Skulls and crossbones (or: neener neener neener)

Sitting down to write a first book is kind of like saying you're ready to have a baby. There's all kinds of excitement and plenty of eye-rolling when parents, while juggling screaming kids and unsolicited advice, tell you that it's not all fun and games. You, the inexperienced, are convinced you know what you're getting yourself into and smile sweetly at your friend/neighbor/mother-in-law/sister and thank them for that awesome tip and promptly forget it because frankly, you already know what you're doing. Then the baby comes. And you realize you have no fucking clue.

I'm writing non-fiction, which requires a proposal with an author overview, an analysis of competition, an author bio, a marketing plan, a table of contents, and a book sample. But did I realize any of this when I woke up that fateful day last July with the brilliant plan to document my search for a smaller ass?

Here I am, 10 months into Baby F(Ph)at, and I am kicking myself for not thinking to write my chapter descriptions as I went along for the table of contents. Because really? That's one piece of advice I really should have paid attention to. You have no idea.

So um, if you're reading this and are a new writer and working on a non-fiction book, lemme offer you some advice you are most likely going to ignore because you know more than I do: That proposal you know you are going to have to write to get an agent and a book deal? Yeah...you might wanna start looking into that now. Waiting until four weeks before a writer's conference to start the damned thing? Really not the best idea in the world.

I know you are going to ignore me. Partially because you're high on the idea of writing  a book and too jazzed to focus on the business end of writing and because you think that time's going to slow itself down for you and your muse to make beautiful poetry together. That's fine. I thought that, too.

But don't say I didn't warn you.