The Dream: Part 2

On January 26, 2013, I whispered my lifelong dream into the blogosphere:

I am going to start writing a book. 

 I have been working on this dream for two years. And I can't believe I'm about to type these words:




I can see the finish line. 
Y'all, I can actually SEE it...
THE BOOK IS ALMOST WRITTEN. 

HOLY. $*&%.

Sorry. I needed that moment. (I know my Mom is reading this, so I will let you use your imagination about what those symbols mean).

I hope to be "finished" with the book by March. Then I will find some hard-core critique partners and start the query process for an agent. I guarantee that the day I finish my book you will all know about it. I will go ahead and apologize in advance for the gratuitous postings via social media on that day. It's not everyday that I  can say, "Oh, you know, I just finished WRITING MY BOOK." So--sorry/not sorry about that.

I have written many posts about this process. I have not done this to say, "Look at me! I'm writing a book!" I hope that it has not come across that way. I wanted to chronicle my journey as a way to pay tribute to this process. I wanted a way to look back and see how far I've come. I wanted to acknowledge how VERY HARD this has been. Here are all of my posts:  (This is more for me than for you, dear reader.)

Finally, an Idea
On Being Brave
NaNoWriMo 2013
2014 Will be the Year I Finish (or so I thought)
The Night That Changed Everything
This process is like a...
A New Plan 
Battling the Guilt 

I have compared writing a book to climbing a mountain, but now I realize it is more like giving birth. I labored for two years to bring my "baby" into this world. She (yes, I have assigned my book a gender-specific pronoun) grew from a tiny seed of an idea into a big, messy novel. I am almost ready for her meet to the world.

Almost.

I've had to conquer so many demons along this journey-- Fear, Doubt, Guilt--to name a few. And I am still doing battle with them. Please don't think that they have been slayed. But I'm starting to realize that this part of the process was not the hardest. It's the next phase of this dream that will truly test me.

Rejection, Criticism, Failure...they await me on the next leg of this journey. These are all a part of this process:

Every published author talks about the rejection letters--it's part of the process.
Every published author tells about the book that they poured their heart and soul into only to be told that it sucks--it's part of the process.
Every published author tells stories about the manuscript that has never seen the light of day--it's part of the process.

I spent my day at a teen book festival, YAK Fest in Keller, Texas. I was surrounded by my people--fellow readers and writers who spent the day geeking out on books. It was bliss. I soaked up every word that every author spoke. I wrote their advice in my journal--about writing, about editing, about publishing. Barry Lyga was the keynote speaker, and he said, "Failure is an important part of the creative process...don't conquer failure. Conquer your fear of it." 

Thanks a lot, Barry Lyga. More fear for me to conquer...

Right now--this book is a beautiful, unblemished baby because she belongs only to me. I admit that part of me wants to hold her close and protect her from the big, bad clutches of Rejection, Criticism, and Failure. Now that she exists, I want to keep her for myself. After all, I will have achieved my dream--I will have written a book.

Isn't that enough?

But like any loving parent, I want to watch my baby grow up. I want to watch her get stronger and better--and then I will see if she can stand on her own two feet. I believe in her. I just have to convince others to see her the way that I do--with a beautiful story to tell.

This dream is only just beginning...again.


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