I started writing again in 2009 when I had my first and so far, thankfully, my only burnout. The first novel I ever started writing was about two sisters drifting apart because of life who come together because the younger accidentally kills her boyfriend. This was back when I was still trying to write contemporary. A doomed idea if ever there was one. As I wrote, the boyfriend came back to haunt them and they had to pull together to get through the situation.
Anyway, I’ve been essentially trying to write this novel for almost ten years. Over time I’ve started it over and over and over again. Sometimes for good reasons and sometimes for bad. And somewhere along the line, I think I got used to just having this thing always be there. It’s always been perfect in my mind, even if not in execution. I feel like I have a lot of things to say about all kinds of subjects and somehow this book has become the thing that somehow needs to encompass all the things and end up being just as perfect as it always was in my mind. So while the heart of the story has always been in the two sisters’ relationship, the theme and events have kept on changing.
But, as my friend Jay Wolf pointed out, the time has come to push it out the door, whether I want to or not. And oh my is it scary. But because gamification and accountability really work for me, yesterday I sent out the latest draft of chapter one which is actually the first draft of this particular iteration, to my alpha readers. These poor, unfortunate souls are getting the very roughest of the rough drafts but I’m hoping this will actually compel me to finish this novel without me getting 40 000-60 000 words in and deciding that I need to completely restart the whole book.
It’s time to finish this thing.