Summer Break? Not Really
This has been a long, hot, smoky, burny summer. In Colorado we’ve had a record number of days in the 90s, way too many wildfires, an amazing (in a bad way) hail storm that took out our roof and 35,000 others in the area, and, much like the rest of the country, drought. Too much drought. Blech.
That’s enough to want to take the summer off from blogging. Right? Plus the fact that many writers just like to take the summer off to spend it with family, do the vacation thing, enjoy the long days. Right?
That wasn’t me. I did take the summer off from blogging but it wasn’t a conscious decision. What was a conscious decision was to focus on my book, my protagonist, the adventure that is snug inside my typed pages, and finish that first draft.
And last Thursday, August 16th, I did it. I finished that first draft. Woo hoo! Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, I have written a novel. 350 pages. And there was much rejoicing. And a lovely, yummy, swoony bottle of wine with the husband. All good. We celebrated. We enjoyed the weekend.
And now it’s back to work. Because is the book done? No. Not by a long shot. I really should have typed “The End of this Phase” at the end, rather than just “The End.” Now comes more critiquing, editing, building in depth and color and zing.
Don’t get me wrong. There is much that I’m happy with in my novel right now. But I think of it more as the foundation and the walls of a house being built. That’s done. Now I need to put in the flooring, the countertops and the shiny new appliances, paint it, decorate it, maybe hang some art. And then I can move in. Or rather, the readers can move in.
So I’m back at it. People have asked me how long this will take. Every time I’ve tried to answer that question, I later discover I’ve underestimated. Tell me – how long did it take you to write your first novel and get it ready for agents and editors?
Happy rest of summer!