Eight Years Blogging and I’m Almost There

eight years blogging

It’s been eight years since I published my first post on this blog. That’s 13 years on Venus. It’s two presidential terms. It’s the amount of time it took to build the “Big Ditch” that connected the Hudson River to Lake Erie.

In that time, I have turned a toddler into a tween, created another human from scratch, moved from the hippest neighborhood in the country to the much more kid-friendly suburban community we’re in now, became an auntie, watched my sister get married, traveled to South America (twice) and read hundreds of books.

What I have not done is finish my novel. Arg!

Almost There

But I am close. I finished a draft a couple of months ago and gave it to my most trusted beta reader (aka, my husband). He gave me a good line edit and I am currently working my way through what I hope is a final round of revisions.

My hope is to be done by early November. I recently applied and was accepted to the Dorland Arts Colony for a one-week writing retreat in November and while I’m there, I intend to finish this project. Done. Like, really done. For good.

Quality Time

On retreat, I hope to spend big chunks of uninterrupted time taking in the finished product and making final tweaks. This is the work that is impossible to do while juggling work and family.

I want to read it through. I want to record myself reading it out loud and then listen to it while I take long walks through the desert landscape. I want to fall asleep with pages on my chest and wake up reading.

If all goes well, I’ll come home just in time for Thanksgiving with a completed manuscript. Woohoo! Because everyone knows the holidays are the best time to query agents. Right? (…crickets…)

What’s Next

In truth, the holidays are a tough time for anything. I will probably take the time to write a killer query letter and finalize the list of agents I want to reach out to. Maybe I’ll finish a short story that’s been percolating in my brain. I will also probably pull my second novel out of its drawer and read it through to see where I’m at with it.

My next novel will not take eight years. This has been a long process precisely because I’ve been learning to write a novel as I go. That’s not to say the next novel won’t have things to teach me, but I made a lot of missteps in the sixteen drafts of this first novel. Those are not mistakes I will make again. The next one simply has to be a little easier.

Right?

All I can do is hope. And keep writing.

For those of you who have finished a novel, did you have final steps you took? How did you know when you were done?

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4 Responses to Eight Years Blogging and I’m Almost There

  1. Bryan Fagan October 12, 2017 at 6:21 am #

    I am stunned my town of Eugene, Oregon is not on the hippy list. A walk through some of our neighborhoods and you will have been convinced you stepped into a time loop. Stop the presses….story idea.

    I am happy to read you are finishing your novel. Do not worry about the time it took. That book grew right along with you and soon, in your hands, you will read a story full of words and sentences you never would have dreamed of eight years ago. When it is complete remember what you did. You accomplished something many people are to afraid to try. You created your own style of people and placed them in a world known only to you and that’s something special.

    Congrats!!!!!!

    • April October 12, 2017 at 7:28 am #

      Thank you Bryan. Everything you say rings true. I have grown so much as a writer. And crossing that finish line, feeling satisfied with the novel I put out into the world, that will make it all worth while.

      • Bryan Fagan October 13, 2017 at 8:13 am #

        This is really sad, I just noticed the snail in the picture. Western Oregon is ground zero for those little critters. They should be on our state flag. Looks like new glasses are in the works.

        • April October 18, 2017 at 8:48 am #

          Ha. Yes, might want to get the peepers checked out.

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