The Novel that Changed Me

Last week, after six months of labour, I finished my eighth novel. I took a couple days to glory in a finished product, I took my family out to dinner, I took a deep breath. This novel was a difficult journey–blistering emotionally.

There were times I thought I couldn’t finish, that I just couldn’t be in this woman’s head anymore. Every scene was a hand over hand battle to pull myself up a cliff, not because I didn’t have a passion for it, but because of what it took out of me.

They say you have to bleed for your writing. I bled for this one. This novel changed me.

After the rejoicing over finishing ends, I always go through a low time. I miss the characters, I no longer get to spend my days with. I begin to consider the amount of editing I have ahead of me to get my manuscript in good enough shape to even show my mother.

But, before I had even finished that manuscript my mind was drifting and asking the question, “What next?”

I have a dozen ideas in my futures folder, but really, the choice was easy–or hard, however you want to look at it. It’s the story I had in my head before I started novel number eight back in May. It’s the story I don’t want to write.

So I’m sketching out my characters. Getting to know these new friends I’ll spend the next few months with. And I realize–as hard as this is–so many rejections, so many set-backs, so much to learn–I love to write. I will write even if I’m the only one who ever reads it. Words are my dance steps, my paint, my piano.

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