Saturday, September 10, 2011

Letting Go

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 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.


Sara Davison said...

The best advice I ever got, Beth, was if you believe in your story, never, ever give up. It is difficult, but not impossible, to get published, and perseverance is the key. Keep trying until you find the person who believes in your story as much as you do. Best of luck!
Sara Davison

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