I had read many testimonies about the tortures of writing a novel. When I began my book, 8 years ago, I was certain the stories were exaggerated. I thought that there was no way it could be that hard.
I was wrong. It was every bit as difficult as I had read and heard.
In fact, if I had known how difficult it would be and how long it would take, I am not sure I would have completed the damn thing.
Here at the highlights.
In December 2008, I began planning Emerge Beyond Circles. After four solid months of planning, I was ready to write the first word.
I conservatively estimate that I have spent 3,000 hours planning, researching, writing, revising, and editing my book. That is a year and half of 40 hour work weeks.
When I finished a relatively polished draft of the entire book, it was 95,000 words. After several months of ruthless revision, it was 77,000 words. Then I rewrote to get it back to 80,000 words.
A mentor read my book and suggested I delete the first four pages. She suggested it would instantly improve the book. In one fell stroke, four brilliant pages were gone forever.
I thought I was 100% done with my book in August 2015. The book is being released on January 7th, 2017. Needless to say, there was an unseen gulf of daily work I still had to traverse.
I printed a complete version at least thirty different times. I read it each time with a red pen in my hand and went back into the electronic version to make the revisions.
I poured over the entire document time and time again using Grammarly and Autocrit, both are online editing tools.
It was an exhausting effort but filled with moments of intense beauty.
Why do it? I write, we write because we are writers. It is as simple as that. The story in Emerge Beyond Circles insisted on being born. It made a painfully slow entrance into this world, an eight-year labor.
And now the novel I envisioned will meet the world on January 7th.
It will be a wonderful day.