Okay, so it’s been a week since I entered a contest with my novel, and in that time, I’ve gone back and edited it again, adding a second narrator because the former single narrator could not possibly tell the whole story on his own. I mean, he’s a great observer of people and their actions, but as the protagonist, I thought the antagonist deserved to tell his side of the story.
This new addition to my entry will either make or break me, or maybe I won’t win either way, and I’m living a dream that wasn’t meant to end well. Rejection is my middle name.
This is the poison I ingest every time I write a story. No matter the length, I get all knotted up inside and though I’ve said I write with passion, it doesn’t guarantee other writers don’t use the same trick. I follow my gut, and my gut never lies, but still…The thing is, I don’t expect to be famous or want to be. I won’t become a millionaire like JK Rowling, or even a household word like the late great Pat Conroy. I write for the pure enjoyment of telling a story to see what any one person thinks. I actually had a job interview 4 years ago where the person conducting the interview was a “fan” of my book, Truth Is, published in 1999. I was touched, having never once considered anyone would be a fan of anything I’d produced.
After I entered the contest last week, I took two days off before re-entering the book. I recently read an article about how much writers obsess over the first chapter, thinking it makes the novel, when in fact, while reading other writer’s books, sometimes they don’t catch me until chapter 3. One book took me 2 attempts to get beyond chapter one, and another book I’ve been reading for 6 months, on but mostly off because it’s so grisly and information loaded, there’s only so much I can take in one sitting. Thank goodness I own the book, otherwise the library or friend would have reclaimed it by now.
I just thought that I’d mention that in any given day, I don’t sit at my computer devising plots and writing nonstop. Inspiration comes to me only at night, usually from 10 pm on. It’s now 1:42 am, and though I’ve had a full day of activity, I have stopped editing my book to write this blog.
I truly believe for me that being glued to my laptop nonstop is unhealthy. I heard that Anne Quinlan and Marian Keyes are morning writers. I could not be a morning writer because I play tennis most mornings, or have medical appointments. Although when I first began this novel I wrote every single night for 4 years, that too was unhealthy, and looking back, quite insane, considering I wrote the original version in 6 weeks flat. I’m now enjoying (hah) 5 years of editing.
A good friend of mine recently self published. She wrote a children’s book, and the story was cute, but the illustrations were amazing. Her book, written using Create Space through Amazon, is featured on their website and is called, “The Very Bad Circus.” She was smart in that she didn’t fool around with contests and driving herself crazy with querying agents, publishers or editing companies. For her thesis in earning a Masters in Social Media, she used publishing her novel as the topic, and kept her costs down by ordering only 30 copies of her book. I’m not being sarcastic. She simply approached publication like a business, determined to get her story out to young kids no matter what. I wish I had her verve, but because my book is geared towards young adults and is much longer, with NO illustrations, I have to work a little harder. Which, right now, at 1:57 am, means I’m running on empty. Nighty-night.