Sunday, August 19, 2012

Putting "The Dream" on hold

Right now, my writer mind is pulled in a million directions. Well, a few, anyway. I'm preparing to go back to work after summer break and teach a few dozen 15-16 year-olds about Beowulf and Macbeth. Writing syllabi and lesson plans might seem boring to some, but for me they are actually a much needed respite from my two writing projects. The first project is my option book, which I hope to become my second book, for my current publisher. The second project is my baby. Not my literal baby -- I'm all done with that, thank you very much! :)

No, this baby is THE ONE. It's the manuscript I've always wanted to write. It's the book that has the best storyline and the strongest dialogue. It's the best thing I've ever written, ever. And there's no way it will see the light of day any time soon.

Publishing can be complicated, but one truth is universal: it's slow. Painfully slow. Horribly, mind-numbingly slow. That's just the way it is. The only way to deal with the lag between writing, querying, pitching, selling, signing contracts, etc. is to accept it and move on. Preferably while you're still writing something.

So, my pet project, my "baby", isn't going any where for awhile. And that can be exceptionally frustrating. As a writer, like a lot of writers, I can be pretty self-depricating. I often second guess how good my writing is or whether I can make it. But my "baby" is good. I know it's good. I'm not even embarassed to say it. I'm proud. It's the book that does what I want to do -- it speaks to teenagers with a voice they can relate to. It captures a viewpoint that is raw. I can't wait until this book is on the shelf.

But, first, I owe a book to my publisher. When you are releasing a novel in a certain catagory or genre, you often need to follow it up with a similar book. That eliminates my "baby" from the running -- it's nothing like my first book, TASTE TEST. It's dark and gritty, whereas TASTE TEST is light and funny and romantic.

So, what will I do until my "baby" can enter the world? I'll keep writing it. I'll keep adding and creating and moving mountains to make it better. In the mean time, I'll write my option book and make it the best book I can write. Because, in the end, the best way to honor my "baby" is to establish a reader base with the first few books I have published.

I'm very impatient. If nothing else, this industry has taught me how to relax a little bit and wait for others to move the ball along. The old Kelly would have struggled greatly with the concept that my "baby" book won't be in the public sphere any time soon. Instead, I'm trying to look at it as though I'm setting the stage for the "baby" book. And on days like today, when I just want to share it with the whole world, I remind myself that when you wait for something that matters, it's almost always worth it.

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