To be a writer is to sit down at one’s desk in the chill portion of every day, and to write; not waiting for the little jet of the blue flame of genius to start from the breastbone – just plain going at it, in pain and delight. To be a writer is to throw away a great deal, not to be satisfied, to type again, and then again, and once more, and over and over….
Earlier last week I finished a book. Well, the first draft anyway. Then I put it down for a few days and Saturday, I picked up that huge binder and began the process of editing and revision. Then I’ll send it out, chapter by chapter to my crit partners who will pick it apart and send them back to me and then I’ll revise again. And then, I’ll send to beta readers and of course they’ll see things I need to address so I’ll revise again and then I’ll send to my agent. And then after it’s been looked at, read, picked apart, put back together, tightened, shortened, lengthened and honed - it’ll be printed up and mailed to my editor.
I was sort of afraid to pick it up. In fact, last night I was afraid to.
Afraid for a multitude of reasons - this is my first NY single title. Will it be good enough? Will my editor like it or when she sees it will she rue the day she signed me? When I read it, will it be what I remember? Better? Worse? How much work will it be to revise?
The list goes on really because I’ve found fear to be a constant companion since I sold my first book. In truth, I’m not sure anything is truly worth working for if you don’t want it bad enough you have fear of losing it.
The secret of becoming a writer is to write, write and keep on writing.
But I will pick it up again tonight, and tomorrow and every day after until it's done. I will revise it and I will make it the best I possibly can. Because it’s the only way to finish. Because I love the story and I want my editor to love it too. I want the readers to love it. Because I’m a writer and we write.
Lauren Dane is currently working on Undercover - a futuristic, menage, bdsm flavored erotic romance due to release from Berkley Heat December 2, 2008.