Wednesday, 8 October 2014

the writer's edition: month 18 check-in, or 'what happened when I finished my first full-length manuscript'

When I first pressed the publisher's submit button on the computer, no magic sparked, no change came.  I was just the same person as always, the one who then had to take her daughter to the chemist for hair accessories and then rush to get groceries for dinner.  I had to pick up my youngest son from mum's, where he had spent the afternoon so I could finish the last of my edits, then hunt down my oldest son in transit from the school bus stop.

That night, dinner burned in the background as I drank my celebratory glass of red wine and life went on as usual.  I thought of the very ordinary things other writers must have been doing in the background as they worked on their manuscripts: cooking dinner, washing clothes, overseeing homework.  I knew that all the time I had spent writing could all be for nothing, that I wouldn't hear so much as a peep from publishers if there weren't interested.

But in the end, it was about me rather than anyone else.  It was about wanting to write a book for my whole life, as soon as I knew it was something that people did.  It was about stopping saying 'one day' and saying 'today'.  It was about realising that the loss of 15,000 words in a particularly tough self-edit didn't mean that my novel was dead - it was about breathing life into it when the existing words weren't strong enough.  My first full length manuscript may or may not make it into print, but guess what?  It's not going to stop me either way.

Next week I start on my second full length manuscript, an idea that has been floating around for a while now.  I'm looking forward to giving it some air space and discovering my next lot of characters, more imaginary people for me to fall in love with.  This time around, I'm looking forward to using my experience with the first manuscript to aid in this next creation.  And yes, in the background, I'll be doing the school run and unloading the dishwasher and getting children ready for school.  I will be just me, but the me who is working at achieving her lifelong dream.

18 comments:

  1. Congratulations, Lucy – that's such a wonderful achievement! I'm sure you'll be signing a contract in no time. And dealing with those pesky editors : ) Keep on writing...

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    1. Thank you Gabbi! It's so lovely being able to talk to you about it and I'm so happy to have your enthusiasm and support. And I hope the editors are as pesky as you are, I will be very happy indeed!

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    1. Thank you Penny, it's very exciting and I'm so pleased to be able to say I've done it. It is funny waking up each day and realising that the first manuscript is done, dusted and being sent off into the ether, hopefully to find a home. Otherwise, it's on to the next one and hopefully something will happen from there.

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  3. I love this post! Doing what makes your heart sing! Well done! xx

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  4. Beautiful post - so well put. You have really echoed my own thoughts on writing. As fabulous as it would be to be published, it is first and foremost about achieving a personal dream. Great stuff, Lucy, and "keep up the good work" (says the teacher in me) xxx

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    1. Thank you Isabelle! I'm glad it's come at a time when you can recognise my words as relating to your own writing - and you're juggling work as well which isn't easy. Thank you for the vote of confidence!

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  5. Well done on your achievement. No doubt you will keep us all informed as to how you get on.

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    1. HI Mitzi,
      Thank you for your lovely message. Of course I will keep you in the loop - it could take some time to find out. Some of the publishers take up to 6 months! So it will be a long wait, glad you will be here with me!
      Cheers
      Lucy

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  6. Hooray! I am proud of you and pleased for you for so many reasons. Glad that life is so varied and rich for you!

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    1. Thank you Liz! It's so good to think I have done this huge thing I've been aiming for over such a long period of time. I look forward to celebrating in person, bubbles and all!

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  7. Oh Lucy I am smiling from ear to ear. I am so incredibly thrilled for you - what a magical thing to see this dream of yours become a reality xx

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    1. Thank you Son, it's the best thing ever! Now on to the next one!!

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  8. Congrats hun. I know the feeling perfectly. xxx

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    1. Thank you Jodi, it is a wonderful feeling to have after all these years of really wanting it to happen!

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  9. Congratulations Lucy….how exciting for you! Lovely post and oh so true….wishing you all the best for your next phase and beyond. Reading this post was very inspiring! Hooray for you!!! xx

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    1. Thank you Kylie! Lovely to hear from you, fingers crossed that something will happen along the way!

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