I've got to admit, it's kind of cool being called on as a resource. Now that folks know that I'm a published author I get questions all of the time about the "process" and such. Most recently a woman who I met at a book club meeting a few months ago excitedly shared with me that she was in the process of penning her first book. From what she's told me thus far, it's going to be a good one--spiritually revealing. We exchanged numbers before the meeting ended, but we haven't had any contact with each other until she called me a couple of days ago. She shared with me that since she was still unemployed she was filling her days with writing and researching material for her book, but she wanted to get some information from me on the publishing process.
In a nut shell, I advised her of the avenue I took to publish my book, but I also stressed the importance of focusing on completing that first draft. I remember the first effort I made with writing Unfinished Business about 15 years ago. I was really enjoying putting the pieces of the story together, surprising myself with what was going to happen next. Then, years later as I began to realize that I might actually publish this creation of mine my focus took a sharp left turn. Instead of having fun putting the story together, I started getting caught up in the "publishing" factor. Thoughts of rejection from agents, publishers, readers began to get in the way of my writing. As self-publishing began to rise in popularity, I started getting off into understanding that monster, trying to figure out what kind of budget I was working with, who'd design the cover, who'd edit, who'd print, who'd promote and market. It was quite overwhelming & distracting, hence, the length of time it took for me to finally publish my book. Therefore, I'd advise any aspiring writer to get the raw story completed first, then delve into publishing. Don't get caught up in who's going to like your work. First, you have to like it--no, actually love it. Believe me, once you get to the point of publishing, you'll be wishing for the time to do nothing but write :)