Working on a revision of my manuscript, I noticed the ©2009 on the cover page. It stuck me that I have years invested in this book, and how writing has become something of a life marker for me.
Time passes, but the work of writing continues, indifferent to the date, the number of hours spent, the non-writing events of your life that take place while the work marches on.
My daughter turns 6 in May. She is my youngest, and she’s turning in to a long-legged youngster before my eyes, her babyhood receding like the beaches on the East coast. Will she remember Mommy writing, and writing, and writing when she recounts her childhood? She already looks forward to seeing my book on the shelf at our local bookstore. How old will she be when that happens?
The truth is, the process of getting a book ready is something that just takes as long as it takes. I’ve learned not to freak out about measuring the time put in, although I do muse about how, with each revision, my hourly pay for the book goes down. And I think, wryly to myself, I may be lucky to get minimum wage for the hours I put in.
Still I can feel that I am a lot closer to my goal. I’ve started another book. I’ve gotten an agent. I’ve built a huge support group of readers and well-wishers. Best of all, I’ve learned to enjoy the journey. I used to despise people who said that, but the grueling process of writing a first novel has changed me. I relax into taking as much time as is necessary, because that’s how you polish something that is good until it truly shines.
I do hope that I’m not still looking at that © 2009 next year, however.