In case you’ve been wondering why it’s been all review, review, review around here lately, it’s because I’m in a transitional place and it’s hard for me to articulate everything that’s going on. It’s difficult for me to talk about my personal life here (maybe I’ll do that some day) but for now, I’ll update you on what’s going on with my book.
I felt really, really great for about two hours.
I completed the eighth draft of my novel, Hemingway’s Girl, sent it out to my beta readers, critique book clubs, and finally, my editor. I became eager for others to read it and got excited for preliminary feedback.
But then, the sleeplessness started. The fear. The doubt. Obsession over word choice. Worry that I shouldn’t have cut that character after all. Wondering if I was too subtle in my theme building, or worse, too overt.
This state of anxiety will be my existence for awhile, though, so I need to steel myself. Here’s why:
First, imagine me, curled up at my cozy desk with classical music playing, hot coffee and dark chocolate within reach, and an Ernest Hemingway picture looking moodily past me. I’m probably wearing pjs since it’s most likely approaching midnight, the house is quiet, my mini schnauzer is curled up nearby making little dog sleep noises. I’m making up stories and happily lost in a world of my own creation.
Well now, it’s time to come out of that world and enter the bright, noisy, cold, coffeeless-pjless-schnauzerless world of publishing. I have to perfect my logline to have ready for the “elevator pitch,” condense my 85,000 word novel into two pages, and try to make someone fall in love with Hemingway’s Key West the way that I have. Once I get everyone’s critiques around the third week in January, I’ll have to dig into my final set of revisions before the querying process begins. Also around that time, I’ll be heading off to another writing conference and pitching my book to agents. I’ll get three minutes to pitch before moving onto the next line. It will be a bit like speed dating, and for a girl who married her high school sweetheart, quite daunting.
But let me be honest. I romanticized the writing process up there a bit. More than likely, I was staring at my screen, willing myself not to click over to Twitter or my blog roll, yelling at a boy-child to get himself a drink so I could finish a scene, and cursing through my poorly organized research folders, looking for an obscure street name, or date, or timeline. None of it’s easy, but it’s all necessary to the process.
Anyway, I want to thank you for sticking around with me on this journey. Your support has buoyed me more than you know. Your encouragement is my fuel. You make it seem much warmer and cozier in the world outside of my office, and you have my sincere gratitude for that.
I wish you all the best this holiday season.