what it's actually like to write a book.

somehow, I managed to publish two poetry books in one year: my first in April 2017, and my second in September 2017. writing has always been my favorite thing to do, so making new content doesn't always feel like I'm "working". I'm currently in the process of collection three, which is set for 2018.


you can check out book one, Roses in SoHo here. book two, This Second Layer, is available here.



I've met writers similar to me, where they're constantly writing and absolutely love it. a few well-known authors, however, feel like "making a job out of poetry" takes the fun away. it does take a lot of hard work to get your name out there, to invest hours and hours into your new material, and molding your life around your poetry.


writing a book has always been on the back-burner of my brain since I was a child, as it seemed too far out of reach to be able to achieve. during my middle school years, my English teacher gave a poetry assignment and I winged it. he was the one to joke, "you should definitely write a book." of course, being me, I took his comment literally when I graduated.


I remember walking into his classroom for the first time since then, with a few copies of my book in my hands. he joked, "you have to sign my copy!" so, I flipped to the back of the book, where I thanked him and my other teachers. he started to cry, I started to cry, and it was just a big mess of sincerity. writing is a very powerful thing, and I'm beyond thankful that I'm getting the chance to express my passion.

THE WRITING PROCESS.

for the past two years, I've religiously written an average of three poems per day. yes, I'm aware that it's quite a lot. only a decent selection makes the final cut of my book - some days, all three are poorly written, while other days, all three are amazing. it's completely normal.

no matter what, you should never force yourself to write. some people set an exact time to work on new material, (ex: every night before bed) while I prefer to write when an idea pops into my head and I have the free time.

THE LIST.

I create a list of all the poems I write that I think, at the time, are decent enough for my book. below, I have my actual list for book three.


I create three categories while organizing the pages of poems into piles: 3 (definitely), 2 (decent), and 1 (maybe). this way, once I hit my average page mark, I can switch out the 1 poems for better material.

THE BINDER.

any published poet will tell you that this is the most important way to organize your book. I print out every poem and sort them in my binder. it's easy to get a feel and visualize the physical copy of your book by doing this method.


when editing the final copy of your book on your computer, it's much easier to type up what's in front of you then switching back-and-forth between tabs - especially if you're pressed for time.

PICKING OUT A TITLE/INTRODUCTION.

I truly believe that creating a title and a comparable introduction is one of the most difficult parts of writing a book. the way I came up with Roses in SoHo and This Second Layer is the exact method I'm doing with my third book - it takes some time. I find that the title comes after you have a decent amount of poems down, as it should go along with the theme.

the best way that I write an introduction is by starting with a poem I've written. the introduction to This Second Layer began with a short poem that I was originally going to include in the collection, until I realized that making it longer would be great enough to open it.

when reading through your work, I recommend paying attention to key words in your poems and writing them down on a sticky note. this especially works if you have a repetitive theme going on. if you talk about the moon often, maybe the title should have something to do with the moon.

EDITING.

I tend to read through my entire book approximately four times before wanting a proof copy. once I get the proof, I try to read it at least six times. proof copies are amazing, because you get to see what your finished work is going to look like. either take a red pen or a sticky note to write down any corrections you have to make.

take your time to really think about any errors or things you want to fix before publishing. if I'm in front of my computer, I always have either a cup of hot coffee or tea next to me to keep me going!

PRESS MATERIAL.

the most nerve-wracking part isn't over once your book is published - you still have to do interviews. email interviews are my favorite, as you get to really think about what you want to say before clicking send. phone interviews are the worst to me, even compared to in-person interviews. I guess it's that you can't see the interviewer's body language and what they're doing while you're talking.

my interviews have been published in newspapers, magazines, and online news columns/web journals - they're a great way to get your name out there. however, with big publicity comes criticism. you won't always get 5-star reviews, and that's completely okay. if you have five fans, they outweigh the ten haters.


thank you so much for reading! I'd love to help if you have any further questions, please feel free to send me an email or a DM on Twitter (@rosesinsoho).

8 comments

  1. This is your best post yet! Thank you so much!

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  2. leaving this comment just to tell you that you're such a beautiful person, inside and out :)))

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  3. This post makes me want to write a book. Seriously.

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  4. I love your book covers, I really like the minimalism aesthetic.
    Aleeha xXx
    http://www.halesaaw.co.uk/

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  5. congratulations on your two books! this was really fun and informative to read

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  6. Congrats on your book babe! What a fabulous achievement!

    x
    Shloka
    http://www.thesilksneaker.com

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  7. THANK YOU SO MUCH

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  8. Congrats,sure it will be a success
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Thank you for your input!