Thursday, October 15, 2009
After months of research, plotting, writing, and revising, you decide that your book is finished. It's hard to let that baby go because it's your instinct to keep working on it, perfecting it even more. It's near and dear to you. You love your characters. It's the book of your heart.
Through doubt, discouragement, euphoria, excitement, lack of sleep, and maybe even moments of depression, you have persevered. You have accomplished what many have talked about doing, or attempted to do, but haven't actually done. You look at the stack of paper on your desk that represents all your hard work and you're in awe. "I wrote all that," you might say. "I actually wrote a book. And it ain't half bad." At least you hope.
You bask in your accomplishment because you don't want to take the next frightening step: putting it out there for agents to scrutinize and maybe reject. So you delay the inevitable. You clean and dust and polish your office space. You organize the mess of folders holding research and put away the books teetering in precarious stacks all over the floor and around your desk. You weed through all the notebooks containing notes and the piles of loose papers containing more notes, random thoughts, and brainstorming moments. You don't need them now. The book is done.
You sit in your chair. You feel lost. What are you going to do now? Oh, yeah, the query letters. But, no, what are you really going to do? There was that idea, that one you had a couple of months ago. Dang, you wrote some notes. Where are they? You dig through the stacks of neatly organized papers and folders and scatter them all over the place again in your excitement. Aha! At last you find them. You sit down and your brain begins to thrum with plot possibilities. New characters leap to mind. Dialogue writes itself in your head.
"I'm crazy," you mumble. "A real glutton for punishment. Shouldn't I give myself a break? Do I really want to do this again?
You sit down at your computer and start to type, rapidly. Of course you want to do it again. You're a writer.