Writing is hard. There, I said it. It’s wonderful and challenging and frustrating and uplifting and defeating and lonely and scary and triumphant and hard. And I love it, Right now, I’m in the throes of writing my first novel. I’ve been writing and editing for what feels like a very long time now. But the process is, in a word, incredible.
I finished my first draft about a year ago. I thought it was golden. I thought it was Finished.
I was Wrong.
Since then, I have re-written it at least three different times … everything from tiny line edits, to re-arranging chapters, to what I sort-of-lovingly referred to as my Frankenstein Version (bits and pieces were cut and past hither and yon, parts were repeated, parts were missing. It was ugly. Children would have run away screaming). Through this all, as I’ve reached each stage where I thought “Ah ha! NOW it’s finished!” I would send out a round of query letters to agents. And here I am, almost ready to knock on doors again. It’s scary.
But as I sit here typing this, I can say with complete confidence, that the novel I have today is a more solid, more complete, more satisfying story than I had a year ago. I love my story. I love my characters. I can’t wait to hear what they’ll say next, and that thrills me.
So what have I learned from all of this? Well – first of all, editing takes time. And honest friends. And a whole lot of patience. I shudder at how many great agents I queried with my first round when I had NO IDEA what I was doing. Today, the search continues, but I’m better equipped for the ride. I’m confident that my time will come. I’ll either find a great agent out there who wants to champion my book, or I’ll find a way to self-publish the heck out of it.
And in the meantime… I’ll keep writing.