An Open Letter to My Future Reader

Dear Future Reader,

I’m writing this letter today to express the words that so many writers like me want to say to you:

I’m sorry it’s taking me so long to get my book into your hands! I’m trying—really, I am!

Now you may not know that you’re waiting to read my book. You may not even know who I am. In fact, you most likely don’t. And sure you have a million amazing books available to you already, many on your to be read list. So it’s not like you don’t have anything to read.

But, I have this book (or a few actually) that I have been working on for a really long time. You may be wondering, in fact, what’s taking me so long to get this book into your hands. Well, here’s the thing…

I’m revising it to be sure it’s a book that you will want to read. And that takes time. I’m polishing it up to make sure it’s as well-written as I can make it. I’m working my way through the publishing process, one that requires a lot of patience. I’m querying. I’m revising again. I’m working with my agent. I’m revising some more based on her suggestions. I’m out on submission to editors. I’m revising again. I’m at some point going to be revising further based on suggestions from my future editor. I’ll be revising a lot more then. I’ll be polishing up my manuscript so much (with the help of amazing publishing people) that it will be a book you’ll want to read. One that will make you want to turn the page, and all the pages after that. One that will make you feel all the feels of emotion that I felt while writing it. One that will make you happy you read it.

Sure I could skip a few steps in this long tedious process, but then the book may not turn out as well as I hope it will. Or maybe there will be many more steps than I’m even mentioning here. But if you get anything all from this letter to you, I hope it’s this:

I know you’re going to love my book because I’ve put my heart and soul into it and so have many other people. But this process takes time and a ton of patience. And please don’t think I’m dilly-dallying or dragging my feet on this one. As much as I know you’re waiting to read my book (even though you don’t know it yet), I’m even more anxious for you to read it. So even if there’s only one person out there who is my future reader, I plead with you. Don’t forget about me, or the other writers like me. Don’t get sick of waiting. Because there are many, many amazing books out there, just waiting for the right time to be born. And when that time comes, I hope you’ll still be waiting, because I’m writing this one just for you…and I do it all for the day when I’ll see my book baby in your hands, loving it as much as I do!

Thanks for waiting. I promise you, it will be worth it. 🙂

All my best,

Every Writer who has ever Dreamed for a Real Live Book Baby.

When You Get on a Writing Roll

I’m taking a quick break from drafting to check in with you today. Yes, you heard me right. I’m drafting… and I’m on a roll!! I’ve written over 3,000 words since yesterday. It may not sound like much, but after having a hard time getting my head into this story, it’s BIG for me! I’ll get to at least 20,000 words by the end of this week—close to the 1/3 way mark. Yay!

Being on a writing roll is crazy. I don’t know about you, but for me I literally live and breathe the story when it happens to me. The characters sort of hover in my head. It’s almost like they’re floating above it. I see them laughing or fighting and can almost hear their banter. Images of the setting flash around in my head too like I’m scrolling through pictures on my phone. But all the while, I’m forcing myself to be cruel to these crazy kids, to come up with obstacles that can trip my them up and trip them up hard. It’s a lot to think about even when I’m not sitting down at the computer.

It’s hard to think about other things while a story is taking shape in your mind. Sure you can go about the mundane daily tasks of your life, but your story is never far away. Cooking, cleaning, and doing laundry are easy because you can think about plot while you’re doing those. The best ideas come while our minds are free to wander. Work isn’t even the biggest challenge for most of us while in draft mode either because then we’re forced to switch gears and focus on something else completely.

The biggest challenge I personally have when drafting is when people want to talk to me. Like in person or on the phone. Sometimes I feel like a character in a Peanuts cartoon. Their voices get all swirly and mushy and I can barely listen to what they have to say. And I can’t believe they don’t understand why I can’t focus on what they’re saying or why I don’t want to continue a long winded conversation. I’m creating a whole story in my head. That takes a lot of creative brainwork. Don’t they get it??

Of course, they don’t. Unless they’ve written a book too, they simply can’t understand what it feels like on a daily basis to be on a writing roll, to be crafting a story from start to finish.

I’ve gotten calls from my mom lately asking if I’m alright. She wonders why I haven’t been chatty lately, because it seems like something’s wrong. And I have to tell her, “Nothing is wrong. I’ve just had a lot on my mind. I’m in the middle of drafting a new story and it’s kind of all consuming right now.”

I cringe as I write that because that makes me sound like a work- a-holic or someone who doesn’t have a good work-life-home balance. But maybe I don’t. At least not when I’m on a writing roll anyway. But being on a roll is amazing. The ideas come quickly and furiously. The characters become human. They make choices. The conflict develops  and the stakes can be felt clearly. But most of all, being on a roll means that words are appearing on the pages that used to be white—so blank.

So I’ll enjoy being on this writing roll while it lasts. With a little luck—and the ability to keep other distractions at bay, the words will keep coming. And I hope they keep coming for you too.

Do you have any thoughts on drafting? I bet your experience is a little like mine, but in some ways very different. Please share! We’d love to know what it’s like for you. They say writing loves company…well actually no one says that but maybe they should because writers do love company!

Have a fantastic week, my friends! I’ll check in with you again soon. 🙂

Jackie