I wrote a book. I realize this isn’t such a remarkable achievement. I realize many, many people do more interesting, creative, and challenging things with their time — but nevertheless, this is what I’ve done: I wrote a book.
There are people in my life who are surprised to hear that I’ve done this. Many people don’t know I write, that I am “a writer.” I’m shy of the designation — it’s not something I would say about myself without some kind of proof to offer up, maybe a copy of a story I published years ago folded up in my back pocket, so that I could produce this proof when saying the words — “I am a writer” — and then people, naturally skeptical, would be more inclined to believe.
Lately, though, I’ve come back to the designation — I am a writer. I write. It’s what I’m best at, it’s what I love most and hate most, and sometimes, it’s the thing I avoid most enthusiastically.
Several months ago I finished the book I’ve been working on, in fits and starts, for quite some time. Before I finished, I took a break to meet a guy and fall in love. I took a break to get married and buy a house. I took a break to watch my mother die, and to mourn her death. And then I stopped taking breaks and got back to it, because even more than I am a procrastinator, I am a writer. (And also because I found myself pregnant with a little boy and realized: it’s now or never.)
I sent the finished manuscript to a friend, who gave me some feedback. I revised and, a few weeks ago, I sent it to agents. Quickly, I matched with Emily Forland, who had been referred to me by a friend. Emily loved my novel, which in addition to being very flattering was also a great relief. I knew we were in good hands, me and my book. She set to work right away getting my manuscript to editors far and wide.
When the smoke of the submission process cleared, I found myself with HarperCollins. I’m grateful and look forward to the roller coaster ride that comes next.
Meanwhile, I’m writing a second novel, tentatively titled TOURING. Crossed fingers that I don’t take any breaks on this one.