This morning at 2 am EST, after eight months, 61,000 words and eighty-three drafts, I sent my newest book to my editor at Beaten Track Publishing. I’m romantically inclined to say writing this book was a labor of love, but the practical me says it was just labor. Eight months is pretty good for me. Usually it takes me a year to write a book, though Unbroken only took nine months.
I am amazed I wrote 30,000 words in the last three months so essentially half the book was written in three months. Reading it though a last time this week before submitting it, I realized once again that the story I tell isn’t the story I sat down to write back in August. And months into the writing of it, I realized I had to restructure it because the way I envisioned telling the story—in flashback, starting at the end and working forward—just didn’t work for the story.
At first the idea of writing a different book and structuring it differently to my first idea, scared me, but this is my fifth book; I have learned to trust my instincts, to believe in my talent. With this one, I wanted to challenge myself, to write something a little different, in a different way. This story is tighter, more pared down than my previous books. It’s more like my blog series, The Corporatorium, than my other books.
Will readers like it? I don’t know. But I do and I’m rather proud of it. But I’m still checking my email every ten minutes to see if my editor, has sent any feedback yet.
In the meantime, I need to pick my life back up: respond to ignored emails and calls; bathe the dogs; tackle the inch of dust on every surface in the library; sort and file my notes from the book that litter the desk in my office, spilling onto the radiator and the floor.
Yes, leaving the writing cave is even scarier than entering it and setting out to tell the story in your head and heart.