Six months ago, I wrote “The End” on the first draft of my current manuscript. It was some time in the early evening, in the middle of the work week. I remember sitting on the floor beside my writing desk and pausing my music to type those final words. 

I’ll admit it: there were a few tears shed.

Thinking back on it now, it feels like small potatoes when I consider the accomplishments of the authors we feature in these pages—Mark Leslie Lefebvre, this month’s featured author, being no exception. I also certainly looked past how much more work there was to do before I would share the story with others. As the second book I’ve actually finished and the first I felt could be worthy of publishing, I was simply elated to see it complete. As I should’ve been.

The journey from idea to the finish line is challenging for any author. (If any of you are shaking your heads at that statement, please, share your secrets with the rest of us!) Whether it’s your second book or your seventieth, you’ll spend any number of hours working on it, in slow-and-steady daily writing sessions or over short stretches of time dedicated only to your story, like in the writing retreats IAM’s Audrey Hughey details in this month’s issue. You’ll wrestle with finicky plot points that don’t work the way you want them to and wrestle away from the plot bunnies that show up at the same time. If you struggle with that last one, this month’s Mindset article offers some tips.

Writing a first draft is a journey, not just for our characters, but for us too. And finishing that journey deserves to be celebrated every time—happy tears and all.

Nicole Schroeder

Editor in Chief

Picture of Nicole Schroeder

Nicole Schroeder

Nicole Schroeder is a storyteller at heart. As the editor in chief of Indie Author Magazine, she brings nearly a decade of journalism and editorial experience to the publication, delighting in any opportunity to tell true stories and help others do the same. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the Missouri School of Journalism and minors in English and Spanish. Her previous work includes editorial roles at local publications, and she’s helped edit and produce numerous fiction and nonfiction books, including a Holocaust survivor’s memoir, alongside independent publishers. Her own creative writing has been published in national literary magazines. When she’s not at her writing desk, Nicole is usually in the saddle, cuddling her guinea pigs, or spending time with family. She loves any excuse to talk about Marvel movies and considers National Novel Writing Month its own holiday.

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