Friday, June 10, 2011

One footstep at a time

It takes a long time to write a book.

I'm writing one now. I'm in the middle of it. I'm revising, and I have a list of things yet to do, a list that suggests I will be working on this same manuscript for weeks to come.

My second book (which is already finished) is still about seven months from release.

So here I am, in a desert-like stretch of time devoid of big publishing milestones. I'm plodding along. The book I'm working on has presented me with some short-lived snags, but I've found solutions and moved on. Day after day, I'm working. I'm making progress, but it's not splashy. I get a little farther along this road each day.

This is what being a novelist has been like for me. I've had some nice plums--publication, subrights sales, awards--but they don't shower in on a daily or even weekly basis. Mostly, I write (or edit) a few scenes. And the next day, I write or edit a few more. And the next day ...

This life is not for adrenaline junkies. At times like this, I would love to have big exciting news to keep me going.

Yet I look at the characters who are coming to life in my manuscript. I look at the battles they are fighting and the ways in which they sometimes face up so bravely to their challenges, and at other times stumble or flee, and in both cases I love them. Writing this novel may take a while, but at least I'm enjoying the company.


  1. Hopefully, this comment goes through here. Maybe I've won my battle with blogger.

    Since BEA ended a few weeks ago, the authors' blogs have been inundated with all the successes of some promising and upcoming writers. It tends to make the writing environment so much more giddy than it actually is.

    So much more goes on behind it. Thanks for sharing the daily life we really do go through.

  2. The fireworks are more exciting, so they get more attention. But for each 20-second burst of light, there are hours of setup involved.