Before the Novel was THE Novel

Today, there was a click-through to my blog from an old post I wrote here in 2008. That post was about Imaginary Girls (formerly called Mythical Creatures, so in the old post I called the novel “M”), which I had just begun rewriting from scratch. At this point, I had no idea what would come of the book, and I said this:

M … does not have an official schedule. No deadline. No editor waiting to read it. No outline I am forced to write per the contract, no contract at all. I am writing M for myself only, and nothing may come of it after—I have to know that. That’s the reality of writing novels.

If my previous experience writing novels only for myself is any indicator, I could go off on a bender and spent FIVE YEARS writing a novel that’s too bloated and personal to get published. Or I could spend three years writing and rewriting a novel with a ridiculous concept that I will later use as a doorstop.

No. Not this time.

You know, that could have turned out terribly. I could be sitting here now with my heart broken (again). I’m so grateful that novel turned out to be THE novel, that the moment I was in then was THE moment that changed so much of my life.

The doors that had been closed to me were beginning to open. And I had no idea. You never do, do you? That’s why—if you want to be a published author—you can absolutely never stop trying.

Never.

The novel you start (or re-start from scratch!) today could be the novel you publish tomorrow.

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