Good morning, dear readers,
Well, we did it. The book is finished. The first novel I’ve written in five years. I’ve broken the curse of the Repeated Rewrite Request Agent, and am ready for the next stage of my writing career.
I’m feeling a little lost today, which is normal for me after finishing a book. What to do now? There are rewrites of course, but I’d like to keep those creative juices flowing. I don’t want to get into another slump where I don’t write anything new for months or even years. I wish I could define whatever it is that pulls me out of those slumps so I could pass it on to you. But it’s never been the same thing twice.
I will say this. Writing a book takes a lot of sacrifice. Not just for the writer, but also for friends and family who may not have willingly signed up for the deal. It isn’t easy to be in love with a writer. We are insecure and needy and incredibly hard on ourselves at times. And when we’re working on something, we’re obsessed. As always, Stephen King said it best in his book On Writing:
“Whenever I see a novel dedicated to a wife (or a husband), I smile and think, There’s someone who knows. Writing is a lonely job. Having someone who believes in you makes a lot of difference. They don’t have to make speeches. Just believing is usually enough.”
On that note, I’d like to thank The Boy for being incredibly patient and supportive. When he encouraged me to write again, he had no idea what he was getting into! Kickboxing takes up a lot of my time during the week, so often the weekends are all we have. And he’s forfeited a lot of those for the sake of this book. I’m not creative if I’m under emotional stress, so if he’d repeatedly made me feel guilty about writing, this book never would have gotten finished. So you see why his support is so important.
I’d also like to thank all of you. I started this blog as a way of holding myself accountable and making sure I wrote something every day, even if it was just a post. I soon discovered that writing a blog with no readers is not fun at all. In fact, it’s downright demoralizing. Everyone who took the time to follow me on this journey, to comment, or just to lurk–thank you. You kept me going. You helped me feel like a real writer again. I think it’s an incredible honor to be able to write for you every day, and to have you actually care about what I have to say. Believe me, as someone who started her blog with The Boy as her only follower, I never take that for granted.
I leave for the retreat at the crack of dawn on Monday morning. (Actually, I don’t think dawn will have cracked yet, my flight leaves so early.) I’m a little nervous, as it’s an eco lodge with a lot of rules–some of them common sense and some just plain odd, but mostly I’m glad to have a finished book to take with me. I’ve decided to explore some short stories and other novel ideas while I’m there, instead of just rewriting. When else am I ever going to have a week to work on my writing uninterrupted? Best not to squander it. I hope that I click with the other writers and come away having learned something and with a few new friends. If nothing else, I’ll have gotten some guidance from a successful author and enjoyed some precious alone time.
Thanks again for coming with me on this journey. We’re not there yet, but we’ve taken a lot of steps along the road to an extraordinary life.
Next stop: training for the dreaded red prajoud test.