Early one Saturday morning just several weeks ago I got this overwhelming feeling about my novel due out in just under a week. Suddenly there were passages that I had to change before anyone else saw them. I mean, I knew I was pushing deadline, but I had recently read some awesome articles on fiction writing and realized, suddenly, that there were parts of the book that screamed revision. I figured if I started early that morning and worked into the evening I would have changes complete and to the editor by Monday. (When I’m focused I’m unstoppable.) She wouldn’t be happy about it. But hey, when it’s necessary what can you do?
The feeling was so great to get this done, I pulled out my laptop, perched myself quietly to one side of the bed and got to work.
It was then hubby looked at me sleepily and said, “What are you doing?”
I explained that I was working on the book, told him about all the changes that needed to be made. And instead of a gentle smile, you know the kind you expect your spouse to give you when you’re standing on the edge, he bolts from the bed and says, “Nope. No you’re not.”
Say whaaat? Do you hear me when I said I found this article that said—
He shook his head back and forth and said with the gentleness of a pit bull, “Good. You learned some new stuff. Big deal you’ll put it in the next book. But you’re done with this one.”
I was too tangled in the head to protest. I humbly submitted and realized he was right. I guess I was like a performer who is about to go on stage and wonders if he’s rehearsed enough.
It made me think of this writing privilege– the privilege to be read, to have your written words, your private thoughts splayed on pages for the world to absorb. When I think of the energy people vest in the intimate thoughts of another, I realize that this privilege is no small thing.
Yep I’m aware that there are writers who churn out books like General Motors does cars–factory-style. I know that some are in it strictly for profit as they jump on the latest genre flavor of the week in hopes of cashing in. I also believe when their 15 minutes are up they will either bow out or run fast. But that isn’t my concern—really. There are the rest of us, who take this gift, this privilege to have our heart speak to the heart of others quite seriously. I don’t mean to sound sentimental; I mean to do this for a living, there is this thing called money involved. But there is so much more. As I speak through the written word, I pray that I’m authentic and complete in what I have given—at this point. I pray that my readers will see I have given my all and held nothing back.
I have learned so much on the craft of writing, and will continue to do so. But today, at this moment, In Three Days represents a pivotal point in my growth.