Moving Forward

I’ve battled one major problem since deciding (now four years ago) to write my novel.  Am I good enough?  Is IT good enough?  I walk the fine line every day of self-righteous confidence, and face-palming “what the hell am I thinking?”  I became educated about what agents/editors/publishers want (not that it helps you write it that way) and attended conferences and hacked over every word and sentence and scene to try bringing it up to snuff.  I’ve pitched agents.  I’ve queried agents.  I’ve gotten requests.  I’ve gotten rejections.  The stupid thing is I never should have been pitching or querying in the first place.  I was ready.  But INTO THE MYSTIC was not.

I’ll be honest, I’m wiping away tears and snot right now as I type.  Pulling up your big-girl panties and knowing it’s time to move on is NOT EASY.  But just like having your first child and fumbling through parenthood, I’ve learned a lot along the way.  In the back of my head was the simple fact that ITM was my first attempt at writing a novel.  In other words, writing practice.  It’s a great story, I’m not gonna lie.  Many of you have read it.  But for the love of God I’ve edited and rewritten so damn much that I’m almost lost in my own story now.  Four years, it’s been in my head.  Four YEARS I’ve been chasing perfection, which I thought was attainable.

So I decided to self-publish.  It doesn’t follow “the rules.”  It doesn’t fit into a specific genre.  It does its own thing.  That means its PERFECT for self-pubbing.  Read: I want it in your hands so I’ll give it to you as it is instead of how it should be.  So.  I’m not self-publishing it.  I told you, I’ve turned it so sideways (not even upside down – I think I could FIX upside down.) that I’m lost in it.  I can’t give it to you, or anyone else like that.

It’s my baby, and I feared this day would come.  The day I decided to “give up” on it.  That sounds wrong, doesn’t it?  ITM will always be there, and maybe when grad school is complete I can start a true rewrite and see where it goes.  But for now, I’m thankful for what ITM has taught me: It showed me what I’m capable of, which is far more than I ever imagined.  It gave me an outlet, and a place to find my voice (one of them).  It showed me what a bitch editing is, and always will be.  And it’s definitely teaching me humility at this very moment.  It brought me to conferences, which led me to an amazing group of writers that call me friend and partner, and I promise you, if and when I get published it will ONLY be because of their help and holy awesomeness.

So I’m smiling now because I closed my files on INTO THE MYSTIC and reopened the new project I started in January.  It’s a futuristic, young adult, dark thriller and I can’t wait to stretch my limbs to get this new voice and story on the page.  I’m excited to be moving FORWARD.  You know that feeling you get when you start reading a new book and every cell in your body is bouncing with anticipation?  I get that feeling from a blank page.

Even if you fall on your face, you’re still moving forward. ~ Victor Kiam

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2 thoughts on “Moving Forward

  1. Dearest Sara, I am thinking of all the famous authors who wrote about their life experiences–Louisa May Alcott, Samuel Clements aka Mark Twain, Laura Ingalls Wilder, to name a few. Sometimes the stories that grab the reader are the ones the author has lived. You will do fine, whatever you write. There is certainly no shame in having to start over or change direction, that is what life is about. Just keep writing and never give up on your dream. I know you won’t! With Love, Aunt Patty

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