Thursday, 20 October 2011

Finishing What You Start

Reposted from a blog on Aug. 5, 2011:

Our first draft is complete, and we're three chapters away from finishing our line-by-line edits from our champion ballbuster of a beta reader, who is apparently some manner of comma-splice killing machine. (And avid hater of martyr complex heros, but that's neither here nor there... we think). We've gone through three versions of our synopsis and seven (7!) of our blurb, from 800 words down to 100 and everywhere in between. We've written (and edited) our query letter after reading multiple websites and Noah Lukeman's free (and informative!) e-book How to Write a Great Query Letter.

If you'd have told me at the beginning of this year that I would ever finish a manuscript and get to this stage, I would have laughed, and then cried, and then laughed while crying. If I wasn't pregnant, I'd probably also polish off a bottle of white wine in one sitting. I always figured that no matter how much I loved writing, I'd always only ever be this guy:

So yeah, to be finished a first draft and nearly finished a second, and getting ready to send a manuscript that I'm proud of writing and being a part of to publishers -- real publishers that pay you for your books and make this thing official, man! -- feels absolutely bloody awesome. I haven't felt this damn good since I handed in my last research paper (about sexuality and masculinity in the Victorian era, complete with filthy pictures!), or since I walked across the stage at convocation. Not only that, but we're at this crucial stage right when I'm about to finish something else pretty major: gestating a baby! And a lot like a baby, this novel has taken a lot of effort and tears and suffering (and absolutely indescribable happiness and accomplishment, too!) to get to this point, but I got here only to realize I've got even more work and hardship and rewards ahead of me.

So tell me. Where are you at? Are you still working on that same unfinished manuscript, writing and rewriting, fighting through writer's block and inertia? Are you a git-er-done kind of writer who always finishes what they start? Someone like me who never thought they could do it... but have? Got something on the go right now you're wondering if you'll ever finish? Is it a novel? A degree? A promotion? A musical piece? A building project? Let me know what strategies you use or what things you need to get things done.

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