Back In The Saddle

Life throws curve balls. I’m of the opinion that life is the world’s worst pitcher, and can ONLY throw curve balls. That’s okay. Adapt your swing, and go with it!

These last two months have been filled with family chaos. Serious issues that needed my time exclusively, to help my kids, and to focus on my own mental health. I had to step away from this passion project of Grasslands, to prioritize correctly. To give Grasslands everything it deserves. I couldn’t do that while focusing on my main job of mother and wife.

Finally… finally, I feel ready. I’ve done all I can at this point for my family, taking each week as it comes. I’ve found a way to work in Grasslands, the most important thing about that isn’t the time. It was the drive. The passion. I’d lost it. The idea of rewriting huge sections of my book, hitting the plot and beats better, working on my weaknesses, it all felt like an awful job.

Today I’ll begin the process. Not with a feeling of dread, or apprehension. Instead, with excitement about what’s to come, and a thrill in polishing what is already a beautiful story.

I’ve invested in some writer’s aids, I’ve connected with my writers group, I’ve sat and actually plotted what needs work. With a smile and a bit of a fluttering heart, I am prepared to start.

Today, I set on the path to getting Grasslands off of my computer and into the hands of readers. What a ride.

“To me, the single biggest mark of the amateur writer is a sense of hurry.

Hurry to finish a manuscript, hurry to edit it, hurry to publish it. It’s definitely possible to write a book in a month, leave it unedited, and watch it go off into the world and be declared a masterpiece. It happens every fifty years or so.

For the rest of us, the single greatest ally we have is time. There’s no page of prose in existence that its author can’t improve after it’s been in a drawer for a week. The same is true on the macro level – every time I finish a story or a book, I try to put it away and forget it for as long as I can. When I return, its problems are often so obvious and easy to fix that I’m amazed I ever struggled with them.

Amateur writers are usually desperate to be published, as soon as possible. And I understand that feeling – you just want it to start, your career, your next book, whatever. But I wonder how many self-published novels might have had a chance at getting bought, and finding more readers, if their authors had a bit more patience with them?

-Charles Finch

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