling back in my routine in Copenhagen, getting ready to enjoy Christmas while reminding myself every day to: Keep Calm and Write on!

Em’s Extras are coming back this Friday too!

Have a fantastic week ahead, M.

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