Sunday, January 31, 2010

Back in the Saddle

So it’s been 11 months since I’ve written a blog entry. Almost a year. When I started this blog in November of 2008, my intention was to write in it all the time. I actually managed to keep that up for four months before the inevitable happened, and I had to stop writing blogs because of lack of time.

Now, in my defense I didn’t stop writing altogether. The whole purpose of this blog is to catalogue my journey as a novelist, and as my energy started to go in that direction, my attention to the blog waned. As much fun as I have jotting down my thoughts online, I woke up in March and realized I’d have to focus my efforts if Wildmane was to be published. Up until that point, all I had was fifty pages of rough draft, which I had begun in September of 2008. A half a year for fifty pages. I had to do better than that. After all, while I do wish to be a successful blogger (I mean really, who doesn’t?), I want to be a successful author much more.

The fifty pages had already been sent to my agent in January. With some encouraging words, he sent me back to the keyboard to double that before taking it to publishers to find a home.

I took a week-long writing sabbatical in May to get me back on track. During the first two days, I roughed out, shaped and polished those 100 pages. My agent was delighted, but the book had changed so much from 50 to 100 pages that he suggested I complete the entire novel before we shopped it around just in case the story underwent a major transformation.

Understand that I had been working on the rough draft all along. During those moments when I couldn’t stand to revise a moment longer, I would jump away from the 100 pages and work on new story. So the rough draft was almost 39,000 words before my week-long writing sabbatical, and in the final three-and-a-half days of uninterrupted work, I produced another 40,000 words and finished it, amassing 79,000 words total. It was a whirlwind of happy creation, and I kept imagining what I could do with months of uninterrupted time.

But I have a full-time job that becomes insanely busy starting in June, and the summer was looming. I have children whom I love dearly and who want my time. I have a fixer-upper house that cries for me to finish all of the projects I’ve begun. I have dogs to walk, a marathon I had insanely committed to for October, and a wife who very tolerantly puts up with my disappearances into fantasy worlds while waiting for me to hold up my half of our life.

To these I returned with a staunch commitment to polish the very (very VERY) rough draft I had created.

I hacked away at the draft during those precious Monday and Tuesday writing nights. June, July, and August went by. Work became crazy. We were short staffed and I was juggling three jobs until we could get someone in to fill the positions. My marathon training became crazy. My mornings and half of my Sundays were consumed by hours of pounding the pavement. Monday and Tuesday nights became a sacred moment where I put my frantic energy into molding the story of Mirolah, Medophae and Toryn. September. October. November.

Finally, I finished my revisions and after running it past a dozen of my friends, I finally had the draft I wanted. On January 12, 2010, I packed up Wildmane and sent it off to my agent, thrusting myself into the Waiting Game.

So now I can take a deep breath and return to my blog for a season. Here’s hoping I can find the time to at least throw up some indications of progress. True, I’ve been gone for almost a year. But hey, in those 11 months, a novel was born.

No comments: