Hmm. For those of you new to my site, or for anyone who doesn’t know me well, here’s a little background about me and my hopes and dreams.
I’ve adored reading for almost as long as I can remember. One of the first book series that enchanted me was the Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder; I remember reading them in the second grade and wishing I could go back in time. But it wasn’t until middle school, when I discovered the books of Anne McCaffrey, that I started dreaming of being a writer myself. In high school, I dabbled a little in writing, but for the most part just spent my time reading and daydreaming wistfully of writing my own. Many, many, many years later, the planets aligned perfectly, I had surrounded myself with the right people and environments, and I wrote my first novel. It was a glorious feeling – this dream made real that I could see and touch. When my first proof copy came in, I thought I would die from the excitement. I was so giddy that I danced around my living room hugging it to my chest and squealing for at least ten minutes. But now, almost a year after publication, and working on my second novel I’ve realized something painful.
I rushed it.
I was so excited to see my name on the cover of a book, I didn’t take the time I should have to make it worth having my name on it. Oh, I’m not saying it’s bad. Far from it! But it could have been better. I could have taken time to smooth out the edges better, could have developed the world and characters a little more. I could have taken time to make a better cover – though everyone I know thinks it’s cool. I could have gotten a more professional author photo – though the one I chose sums up my personality perfectly. There are a hundred things I could have done – but I didn’t.
And that’s okay.
Life lesson learned. Book two has already taken triple the time to write, and double the time to review. I’m more invested in the story this time and it shows. I’ve reviewed and rewritten. And I’m doing it again. Granted, I’m adding to the story rather than paring it down like almost every self-help guides says you should. Of course, those guides also say you should take out your ‘darlings’ – which I think means to take out the little clever sections or one-liners I love the most, which I think is stupid. I might have it wrong, but it doesn’t really matter. I’m writing the book I want to read, molding and shaping it to be as close to perfect as possible. My perfect. It’s not taking as long as you might imagine – the book should still be out very soon.
It’s just this time, I don’t want to look back and think, “I could have done better.” No. This time, I’m going to stand proud.
This time, I’ll point and say, “This is me.”