Plodding Forward, Two Pages at a Time

It’s almost torturous for me. In looking at that sentence, I want to edit the extreme emotion, go back with a fine toothed razor blade and remove the nuance of a word, the hard sounding syllable.

Damn it. It’s been fifteen years. I should be done with this book by now. I should have a manuscript that is sellable and been picked up and not just nibbled on. I’ve had four, maybe five agents ask for pages. I thought I was there, had stepped onto the marble staircase that led to success. I was going to climb the alpine book and sign my name in the book that symbolized that I had made it.

But no. I’m still plodding somewhere on the path. Can’t see the peak. Not when I’m somewhere in the twentieth page out of nearly three hundred and realizing that it’s time to go back to the first fourteen and edit some more.

Damn it!

I’m ready to push forward. I had put those characters to rest, had put them into shoeboxes which I shelved in my mind. I’d walked away and moved forward, introduced myself to a new host of people. Made friends with them. Had a couple of drinks. Started writing their stories.

But Polishing isn’t done. Because I’m not ready to self-publish. Not that I think there’s anything wrong with self-publishing. But…it’s not my dream. And maybe I need to redesign my dream, hit the reset button and just let go of what I want. But I can’t. I’ve got my hands so deep within the root system of this novel and into the capillaries of my dreams that I just can’t pull my hands out without….hurting myself.

And so, I push forward. Every day, I follow the idea I read about in a book and focus on two pages. Two quality pages of editing. And then I write here so that I can find my thousand words worth of crafting, of putting words onto screen. I need to write. I have to write. I can’t stop breathing. Why should I consider not writing. It’s just not possible.

I don’t want fame and fortune. I want financial stability. I want to touch people. I want to engender change. I want to offer hope and give goodness and show that goodness exists. I want.

I want to be published. I want to walk into a friggin’ Barnes and Noble and find my book. I want to touch its cover and know that I had done this. I had written it. I had taken it through fifteen years of drafts and edits and revisions. I have given it to so many beta readers and have received so much constructive criticism that a silly, over-emotional, over-dramatic hunk of foolishness was turned into something…good.

I am a bit embarrassed that I am admitting to these points, that these are my confessions. But the words that throttle through my veins don’t stop screaming at me. They must be written. They must have their voice.

And so, I plod through two pages a day. And those two pages each day amount to something that feels better than what was written in the past. And maybe, just maybe, an agent out there will say…hey, let’s give this writer a chance…see what she’s made of. I just need that one person to give me a little more time than the mechanical auto rejection. I am willing to work. I am willing to put in the hours. I’ve given it fifteen years.

Fifteen years. Just under a third of my life.

That’s hard when I see that reality. But this book is important to me. I’ve dreamt about the characters, seen them in my kitchen with accusatory looks. And I promised them that I would write their story. I’m not crazy.

I’m just a writer. With a story to tell. Looking for that one agent who is willing to give me more than a passing chance.

Dreams don’t end because I wake up. They just evolve. Get better. And that’s when the writing really begins.

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