I've been a writer ever since I turned twelve and realized that pen and paper was a terrific outlet for all my teenage angst. At first, I wrote poems and short Christian prose. Then, at thirteen, I wrote a novel. Ok, it wasn't actually a novel. But it was a book. And I did submit it for publication. I mailed three manuscripts (this was pre-internet for us). I remember standing at the tall counter in the post office trembling. I sent it to DoubleDay and Random House, I think... I don't know. That was many years ago. And I can still quote the single rejection letter I got, "Sometimes what authors think is great is not the same thing publishers think is great." At the time, I cried and fretted and threw it away before anyone could witness my rejection. Now, I am sincerely grateful for the person who took a moment to write a short note to a girl with big dreams.
Fast forward to February of this year. I turned 28. And it dawned on me: whether or not I finish my novel, I will still turn 29 next year. In other words, stop waiting for life to begin. It has begun. And it will continue on with or without you. So get moving, Lainie!
And I did. I wrote 45,000 words (actually 45,500 hehe) and started letting friends and family read it. Ugh! Judging by their responses, it wasn't ready yet. But I didn't know what was wrong with it. After all, this was my baby, my finished product. In my mind, it was perfection.
So I took an internet writing class. And began checking out books and websites with writing tips. And I am learning SO much that my mind is totally exploding. I have a special journal just for stuff I learn about writing. Hopefully this will help me keep all my newly learned material in one easy-to-access place.
And now, I am about to begin again. Yes, indeed, I am going to write the whole thing again. And make it better. And slightly longer, as most publishing companies (I am finding) like longer novels. [Not sure why. If you know, please comment the answer.]
And that, my wonderful bloggy friends, is lesson #4: