There are questions every writer hears at one time or another: What’s going on with your novel? Why isn’t it published, yet? What is taking so long?! If I had a book for every time someone asked me these questions, I’d have enough to fill a library.
It’s easy to feel demoralized, but I keep reminding myself the people asking me these questions are not writers. They have no idea how long it takes to get from First Draft to Final Draft. Nor do they have any concept of how tough it is to break into the publishing industry. All they know is new books show up on amazon and bookstore shelves every week. What looks like a speedy process on the outside has actually taken years of hard work.
Aside from non-writers, my inner critic gets in on the game, too. She loves to point out that my novel still hasn’t found it’s way to print. It’s been three years – What the heck have you been doing all this time! Grrrrrr! This is one of the many frustrations I soothe with chocolate and lattes. In this instance, I have to remind myself of what I already know. Writing is a long process. Publishing is an even longer process.
To put things in perspective, the timeline for The Muse offers considerable insight into how long it takes to write a novel (when one holds down a full time job and writes on the side) and get it in publishable shape.
April 15, 2010 – The Muse shows up in my hard drive as a Work in Progress
September 26, 2012 – First draft complete.
September 27, 2012 – Revisions for Draft 2 begin.
March 28, 2013 – Draft 2 revisions complete.
August 4, 2013 – Draft 3 revisions complete.
August 2013 – March 2014 – Query packages sent and subsequent rejections received.
June 2014 – I hire an editor and send The Muse off to get gutted!
July 2014 – The Muse comes back fully edited and polished. It’s gorgeous, but needs a little more work.
August 2014 – Final edits begin based on editor’s notes.
October 2014 – Query letter rewritten. Researching agents and compiling a list of those who might be interested.
And the process continues! Here I am in November still working on those final edits. On the bright side, I’m down to the last item on my list of things to fix. Within the next month, I’m hoping to send out my new query package to the list of agents I’ve compiled since October.
It’s been long process, but I truly believe the end result will be worth the wait. Hopefully, my readers will feel the same way.
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