From one newbie writer to another, just the two of us. Okay, so I’m three years into this adventure, and maybe you’re one year in. Let me tell you about one year in, and how you can fast forward past a lot of stuff that will suck you dry, sap your time, and milk your mojo.
One year in: You care too much about everything. Who’s getting what treatment from what editor, what publisher, etc. You notice every eyebrow wiggle on loops, even when no one can actually wiggle an eyebrow unless it’s YouTube. You choose sides, take stances, champion causes. You read submission guidelines incessantly. You surf when you should write. You bitch and moan to folks who will out your bitching and moaning (I promise, you will be betrayed). You notice infighting, care dearly about it, and get involved when you should duck for cover. But you got a few good reviews and thought that might mean something.
Two years in: You’ve burnt some bridges, mended some fences, pulled out on a contract or two, had a company go belly up (and of course they had your baby), tried for an agent, felt like shit because you embarrassed yourself, realized how new you are, and well, maybe even changed your pen name. You got some more good reviews and still thought that might mean something. Still, family and friends ask when you’re really going to be published–like for real. Paper.
Three years in: Hmmn. You realize how new you really are. You used to read how “Sarah M. has been writing for ten years and this is her first sale” and think it was preposterous. Now you understand it. You wish you were Sarah. But you aren’t cause you still haven’t written the book of your voice (gotta love that so much better than heart, thank you ladies who will never see this). You still lack craft and confidence and patience and discipline. But, you know what you need now.
What’s next? Someone four years in, finish this for me….