Two Years Ago Yesterday
Two years ago yesterday, I started blogging about the experience of working to become a published author. Now, in less than a year, my first book will be published. It’s been through all the edits, and I just sent my first-pass pages back in.
Working on the second book is now my creative focus. This is something I never understood before getting into the groove of publishing – the second book (in a series, anyway) in no way responds to audience feedback from the first book. The second book is already turned in, revised, and line edited before the first book even hits shelves. In fact, the second book is a huge gift in that way – I’m so deep into revising it and solving its problems that there’s not much headspace left to worry about the first book. GROUNDED is out of my hands, and soon it will belong to readers, and that is beautiful and exhilarating and terrifying – and not really my business. My business is writing. That’s the part I can control – sort of, anyway.
I’m struggling to revise a scene right now; everything I do with it seems to fall flat or make it worse than it was the first time, but it can’t stay as it was because it’s inconsistent with the rest of the revision. Frustrating. But if I’ve learned anything in the past couple of years it’s that this scene will work itself out if I keep showing up to the keyboard.
And that’s how it is, two years later. Pretty much the same stuff. Writing is coming along. Motherhood is good – my almost four-year-old son is sitting next to me right now playing a video game, and we’re about to read a slew of books. Teaching is the only thing that’s a little different this year, because although the school year has started, I’m not there. I haven’t gone back to work yet, and I won’t for another week or so, because I’m recovering from surgery (I’m fine now). It’s slow going and requires me to be very patient with myself and the world (not my strong suit). However, the good things about this recovery period are that 1) it’s given me extra time with my kiddo, 2) it’s given me more time to write, and 3) I’ve begun to make a dent in my towering to-read pile – in the past couple of weeks I’ve read FLIPPED, MONSTER, THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL, MIRACLE’S BOYS, NERVE, and THE GREAT GREENE HEIST, and now I’m in the middle of COUNTING BY 7S. I’ve enjoyed them all, and I may write some of them up soon, in separate blog posts. My to-read pile is still intimidatingly huge, but I don’t think that’s ever going to change. Here’s a picture.
(And this is just the MG/YA pile, the adult books are languishing on a shelf and I really need to pick one up soon – I think I’ll go for LIFE AFTER LIFE.)
Well, this post has been a bit meandering, but that’s okay. Here’s to the new year of blogging and recovering and writing and teaching and mothering, not in that order. And since I’ve set a goal for myself each year of this blog, here’s one for 2014-2015:
No matter what happens this year, no matter what the reviews say, no matter how the sales begin, I will be joyful. This is an extraordinary year in which I get to realize a dream. I’m choosing in advance to be grateful for every second of it.