Book writing is kind of lonely, I’ve learned.
Until recently, my career as an academic trauma psychologist focused on writing with other people — students, colleagues, community partners — to publish journal articles, book chapters, and edited volumes. I understand the pace and process of that kind of writing.
Trade book writing is different, though. It’s just you and your ideas most days. You write and write, and write some more. You start to wonder if you’re doing it right, and scroll through #writing tips on Twitter. You read books on writing books (check out Mary Pipher’s invaluable Writing to Change the World) and tape notes to your wall about narrative arcs.
If you’re fortunate, trusted colleagues, students, and friends read drafts along the way and give you candid feedback. Then you edit and edit. Next your editor gives you feedback and you edit some more. Even then, you find more to edit.
At some point the editing shifts to wordsmithing, and one evening the book seems nearly finished as the sun sets. By sunrise the next day, you’re certain it’s nowhere close to done. You wonder if you’re the only one who feels this way? You repeat the Twitter #writing tips check and confirm you are not the only one…and you keep editing.
Finally, a day arrives when you summon the will to say you’re finished and email the manuscript files to your publisher. Then you wait. Wait for copyedits to review. Wait for author query forms. Wait for the right time to promote the book.
At least, that’s what I’ve found to be the case over the last year and a half of working on Every 90 Seconds: Our Common Cause Ending Violence against Women.
Things started to change the other day, though, when I opened my email and got to see the book cover for the very first time. Suddenly I could more clearly imagine sharing the book and engaging with you to find our common cause: Ending violence against women together.
Perhaps no wonder, then, that I’m so excited to share a sneak peek of the cover below. I hope you’ll join me in counting down to the April book release — just in time for Sexual Assault Awareness Month (#SAAM). Almost there!