As an writer, I’m accustomed to deadlines. They are a necessary evil of the publishing business. Usually, I’m fine with deadlines. Actually, I appreciate them. Deadlines help me manage my time and keep me on track.
Writing a book is an exercise in determination and patience. To do it right, a writer must allow sufficient time for ideas to percolate, for reconsiderations of plot to occur, for characters to blossom, for relentless checking and rechecking of every little detail to be thorough. Rushing is an occupational hazard with serious consequences.
Recently, I submitted a requested story to an organization. I was in a hurry and misspelled the name of a company. In the world of journalism, that’s an unforgivable mistake. Fortunately, an astute colleague caught it before it went public. I was saved from my own mistake of rushing.
A novel, especially a self-published novel, requires lots of time. That means hours and hours and hours of writing and thinking and correcting and proofing…..and repeating all these steps, sometimes multiple times, until it is right. And all this makes self-imposed deadlines meaningless.
My latest book, soon to be published, was not supposed to take three years to complete. I began writing it years ago. How many years? Well, I’ve lost count. But trust me, it’s a lot of years.
I revisited the manuscript after publishing CAIRNAERIE in the spring of 2017. At the time, I thought I could certainly complete the second novel within a year, maybe two. But when I got into it, I realized I had significant work to do.
Now—four years later—my own deadline has gone whooshing by. But it was worth the wait. I like this revised version far more than the original drafts. And I hope readers will think the same. Here’s a sneak peak ….
Many thanks to The Borealis Press, Inc 83 Main St., PO Box 1988, Bucksport, ME 04416, for their permission to use the card image above, which has graced my desk for more than a decade. You’ve gotta love a company that answers a ‘permission to use’ request within hours!