Sometimes you know when you’re not ready yet

While I’ve been writing my novel (over the past five years), people have said things to me like, “You’ve been writing that book forever. Isn’t it ready yet?” and, “Oh, you still haven’t finished that novel then.” They look at me sympathetically as if they believe I’m not good enough to have finished a novel, or because they think I’m procrastinating and not motivated enough to finish, or because they imagine me sitting at my laptop crying and wondering why I can’t write a book.

Although there’s an element of truth to all those things, these are not the reasons I haven’t finished the novel. The reason I have not yet flung open my shutters and cried across the rooftops, “My book is finished,” is because I know what a good book looks like, and my book is so very nearly completely fantastically amazing, but it’s not quite there yet. And before you say it – this is not about perfectionism either. I do sometimes have a perfectionist’s tendencies, but this is also not the reason I haven’t finished the book.

I haven’t finished the novel because when I look at my future life as a best-selling children’s author, the story I’m being interviewed about is similar to my WIP, but it’s not exactly the same. When I’m reading the opening of my novel in a school assembly in my future life, the words I’m reading are similar to the words in my WIP, but they’re not identical. When I’m dreaming about the characters in my WIP, they sound like the characters in my WIP, but they’re personalities are a little different.

I’m on a journey, learning the craft of writing. I have very good judgement and instincts, and I will know when my novel is ready to share with the world. I can’t wait for you to read it.

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