I’ve been writing stories for as long as I can remember, but before I started my first novel, The Apple of My Eye, they were all short stories. I’ve had to learn patience writing something longer, and it’s been difficult. I always want to hurry and get to the end – to the crux of the whole thing. With my first book and second one, my work-in-progress, I couldn’t wait, and skipped ahead to write the last chapter or two before everything in the middle was done.
But, I’ve learned something along the way about patience. It’s hard, but it’s worth it. I’m happy with the way The Apple of My Eye turned out, and I understand better that complete strangers will be reading what I write. So, as I work on When I Was Seven, I want to get it right. I finished the first draft and started to edit, but then I stopped to read an insightful book on editing. Now my editing is becoming more fine-tuned, as is the novel.
However, something still wasn’t perfect. I stopped editing for reasons I couldn’t articulate, choosing instead to read other novels – voraciously. Some of them were admittedly better than others, but they all helped me recognize what I needed to change in my novel. It’s not the story itself, but the voice with which I tell it. As I caught hold of the vision of what it can become, I’m surprised to realize that I am not bothered by the extra time it will take. Elevating the story will be worth it.
I’m just grateful this is my second novel and not my first. I never would have had the patience the first time around to write When I Was Seven the way it should be written. I hope you find the wait to be worth it, too.