As many of you already know, for the last few (seven!) years I’ve been writing a book. It’s been an agonizing process, and so tedious — every inch of the way, like pulling teeth. But now the backbone of the story is finally on paper. This fall I gave the manuscript to a few trusted readers and then scheduled an extended leave of absence from Magpie for the first several months of this year. I knew that after I received the reader responses, I’d need a some time to focus on the book and plan next steps.
I’ve spent the last month reading through the manuscript, taking notes, and thinking. I feared the feedback would be discouraging but instead it’s been: 1) sobering, 2) grounding, and 3) liberating. Gradually, I’m releasing my death grip on the core story — [Must. Get. Story. Out.] — and beginning to consider other themes and approaches. Switching the book over to a new platform, and fiddling with layout and structure, helped me further distance myself from the story and gain perspective.
It’s messy, and I have a lot of work to do (think: years), but for right now at least, and maybe for the first time ever in this whole laborious saga, I’m actually having — dare I say it? — fun.