I have been writing all my life, starting stories but never ending them. I would stop writing for long periods of time and then I would start again. I even tried the NaNoWriMo challenge but it was not for me.
It was not until a month and half/two months ago that I actually began a story. Other than the fact that I love mythology, especially Greek and Egyptian, I honestly do not remember how the story came about. I worked diligently on my book for a couple of weeks telling myself that I would be done by July 20th. Then I stopped for a while. It was not until a few weeks ago that I decided to start back up again. I said that I would write 13 pages a day (the amount I thought I needed to reach my goal date). July 20th came and went and I was still not finished however…
Yesterday (7/24/2012) around 3:10-3:15pm I finished writing my book:
BLOOD OF ISIS
I was overjoyed, it was one of my happiest moments. I actually quite surprised that I was able to concentrate on driving home. Nothing could have brought me down…or so I thought.
I decided to celebrate by going to Half Price Books Store. Weird, you might think but not entirely. You see, the reason I went to go lit agent hunting. I had previously read that a good way to start your literary agent search was to go to a bookstore and look in the acknowledgements section of every similar genre book for the author’s agent.
What a brilliant plan, I thought! So in honor of my newly finished book I hightailed it to HPB and started making my list. After I had my list of about twenty agents, I went home and began to look them up.
All of them were extremely easy to find and they ranged from huge agencies to small boutiques. When I had finished I had about two agents who I really felt I connected with and few other that I liked.
So I have my list of agents and their submission policies…now what?
It time for me to edit my book but I was exhausted so I called it a day and went to bed.
Today I began again, I started at the beginning of my book and began to edit, revise, add/take away. I should have known that was a bad idea. I have always heard that you should take time off before revisiting your finished work…now I know why.
I started getting frustrated. I hated my book. It sucked. I began to think of all of my favorite authors and book and started to get angry, my book is never going to be as good as theirs, I said.
Then I remembered this article I had read about why teenage writers fail. Now before you get defensive, it was not saying that teenage writers always fail, it was just talking about some of the main characteristics that make them susceptible to failure. I read the article out of pure curiosity, I did not think any of those things would apply to me because while I am still a teenager I have had many life experiences, I consider myself to be very mature for my age, and I am almost out of my teens.
Sure enough, I was right. None of them applied to me, except for one: how teenage writers often, because they have many writers they look up to, use many of those other writers writing elements and compare their writing to their favorite writer’s.
It can probably be said to be my biggest writing flaw, and I did not even realize it until I had finished. You see, when I write I often tell myself “I cannot write this or that or have my characters say/do this because then it will sound like this book/author” or I will look at my work and say that it will never be as good as someone like Holly Black’s writing.
The problem, I finally realized, with all that is I might never know what Cassandra Claire’s first draft of City of Bones looked like, for all I know it could have been horrible/she could have thought it was horrible until she finished editing it and was finally able to see the final version.
I still do not like parts of my book but depression/frustration/anger/ all of those emotions will do nothing but prevent me from writing and improving.
So I have decided to take a much needed break. I have several of book reviews and author interviews that I have pushed aside and allowed to pile up while I have been busy writing, and I have been neglecting my daily blogging.
I always knew this was going to be a long process but it is finally time I realize that the rest of my life cannot stop while I am writing/editing/searching for an agent, etc…
It is also time that I realize that this might be a longer process that I intended. When I used to hear writers say that writing is hard I would laugh, especially after finishing my book in less than two months and already having started another one. I have never thought writing was hard and I still do not. What is hard is what comes after the writing is done, the editing, the searching, the waiting…the endless waiting. My goal is to have my book, any one of my books, published by the time I graduate college, roughly three years. It might not happen by then but I have a good feeling that it will.
Until that day, that wondrous day I shall continue to live my life, write often, and blog here about my journey so that all you present and future writers out there can know what it really takes to get your book to the bookshelf.