Last weekend my husband I traveled to Portland, Oregan for a delightful, moving, and beautiful wedding and baby shower for one of my nearest and dearest. It was a weekend without the children, time spent with friends from all over the country, and a general good time.
On the flight to and from Portland, I had four uninterrupted hours to myself. I thought about reading (I’m in the middle of my first non-romance book in months) or watching a movie, but what I ended up doing was working on my romance novel.
I’m so glad I did.
Currently, my romance book stands at 33,330 words, which I think I can officially call the half-way point.
So what have I learned since the last time I wrote?
- I work best with no Internet to distract me
- I work best in the morning, however in the morning I am either at work or chasing my children, so I almost exclusively write at night
- I am always looking towards my next step rather than focusing on actually writing the novel
The truth is that I desperately want to be done writing so I can start editing. And once I start editing, I want to start writing query letters. And so forth. Really, what I need is some validation that I should continue on this journey.
Writing a book is a little bit like having a baby – not in how hard it is, because having a baby is harder (at least so far). But in the fact that you don’t know if you are seeing what everyone else is seeing.
For example, when my first daughter Annie was born, I thought (and still think) she was the most beautiful creature to grace this Earth. However, one of my great-aunts informed me otherwise, telling me that it was good she had such an outgoing personality because she wasn’t very cute.
In the 3.5 years that Annie has been alive it never occurred to me that anyone would not be won over by her beautiful little face.
That’s kind of how I feel about this book. I think it’s ok? I re-read parts and try to compare them to some of my favorite authors and while they’re not quite as good, maybe it’s passable for my first draft? Or maybe it’s garbage and because I’m writing it, I just can’t see that.
To that end, I have a few thoughts as to how to figure out if I have the author writing gene or not.
- Hire a professional editor
- Join the Facebook groups, Romance Writers of America, or Women’s Fiction Writers Associations and look for tips on finding really, really, really honest beta readers
Before I can do any of that though, I have to finish the book.
For those of you looking for a professional editor, here are two that I’ve found in my searches (when I was procrastinating writing, of course).
And that’s where I stand.
Now to get back to writing.