So I haven't written in awhile, and since I'm planning to go out this will probably be a short one.
I spent my morning working on my novel. I'm in that sort of "final revision/editing" stage where I'm not doing much actual substance change, but merely cleaning up typos and tweaking words here and there. After over a year of writing, I'm almost ready to start sending it out the door.
And this is overwhelming to me. As a writer, I am bombarded with tales of how difficult it's going to be, how many rejections I'm going to get, how long a haul this will be. Yet this novel is something precious and special...to me. These characters live in my head. I've spent over a year with them now. I know them better than I know most of my friends. If I were sane, I'd pick another dream, something easier, something less likely to crush me, something not nearly impossible to achieve.
Yet, as much as I hate hearing these messages of negativity and pessimism over and over again, I understand why they're out there. Editors and agents get tons of submissions every day, and there are people out there who think they can throw a few words on paper and voila, it's a novel! Writing fiction, like everything else, is a skill, one that takes time and practice to develop. I've been writing fiction since I was six or seven years old. I honestly don't know if I'm any good now. I believe I can put words together, make them clear and concise. I believe I can write without an overwhelming number of typos or editorial mistakes. After spending five years as an editor, I would have been in big trouble if I couldn't. But as to whether I can bring a story together and have it be interesting, entertaining, and coherent...I still doubt myself some days.
I have worked hard on this book. I have written and rewritten and reviewed and workshopped and revised and then revised again. I tried to make this book the best that it could be, the best I could make it. Whether anyone else will recognize that, I don't know. I hope so.
But now, there are only two paths left for my fledgling novel: out the door, or back into the bowels of my computer where it will remain forever. And if I choose to leave it on my hard drive...well, then my dream really will be impossible.