As some of you know, I’ve been working hard toward having a draft ready for my editor by Thanksgiving. I’ve been working since about May to generate brand new content and revise it all into a working draft. I’ve been riding the emotional rollercoaster to some dark, low places. There have been a few high points too.
Then, last week, about a month early, my editor said, “Just send your draft now, whatever you have.” It scared me, but I trust her, so I did it. And kinda freaked out.
But my editor Jill is great.
So, now my November is changing. These days that I thought would be filled with frantic revisions … are now free. I’m hoping to read a TON this month, rest a lot, prepare myself for the next round of revisions.
Tomorrow marks the one-year anniversary of when I decided to switch ideas and write Yes Novel. One year. And I still have so far to go. I admit that in recent days, I’ve doubted that decision. I think, though, that the middle drafts are just a scary, uncertain, messy, terrifying place to be. I can’t even decide if it’s good for me or not. I just know I don’t love it. I feel awkward and fumbly and the finish line appears so far off it’s barely in my viewfinder.
And this, too, is what writing novels looks like. Am I okay with that? If this is the life I’m going to choose, I need to understand that I’m choosing to sit in discomfort for extended periods of time. It reminds me of ERP, which was the worst and best thing, and lasted three unending months. But the middle drafts of a novel are like sitting in that stew for … a year … sometimes more. While facing down a deadline. It’s like running a race without knowing knowing how far away the finish line is … so you have a hard time figuring out what pace you need, you know? You’re just told to run like hell and you do.
But it’s worth it.
Ask me again next summer, when Yes Novel will be (please Lord) complete.
What I do know is that this brief respite while my editor reads the draft is one I needed.
Plans change. Hold them loosely, JLS.