The Fulfillment Series

The Fulfillment Series

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Guest Post -- Approaching Publication by J.P. Dailing

Today we're taking a break from my constant chatter (LOL!) because I have the pleasure of hosting J.P. Dailing! He is married to author Jennifer Acres, so they're a married writing duo like me and Deek. #Represent!

His novella, Urban Legend, releases soon! Join him as he hosts an awesome Facebook party to celebrate (deets in the post!)!

Approaching Publication
Three 'C's For Managing the Beast

Self-publishing is a voracious, bloodthirsty beast, and don't let anyone tell you different. I love the beasts though. I want to feed them, cuddle with them, and spend my life raising many, many beast-babies. It'll be a fulfilling life, but not an easy one. The beasts will never be domesticated, are near impossible to tame, are vaguely conceivable to house-train, and even simple survival of each one is a victory.

I'm surviving my first beast right now. Urban Legend is a YA urban fantasy novella series where a young teen orphan, Rylee, begins to manifest illegal magic that captures the attention of the heir to one of the ruling houses within the Vampirum and a government agent for the US Department of Mysticism and Metaphysics. The idea for this series has been coalescing for several years, and now it is finally finding life as my debut book. I'm so excited for Urban Legend's release on August 23rd that I am throwing a Facebook Launch Party with giveaways and live streams and a lot of fun in one place.

During the course grappling with the beast, I discovered the three main pillars of my process which can either act as stepping stones if respected or roadblocks if not: Creativity, Consistency, and Community.


The hardest kind of creativity for me isn't coming up with a fresh new story or unique take on a well-loved trope, but getting the stupid manuscript finished. The first draft is hard enough; once the mess is on the page, it is a nightmare that can only be vanquished by the nimblest of wits. "How can I get this character more accessible?" "What can I do to fill this plot hole?" "How can I make these chapters work without tossing two week's worth of work?" "Is there anything I can do make this not horrible?" These kinds of questions raced through my brain every time I sat down do to write and it was ticklish to find ways to hammer down the right answers. Plus if the work isn't hard enough, there are plenty of adulting issues that can crash the party. House-sitting, getting wisdom teeth pulled, and dealing with being rear-ended are a few examples (and all happened to me within the last couple of months). It's like playing 3D sudoku where the result will never come out perfect and is actively trying to murder you with a personal grudge. But the trick is to keep one step ahead and (leading into the next part) keep hacking away.


Consistency in writing is key. The words are not going to be good all the time, sometimes the muse isn't talkative and what results resembles a half-digested owl pellet. That's gross and disturbing, but par for the course. Losing a week here and there of writing due to personal crises, day-to-day adulting, or just needing to take a break to avoid burn out can stall productive momentum. (This isn't to say we writers shouldn't have breaks. Breaks are absolutely essential. No one can pour from an empty cup). We are creatures of habit. What we do over and over again, we excel at. For writing to be more than a hobby, it must be a routine, part of my day. My best work has always come through maintaining my schedule. No one wants to drive a car that works really well sometimes, then dies just as often. We'll choose the reliable vehicle that we can trust, even if it looks like it went full speed through Godzilla's digestive tract.


Nothing can be created inside a vacuum. We need to live to express life on the page and we need to have connection to connect with readers. I'm primarily an introvert and, aside from rare exceptions, people tend to tire me out. Not in a negative way; using a phone uses the battery and I need a place to recharge. Yet humanity isn't a collection of lone wolves. We are a pack. I've never felt more excited or alive or more confident with my writing than when I started building my community. Not a network of authors and readers that could help me further my career mind you, but a collection of awesome people I interact with who make me feel happy by exchanging silly gifs or Hamilton references on twitter. I've been spoiled by my beta readers who gave me honest opinions about my work and allowed me to become better. And my wife is the absolute best. She encourages me when I'm down and tells it like it is when my story isn't working. She is my partner in every sense of the term (yes, even in crime). It's too easy to homogenize ideas within yourself. Go out and mix it up a little. You'd be amazed what the results end up being.

Is there a beast you've been wrestling with, or wanting to set free from its cage, or is it still an egg and you fear what might hatch? Go for it. It'll be a monumental effort, possibly violent, always dangerous, and in the end one of the most precious elements of your life. Art shapes the artist who creates. Go forth and show the world what you can do.

J. P. Dailing

YA Fantasy Author

1 comment:

  1. Great post! Love this quote: "The first draft is hard enough; once the mess is on the page, it is a nightmare that can only be vanquished by the nimblest of wits."