So last night I was going through and doing a chapter by chapter edit—okay I still am doing that—anyways I got a little restless. I have that problem every-so-often. Once upon a time, I sat down in front of my computer, inspired by another authors work and started writing. Two of my best friends read my work and hailed me the next biggest thing. So, I did a couple “edits” before I actually knew what the hell I was doing.
Excited as one can be, I started sending queries, 27 rejections, and one offer from a small press pub with a bad reputation later; I started banging my head against the desk. Damning the literary world for not seeing the genius in my work! So, I did what anyone would do, started a new story, one that was sure to be a hit! Only, I couldn’t finish it. So, I did what any true author would do, I started another book, only the same thing happened, I couldn’t finish.
Feeling like a complete failure I found every reason not to write, too busy with the kids, (even when they were outside playing) I had to clean, go to the grocery store, literally anything. I knew on a deeper level I was being a coward, running away from my problem. I didn’t know how to get in touch with my characters because the ones from my first novel were haunting me. When I was in the shower, driving, laying down for bed—times I should be plotting for other books I was sucked back into that other world.
Having spent the last year trying to make that novel perfect, while maintaining its original “prose”, reopening it was the last thing I wanted to do. I was stuck! Well, my seven year old who was pestering me to read something I wrote, (which is not age appropriate for her.) I decided to write something specifically for her. I plotted and finished a beginner chapter book in about a week.
Feeling brave, I opened the last book I had actually worked on—not the one that still haunts me—and got to work. (Now, this is where all my ramblings tie together.) When I got restless, I decided to open my original draft of my first book from nearly two years ago and started reading. I was stunned, embarrassed, horrified, and intrigued at what I found in that file! A lot of emotions invoked by that little document, but I realized something. I am not the writer who wrote that story anymore, and that story, was not living up to its potential glory!
I had something wonderful that I had kept dumbed down trying to preserve what I originally wrote. Well what I originally wrote was not even quite an outline for the book. So, I would like to take the time to apologize to all the poor sweet agents who had to read my queries, and rough, rough, first works. I won’t name them all; it would take far too long. I realized when other writers say put it away for a while; it isn’t a bad thing to do. So now, I am forcing myself to finish the other two books I started after it before touching it again. Then when those are finished and polished the best I can now, I will tuck them into their little files and tear apart and rebuild the first world I created. Without trying to preserve the horror that I initially wrote! LOL!
Wish me luck! And happy writing to all of you!P.S If you’re participating in NaNoWriMo I hope it is going well! J