Wednesday, March 14, 2012

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!

1 comment:

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

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