Yesterday my husband and I were talking after a relaxing weekend, and he said something that gave me pause. We had spent a lovely weekend together and were rehashing how nice it was to spend time with a good friend and not have a deadline to meet. We spent Saturday with his college roommate Andy, who had come to visit. We spent most of our time outside either up to our necks in the river to stay cool and keep the horseflies off our skin or sitting on our back porch watching the fading light of sunset while we ate barbecue and homegrown salad greens. When it became too dark to see, I lit candles, and we continued talking well into the evening. It was a lovely day. Sunday my hubby and I took Stella for a long walk and spent a lazy day together doing nothing in particular.
Sunday evening as we were both dreading the start of another work week, hubby said, “I can’t wait ’til you get published and I can retire and you can spend all your time writing. I’ll make the hotel and airline reservations for your book tour and manage all that sort of thing for you.” What aspiring author wouldn’t fall head over heels in love with that kind of confidence? I love his unshaken conviction that I will be finish this book and it will be good enough to be published. When I doubt myself, I only have to remember his confidence in me. Hubby’s roommate also asked about my project. He asked where I was was in the process. My answer? “I’m revising again.” That seems to be the only answer I give any more. I had a goal to polish this, my first book, and begin my second one before the end of the year. I’ve begun my second, but only just, and I am still plugging away at polishing this first one. I have a list of agents I’ve researched ready to go, but I know I’m not ready to contact them yet.
Even as I sit writing this post, I feel like I should be working on my book. I’m like a pregnant mother who is well past her due date and can’t wait to give birth to her new baby. I feel that same sense of restlessness and angst knowing I have a little while longer to wait, but I think perhaps that is not the only thing bothering me. I think maybe I’m a little afraid of what the next phase of my writing journey will bring. Will this be my only book? Will it be good? Will people like it? Will my students be proud of me or disappointed? Will it sell? If it does, will I find success like my husband envisions? If I do, I’ll be overjoyed, but I know the odds are against that kind of success, though it does occur. I know I need to hone my craft; I feel it in my bones. When I read some writers’ work and get chills at a description or a few lines of dialogue, I know I’m not yet there. But I will be.
The blessing in this whole sense of dissatisfaction is I love the creative process. I love feeling the words form seemingly of their own volition. I love feeling that only a few minutes have passed as I’ve been writing and looking at the clock to discover that a few hours have passed instead. In fact, I miss that. I think that is why I haven’t been able to polish this first book completely yet. Whatever the reason for my not achieving my goals as yet, I know I will succeed. I am ready to birth this book. This literary child of mine will be born this year, revised, polished and ready to go to a new home with a good literary agent who sees its potential. I am ready for the next stage of nurturing it. I’m ready for my book baby to take on a life of its own, a new life separate from me but always a part of me. Perhaps it will find the kind of success my husband believes is possible. Wouldn’t that be awesome!