Well. It's been a tough summer, writing-wise.
In June I sent off my manuscript with great optimism, thinking it was ready for the big show.
It wasn't. When I looked at it with all honesty, I hadn't given myself enough of a break between end of draft and revision (1 week) or end of incorporating revisions from crit partners and sending it out there (1 week). I was so dang excited about the concept and the book I didn't give it enough time, or room to grow and deepen. I didn't give myself enough time in any sense.
So that's what this summer has been about. On the writing front I was drained, and a little bit broken. So I took about a month and just filled the well. Read without guilt, spent time outdoors and on vacation with my family, watched movies, watched Buffy, all that good stuff. In the background, occasionally, I thought about the book--but not much. I let it be.
Then I took a month and went back and did research. I needed to add a lot more worldbuilding (in a contemp book!), so I read nonfiction stuff on the topic, first-person accounts, histories, newspaper articles, videos. When I finally felt stuffed with knowledge and restless to get started, I re-crafted the plot to reflect the research and my thoughts, and realized how very much of the book I wanted to change.
But you know...when you haven't really written in two months? It is HARD to get back in the saddle. Especially for a substantial rewrite. Your routines are gone. Your discipline is flabby. Your confidence--my confidence--was very, very wobbly. Is.
I'm finally getting it back, if still more unsteadily than I'd like. Along the way somehow I seem to have changed tense. (!) But I have a good, solid plan for how to make the book stronger, by far. The voice is still in my head. I am going to make this book work.
And if I make it work the way I see it in my head, I sincerely hope y'all will get to see this one someday. This book? It could be a kicker. Will be, I hope.
THANK YOU to Agent Sparkle Shark and Team Sparkle--Courtney, Emily, Linder, Scottopher, Tiffany, Victoria--for seeing me through this difficult summer. If y'all don't have a Team Sparkle to help you through the rough times (and in this business, I can guarantee there will be rough times), GET ONE. Writing friends are invaluable. They send you virtual cupcakes for the highs, but they also send you virtual whatever-you-needs for the lows. Encouragement. Confidence boosts. Chocolate.
I do keep whininess and personal disclosures to a minimum here, but I thought it was important that other writers see that there are struggles in every step, and you just have to keep going. So that's where I've been, and where I am. I'm ready to start climbing again.