This summer I finished my second book.
I finished another book two years ago, but that one was just a trial run. I don't regret writing a book and shelving it; quite the opposite, in fact. I think writing a book sort of taught me HOW to write a book. (Or rather, what I need to do to write a book).
No lie, there's sweet victory in typing the last few words of your very own novel.
It is damnably fleeting, however. It simply feels like the first step to me now.
Here are my steps:
1. Finish my book with a draft I love. (Complete!) This is a big step for me because I refuse to consider any draft complete that I don't truly enjoy and consider to be beyond a state of rough draft. Writer's group is for rough drafts.
2. Send it to 3-5 beta readers and get feedback.
3. Get to work on the next book.
4. Work in beta readers' feedback while crafting a great query letter and researching agents.
That seems like a daunting list, right?
Of course, kids and life and a job get in the way. I've started freelancing for a textbook company and while it provides amazingly fun research and writing experience that I'm getting PAID to do (woo-hoo!), it certainly throws a wrench in my timetable.
A friend has been my anchor of inspiration this month, however. She wakes up at 5:30 every morning to work out. Think you read that wrong? I thought I'd heard it wrong the first time! FIVE-blistering-THIRTY every morning except Saturday and Sunday, when she "sleeps in" until 6! I mean…think of all you could get done if you did that. Are you thinking about it? I did. A lot.
So I'm doing it, too. Well, I'm trying. I give myself a pass on the nights I'm up all hours with the babes, or can't sleep from 2-4 a.m. or some such nonsense.
Here's the thing: if I've got goals, they're not going to get themselves accomplished. If I want to write a book, I need to write it. If I need more time, I need to make more time. Period.
So here's to my new job, my completed book draft, and my new book!