1. Write a book.
This is the easy part. You may think I'm off my trolley, but I'm not. The hours spent slaving over getting the perfect plot, the perfect characters and a wonderful ending are just the beginning.
2. Google 'Getting a novel Published.'
You thought you spent hours on your book? This is where you really spend hours as you find out the difference between agents, publishing houses and self publishing.
3. Decide to be traditionally published.
So you Google traditional publishing. You spend hours finding out that agents are angels, spawn of the devil, benign beings looking for the best home for your novel or people who keep you on hold for months and months, as you wait for a reply. Depending on which links you clicked. Believing the truth is out there somewhere, you click a few more links. Goalposts move. A few more hours pass as you re-establish the goalposts. Its ok, you can write the time off as research when you finally do get published and sell enough to be paying tax. That goalpost also moves with every Budget.
4. Wonder what would it be like to self publish?
Yes, you've guessed it, our friend Google comes into play once more. Spend many hours searching again. Find 'how to' posts that tell you its possible to do it all, if only you know how to format, how to market, how to edit,how to illustrate and design, how to upload, how to deal with different countries' tax laws. Find other articles which say we'll do all that for you, at a cost. Decide it might be nice to be in total control of your book's future.
5. Decide to self publish.
If some people have done it all, it can't be that hard, can it? Google formatting your book, marketing, editing and uploading. For a little side interest, Google how many books an average self publisher can expect to sell on a first time book. Cry at the hideously low figure. To cheer yourself up, Google successful self publishers and the obscene amount of wealth they've accrued. Cry a little bit more. Buck yourself up and Google the need for editors and cover designers. Read that although you can do it all, you shouldn't! Because it will show - and you'll be sorry when your amateur efforts result in so few sales. Laugh maniacally.
6. Take some time out.
Sit on a chair and rock. Think of anything but books. Don't even read your own one. Not yet! No, put it down, you fool! Realise you can't stop thinking about books. Breathe deeply so your head doesn't go 'splat' with all the information sloshing around inside it. Go out with a writing buddy, eat cake, make plans and be optimistic.
7. Rise of the Optimist.
Decide that no matter what, you will try to get your book out there! Enough with Google, already. Buy a copy of Writers Yearbook to find an agent, or decide to go it alone, with outside help if your pocket can afford it. We'll DO this thing!
After all, writing was the hardest part, wasn't it?