Paving the way to publication

Fifteen years with a gravel driveway conditioned us to get use to certain things. Like circles of reddened fir needles that collected under evergreen trees and were impossible to rake out of the rocks. Weeds and moss that regularly snuck in and took hold, even though we all know gravel is not a good growing medium. Holes in the housing of the snowblower from flinging pebbles along with the snow.

This is what our driveway looked like Wednesday morning.

This is what it looked like Thursday evening.

Yes, I’m smiling. Having a paved driveway was only a faint dream, but by doing our bit, plus receiving some help from a good friend in the business, and putting the job into the hands of a team of knowledgeable workers and their equipment, the dream has become a reality. Not without a lot of work, of course.

Over these past two days as I watched and photographed the twelve workers, five pieces of heavy equipment, two truck loads of gravel and three more of asphalt, it occurred to me this wasn’t unlike the process of writing for publication.

1. Doing the groundwork. ~ Making preparation for our writing. Trying out ideas.

2. Setting out the material. ~ Doing the research and determining what’s needed.

3.  Assembling the equipment we’ll need. ~ Plotting, planning, finding a pen and preparing to write.

4. Getting started on the real work. ~ Beginning the first chapter!

5. Persevering even when the task is long and tiring. ~ Um, yes… what I just said.

6. Adjusting and redistributing the material. ~ Revising and editing.

7. Inspecting and working on cohesion. ~ Reading the manuscript to critique for weak spots and inconsistency.

8. Compacting and smoothing the material. ~ Polishing words until they shine!

9. Paying the bills. ~ Yes, there are dues to pay in the publishing industry, too. Learning the craft, building a platform, querying, etc.

Fifteen years is a long time to wait for a dream driveway. It’s a long time to wait for a publishing dream to materialize, too. Neither just “happens” because we wish it would. But when I watch the grandchildren run their scooters down the driveway next time they come to visit, and when one day I hold my own published book, I’m going to be smiling again, because that planning, work, perseverance and payment are going to be so worth it!


Are you actively working through the necessary steps to make your writing dreams a reality? What stage have you reached to date?

~  ~  ~


Published by Carol

A freelance writer of fiction and non-fiction living on the West Coast of Canada.

8 thoughts on “Paving the way to publication

  1. Awwww, I loved these photos because my Dad works road construction so he does this every day. Seeing the men in their jeans stained with tar, and the glowing vests reminds me of him 🙂

    Great post!

    Christi Corbett

  2. Wow, it looks more like they’re paving a street, not a driveway. I understand how you feel, though. There’s something unique about paving, having that flat hard surface. The grandchildren are going to love it. They can roller skate, play hopscotch, dance if they want to. Congratulations, Carol. It’s a big deal, and I’m happy for you.

    I love the way you tied it into writing. Yes, you have to pay your dues, work long hours, and know your stuff before you can ever face the challenge of marketing.

  3. I have disciplined myself to write whether the time allows or not. It must be done.
    Then guest posted on a few ‘sites’ to challenge myself even more.
    Reached out to others which is not ‘me’… another challenge.
    Trusted God in the process…

  4. We’ve never undertaken home renovations so the driveway has been a big deal for us. Thanks to all of you for indulging me and my ever-present camera.

  5. Is driveway envy a sin? I immediately had a flash of it! Few will understand the desire I’ve had for our gravel driveway to become a paved one. But you will! Those weeds in it! The pieces stuck on shoes that come into the house. Etc., etc! But what an involved job! My! (And expense.) I understand husband’s reluctance better now, too. But I rejoice with you over yours!
    How like the preparation for publication this is! Great analogy.

  6. I absolutely love this post! I completely agree with you, the road to publication can take a long time to be laid down (much like the dream driveway!), but no matter the time frame it’s every bit as wonderful when you finally reach the end. I would say I’m at the revising and editing stages, although none of my work is anywhere near publication. But maybe one day it will be. Fantastic post, Carol.

I'd love to hear from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s