Sunday, 18 September 2011

Am I There Yet?

I was in Winners the other day, buying overpriced shoes for one son and an overpriced lunch box for the other. On my way out, mid-cluck over the outrageous receipt, I ran into a writer friend. She’d just signed a deal with a small press to have two of her historical romances published in the next year. I was happy for her and congratulated her warmly.
Two weeks later, we’re talking on the phone and she apologizes for her “outburst.”
“I didn’t realize I could be so immature!” she said. I was surprised – two as yet unpublished novels = years of work. Girlfriend had a right to be happy. But what I think she really meant was this: I didn’t mean to rub in the fact that I have a book deal and you don’t.*
“If it were me, I’d take out a full page ad in the paper,” I told her. And that’s a promise. When my turn comes, everyone will be the first to know. I’m already working on my victory dance. Because if I am lucky enough to have success, Lord know’s Ill have worked my tail off to get it.
When I started out writing TKS, I had no inkling of the effort and determination it would require to write a great book. I read John Gardener’s The Art of Writing a Novel and skipped right over the part where he warns aspiring novelists that their contemporaries from college will be making partner at their law firms while they’ll still be labouring over their first novel.
But the more time I put in, the more drafts I write, the better I get and the more clearly I see what it takes to write something entertaining and original. Some people knock it of first crack. But not I, dear readers. But that’s OK. I’m learning to be patient.

* Yet.