finished, again

I finished another draft of my novel today.

Finished is a funny word, because it’s not anywhere close to finished-for-real, but it’s completed another phase of the process of trying to get it into a real live book that someday a stranger will buy in a bookstore and read. And as much as I love writing for the sake of writing itself, I really really REALLY want to write something that becomes a published book that someone looks at or hears about and says “cool, I want to read that!”

The writing process is pretty frustrating sometimes. My goal was to finish this draft for Canadian Thanksgiving. I was inches away … and then still inches away a week later … and then I finally got it sent to my beta readers at the end of October, and they sent me their feedback … and then I had to rewrite the last quarter all over again. Now I’ll wait for feedback on that last section, and then send it to my copyeditor friend. After that stage, I’ll have to do those revisions. Then I can start sending out my fragile, delicate word baby to people who will send back a two-line email that says “Thanks for thinking of me but I’m not interested.” They are just doing their job and that is okay, except for the part where I will be weeping in my closet because no one loves me and I’m a terrible writer and I’ve wasted so much time.

It’s not very hard to find out this side of the traditional-published-writer process; people write about it all the time. I’m not special or unique; I’m not going to be a superstar bestseller, or win a bunch of awards or anything. I’m just trying to write stories that mean something to me, and I’m one of many. It’s hard not to find that discouraging because I want to be a special snowflake. But in lieu of being a snowflake, which melts, maybe I can finish the book I started, go through all the stages, create an entire book that temporarily scratches the itch I have to tell stories and make things, and then maybe someone will like it enough to start the next phase.

Fingers crossed.