Okay, okay, yes, I admit it. The title of this post might be a little premature, but with the exception of typing in the edits and rewriting the last chapter... I am done. Yeah... it's a lot premature. But honestly, in comparison to what I have been doing for the last year, this is the end. (Hearing Jim Morrison in the background of my brain... wow... now I really want to listen to The Doors!)
I gave myself until November 1st to finish the edits. Why that date? Well, because I have been editing for over a year. Not writing... editing. At some point, you have to say, enough is enough. This is as good as you can make it. And second, November is National Novel Writing Month and I have a new series that I am ready to spend a little time on. No worries... the Partizans have not been put aside... I just feel that this next book will be a good change of pace and challenge me as a writer. Finally, I would like to get my query process under way. (BTW, I should be posting my Q in the next day or so. Please give feedback and let me know what you think.)
So, what have I learned about writing a book in the last year and a half? #1. There really is no such thing as a completely perfect manuscript, even after nine edits. #2. Writers conferences are so worth it. #3. Everyone needs critique partners. #4. If I had to break it down, I would say talent is 30% of the book writing success equation, good crit partners are 10% and persistence makes up the remaining 60%. Add a love of editing and you have the remainder of 110%.
Why 110%? Because someone only giving 100% isn't fully committed. Seriously. I have been fortunate enough to be able to stay home and not have to work out of the house, but that doesn't mean I haven't had to give up things. What, you ask? Well, first there's sleep. Oh how I have given up sleep. Second, my house is not at all ready for company. OK, OK, it's never ready for company, but now I don't even try to hide it. Third, and this is the one that hurts, but I have given up time with my family. When Lou is home in the evening, most of the time I take off to work at a place where they don't call me mommy. And I come back well after the boys are in bed.
Was it worth it? You bet. Writing a first novel is tough. There is no one standing over you lightening the fire to get you to sit down and work. There is also no one there chanting your name at a movie premiere. But that's part of the process that makes it worth it. I did this. Yes, I had amazing help and support, but I am the one who put my butt in a chair and took all the words I've ever known and strung them together not to make sentences, but to tell a story. Even if this book never sees the inside of a publishing house, no one can take away the fact that I did it. I worked hard, and I can't think of a time when I didn't love what I did! So wish me luck and look for excerts in the months to come! And take some time to be bold!