I’ve been working on my novel for several years now; I have lost count of how many years exactly. At workshops given by experienced novelists, I always learn something that will make my story better. I love the process of adding subtext, developing characters, and using place mini-crises to move the plot forward. But some days, like today, I allow myself to feel discouraged by all I have to do before I am finished.
Because I read writers’ newsletters, blogs and social network posts, I know many authors are churning out thousands of words a day, publishing their exciting novels, meeting with agents…and I wonder if I am too slow. Will I ever be ready to say “it’s done?” Will I live that long?
Although I’ve always loved to write, it was only after my fiftieth birthday I began to take my writing seriously, to send my work out into the world, to make money from it. Feature stories for the local paper, magazine articles and personal essays take me hours, days, weeks to complete. I don’t think it has anything to do with perfection. I just want my work to be the best it can be.
Some Monday mornings, it seems I’ll perish before I publish my first novel, which may well be my only novel. I can’t just throw it out there, unvarnished, not when I know better. The only thing to do, I guess, is to get back to work.
Let me know if you find an easier way. Please.