So here it was, 2009, I was a little (cough, cough) past 60 and all my life I’d wanted to be a writer. But I just never had time because, well, life happened! So, driven by unfulfilled desires, I’d embellish and elaborate on my memos on my job, my emails to family and friends, my post-it notes plastered everywhere, all my creative juices clamoring for an outlet.
So that October, I allowed my friend Jan to bully - well, not bully, she’s not like that - gently persuade me to try my artistic hand at NaNoWriMo. I DON"T HAVE TIME I kept telling her. What? Write 50,000 words in 30 days during the month of November? You must be nuts! I must be nuts, I thought as I took the plunge. Jumping Jehosophat! I finished with over 60,000 words on my great American novel. After working a full time job, doing eBay for extra $$$$, and my family/church activities, I’ve no idea where those 60,000 words came from.
I pursued my writing that month with a frenzied excitement, positive that I was on the brink of a masterpiece.The words gushed forth as my fingers clickety-clacked on the keyboard. I fell asleep thinking of my characters and awoke with my characters taunting me to not leave them stuck in yesterday's muck and mire. My characters were my friends and sometimes my adversaries. How could that be?
Just when I thought I’d finished, I started editing and revising, and it grew with each telling. The madness must stop, I’d tell myself. I had so many other things to do. I don’t have a maid, chef or chauffeur. No one climbed into my van each morning in my place and headed to downtown Phoenix to work. No one did my eBay for me.
With a huge sigh, and a pat on the back, I deemed my novel finished. At more advice from Jan, who seems to know because she's had 2 books published, I bought a Writer's Market from a bookstore, smug with my accomplishment and soon-to-be-published novel. Yowzers! You mean in a book of 1169 pages, there are not several hundred publishers just vying for my book? Oh, I was but a little child lost on the first day of school in a crowd of hundreds, maybe thousands, most of them towering over me. I was just a speck in the unpublished writers’ ocean.
What did it mean...2-12 months before a reply to my query, and 2-12 months to publish once there is an acceptance to my query? And I may get rejected repeatedly before I get accepted?!! Say it isn't so! My manuscript will gather dust and my characters will shrivel up and turn putrid like the fruit sitting in the bowl on my kitchen counter. (yes, I’m going to toss it in the garbage - the fruit, not my manuscript)
So once again I’m confronted with the truth that nothing in life is easy! Is it worth pursuing? I say yes.