We can all agree it’s always more fun to share good and exciting news than it is to share “bad” news. But sometimes there aren’t any real good news to share, only the truth of things, and sometimes that truth is less fun. That’s basically the reason I haven’t updated the blog in a *cough, cough* while.
Let’s do a quick recap for those of you who’ve stumbled on to this blog and are wondering what the hell I’m talking about. I’ve written a book. A big, fat epic fantasy book at 150 000 words. I have three different drafts of this book (not counting the absolute first draft which I threw away 50 000 words in), and it’s my first ever completed novel.
In the past few weeks I have decided to put that novel away. Maybe for the time being, maybe forever. I don’t know, and I don’t particularly care at this moment. A handful of people have read the book, and although they didn’t seem to hate it (when I asked them to score it, they all agreed it was like a 5 or a 6 out of 10), I didn’t feel it was good enough. I hired a freelance editor (publishing industry veteran John Jarrold) who I knew would be completely honest with me. His verdict: No, it wasn’t good enough.
I was relieved. Almost like being freed of a burden.
Having a full-time job whilst writing a book in late evenings was the toughest thing I’ve ever done. During that time I needed to convince myself this book would lead somewhere. I would get an agent with this and get published. That was (and still is) the dream. If I didn’t believe that, I would most likely never have finished the thing. Was it realistic to think that? Probably not, but who gives a fuck? I will never be the guy to tell someone else they can’t go after their dreams. Ever.
But if you’re thinking I’m all depressed and defeated right now, you couldn’t be more wrong. I feel amazing actually. I now know I’ll have to work harder and embrace the grind. I’m not the exception to the rule who gets their first novel published. Instead, I’m like all those other authors (and there’s a lot of them) who wrote their first book and had to put it away. Some write two, or three books before they make it. The only common denominator is that none of them gave up, and neither will I.
I’m 10 000 words into a new novel and I’m loving it. I’m not even thinking if this will get me an agent or any of that. I’m once again writing just because that’s what I love to do. I have proved to myself I can finish a complete novel and go through several edits, and I’ve learnt so goddamn much from doing it. I tweeted the other day that the best part about working on a new book is that it really feels like I’ve levelled up my skills.
So there you have it. Life goes on and I keep writing.