I have barely existed for the past couple of months. First, I finished out the school year, and then mentally prepared for the revision of my next novel, after reading the 12-page revision letter I received from my editor. Then I hesitantly strategized, mapping out a way through all I had to do. Once exams were over, I opened up the manuscript and dove in.
I have worked steadily since then, but for the past few weeks, with the sale of my house and our subsequent move looming, this has been my schedule:
- Up at 6 am. Drink lots of coffee.
- Write for 5 hours.
- Try not to collapse.
It’s been absolutely brutal. I am trying to keep so many balls up in the air it’s stupid. I mean that. It’s utterly ridiculous what I’m doing: rewriting a novel while selling my home.
Which is what I’ve done. Because my strategy was good, but you know what was better? Burning the whole thing down and starting over. Yup, amid one of the most stressful events in one’s life, I threw gasoline on the fire. The result? A damn fine draft.
I’ll begin reading it through tomorrow, but I already know it’s awesome. And not awesome as in my editor’s going to read it and say, “Yay, no more revision necessary!” More like. “Good. Now, do this…” followed by maybe only ten pages of suggestions.
But at least I’m here. Fifteen minutes ago I wrote the last line, and it will change, but so what. I made it all the way through. And this story has taxed me like nothing else I have ever written.
I have broken the mold of my author brain and have used all the soupy goodness to create something that I can only hope will resonate in enormous ways. Because that’s the goal. Each book is different. Each book is better. And LOOK PAST is going to blow your minds. Sure, you won’t be able to read it for over a year, but yeah, it’s going to kick much ass.
I know this because it’s already kicked the shit out of mine. Which is also the goal. If this were easy, we’d all be writing novels. This work, because it’s capital W, effing, Work takes a part of your soul to complete. Not just hours. But time, energy, care, compassion, and a constant self-doubt that propels you to seek out new ways and better ways to tell the story. Because if you don’t, what’s the point?
And so I exist again. In the sense that I can write this and now go pack up my bedroom. But, hey, wait until you see the view from my new office.
Thank you for your patience as I have worked my from the dead back to the living.