when i finished the first draft of my second novel, i joyfully told EVERYONE I KNEW. the same way you'd tell everyone if you'd completed a marathon. or graduated from college. or, you know, BIRTHED A CHILD.
it was a great accomplishment and a triumphant moment. but then something kept happening. people started asking me the same question. it started about a week after i'd finished the first draft. in passing conversation, i happened to mention that i was spending about 6 hours a day writing. and this dear person, who probably loves me more than anyone else in the world, asked me:
but i thought you'd finished your book?
then same thing happened again with someone else. and then again. and it hit me: there MIGHT be a couple of things that the normal person doesn't understand about writing, or writers, or maybe just about me. and of course it falls on my shoulders to correct this injustice.
and so. two things. first: writing is rewriting. i've never heard of any published novelist who wrote a perfect first draft and never changed a thing. many writers i know spend AT LEAST as much time revising as they do first-drafting. i'm no different. it took me about nine months to write the first draft, but that was writing about 1 hr a day. and i suspect it'll take me about that many hours to rewrite and revise until i feel like it's ready for the publishing world.
and here's the other thing. even when i am done with this second novel, even when it feels complete and like it's as good as i can make it on my own, even if it gets published, EVEN IF IT NEVER GETS PUBLISHED, even then i'll still be writing. because it turns out i love it, and it makes me feel alive and energized and there are so many stories i have to tell.
and i have a sneaking suspicion that even after i die, i'll still be making up stories. i'm just not sure the publishing process will be the same in heaven.
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