On Giving Up

I haven’t written a post in a while about my journey to publication. I’d like to say that my life got crazy—and it totally did—but I think that the main reason for my absence is that I’ve had a bit of a reality check. You see, I had this grand idea that I would send out my novel and within a few weeks there would magical happy dances and excited clapping. That was the dream, anyway. But then I realized that my novel was long. As in 130,000 words long, with the “average” word count for a novel being around 70,000. That means that what I wrote was almost double the word count. Double! It could’ve been split into two novels.

For someone who HATES cliffhangers (most of the time), I knew that I had two options: cut it down or start anew.

I chose the second option. In the month of December, I started a new novel. By the end of the month I had about 70,000 words and I finally finished at about 90,000. That was super manageable—I was able to cut down and even though I’m still in the process of editing, I think that that smaller word count will give me a leg up. I hope it will, at least—fingers crossed.

So here’s the deal, how do you know the difference between continuing on and giving up? The truth is, they’re pretty much the same. Sometimes continuing on is giving up. I think that this is especially true with writing. When it comes to the craft, sure you have to be good, you have to be resilient, you have to have some sort of luck (although you should really make your own), but passion is important to. And if you lose that passion, then it’s going to really show in your writing. I really think that that’s what happened with Falling Forward; I was so excited about it and then I got discouraged and then I wasn’t. I stopped caring about their story because I had new ones on my mind. It was time to move on. Move forward (get it?).

So I did. I started something new. There’s got to be something deep inside of us, not quite a conscious, but an internal compass. Something that tells us what direction we need go, if we need to go in a new one or stay on the same one. Maybe it’s fate. But that compass was urging me to start something new, to not necessarily give up on, but put away Falling Forwards.

I think that the key to getting published might be giving up, but on an idea, not on yourself. You keep writing and keep working and keep hoping that something will slip through. And all through that, you’ll be getting better. Growing. Eventually you’ll crack the code. I surely hope I will.