Skip to main content

Done! dun dun dunnnn (cue ominous music)

The novel revisions are done.  DONE!!  Finally.  Which means it's time to move on to crafting query letters, researching agents and steeling myself for the process.  Again.  Because I've been done with this novel before, or thought so anyway.  And while I could probably tinker with it for the next ten years, I feel like it's time to declare it done.  I'm happy with it, I'm proud of it and I'm ready to let it go.  And, more excitingly, I'm moving on to writing new stories.  This week I've decided to write super short, super weird stories, to shake off the long form and remember what generating new work feels like.

But I wanted to capture a few things I learned about writing a novel along the way before I forget:

  • It takes 47 times longer than you expect it will, even if you are convinced you have realistic expectations.
  • The first ten times you think you are done, you are wrong.  (The next ten times are probably just procrastinating) 
  • Revision can actually be incredibly satisfying, and one of the weirdest/coolest things about writing is reading something you wrote a while ago and being surprised by how good it is.  One of the most awful things is reading something you wrote a while ago (or yesterday) and realizing how utterly terrible it is.
  • People wish your story sounded more interested the moment after they ask you what it is about.  
  • Writers don't always like to hear about other writers writing a novel.
  • Writing a novel can hurt your neck, shoulders and wrists, but there is no workman's comp.
  • Writing is something you can do just about anywhere, but for some reason it's really hard to do while on vacation, as much as you were looking forward to doing just that on vacation.
  • Feedback is essential, but so are mental boundaries around the feedback, or rather, a translator.  I envision this like the Babel Fish from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: it pulls useful feedback from out of the hurtful or misplaced feedback, separating them into their proper receptacles: Useful goes in the compost, Misplaced goes in the recycling and Hurtful goes in the trash.  
  • Feedback that hurts is probably 99.9% of the time not meant to hurt you.  And you might have deserved the other 0.1%.  
  • It IS easier to write a novel if you don't have to work full-time.  I'd always suspected it!  :)
So there you have it.   Onward to new stories!

Comments

  1. Done! Done has got to feel so good. Way to go on finding all the personal grit and tenacity to get to done.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

For Mom, Twenty-One Years Later

I lost my mom twenty-one years ago today. She died from complications related to a long battle with chronic-progressive multiple sclerosis. I was a week away from turning twenty-one. Which means I have not had her as long as I did have her.
It used to make me unique among my friends, to have lost a parent at such a young age. But I’m no longer young and many friends have joined this depressing club. The dues are astronomical and no one prepares refreshments.
People, moms are important. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. Whether you were once a child or are currently a mom. They are the sun, moon, and stars, even when they are completely obscured by darkness.
I wish she mattered less. She doesn’t. She matters more than almost anything: that first hit of love, that childhood sense of safety, that initial understanding of what it means to be a woman in the world: mom.



Memory is funny when it comes to dead people: I can remember her any way I want. Which means I can also mis-remem…

The 2018 Iceland Report: Part Last

The exciting (or at least the inevitable) conclusion of Part One and Part Two of Icelandic awesomeness....


Day Six: Ekra Cottage/ Lagarfljótsvirkjun to Höfn
This day was all about epic scenery. Kilometer after kilometer of stunning beauty. The ever-shifting sweeping views afforded us herds of wild reindeer, giant snowy fjords, a mossy valley, snow blowing across the road like dry ice, lava rock, waterfalls. It was a total feast.













Our halfway point was Djúpivogur which houses a collection of giant roadside marble eggs, each one fashioned after a particular type of bird's egg.



We arrived in Höfn and checked out the harbor and the free museum (a welcome respite from the windy harbor) before checking into our guesthouse. Which we had all to ourselves. We made one last meal of fusilli and bell pepper (fusilli meal #4 for the trip for those keeping track - I'll be taking a good long break from fusilli now) and read. I found a left-behind copy of The Silence of the Sea by Yrsa Sigurðar…

The Quarterly Reading Report

It's been waaaaaay too long since I posted a Quarterly Reading Report. I'm about to amend that situation. I have lucked on some pretty spectacular reading in 2018 so far--some recent publications but most not--and I'd be a bad friend if I didn't share these titles with you.

In the excellent crime detective/thriller department, we have Yrsa Sigurðardóttir's THE SILENCE OF THE SEA, which I've already posted about. It was the perfect book for atmospheric Iceland. I also loved Tana French's THE TRESPASSER. Set in Dublin, Ireland (I think 80% of what I love best about a crime detective/thriller is that it is placed in an incredibly interesting setting), the protagonist is a difficult (and therefore interesting) woman in a man's world working the hardest case of her life. The writing is super in this engrossing page-turner.

I got to fill in some sad gaps in my consumption of books written in the 80s and 90s and early Oughts. Also a thriller, Peter Hoeg's