The writing process is slow. Couple it with the publishing process and the fact that writing is mostly a solitary living-in-a-shell like activity, and you are looking at a lifestyle that is turtle club worthy.

At least it comes with a great motto:

Slow and steady wins the race.

This is a good thing to keep in mind, especially when you emerge from your shell for food, showers, more work (you mean there’s other stuff to do?) and seeing your family and friends only to hear questions like:

You still working on that novel?

Do you have an end yet? Because I have a really good idea…

When am I going to see it in Barnes and Noble?

What’s for dinner?  (Oh wait, you may or may not get that one, depends on whether or not your kids are old enough to call for pizza.)

When I hear these questions, my mind scrambles for some sort of summary update, sifting through all the work looking for something that is akin to handing them a hardcover copy of my book.

Um, yeah.

You write. You read. You edit. You write some more. You put the story away for a while and start work on another. Then you pick it back up and read. Then you edit, write some more. Then get some people to read and comment and then edit some more. Then write a query letter and edit that, and get some people to read that. Write. Edit. Then send it out to agents and/or some small publishers (because the big ones will not look at it without the agent). Wait and wait. Work on the next story . . .

I am going to stop here because if you are a writer you know all this, and if you’re not, then you are probably wondering why anyone would actually comply with such a process.

It sounds crazy, right?

It’s a slow process. Turtle-y slow.

So I remind myself to take a chill pill when I get the questions, because yes I’m still working on that novel (actually two, both with endings, but you never know I might use your good idea someday). 

(Oh and the dinner question?  Only requires microwave skills, because the pizza is in the freezer.)

And as for Barnes and Noble (or Amazon)?

I don’t know–yet (this is the key word here, print it, cut it out and attach it to something).

Because if you love it, you do it and when the questions come, you can think about Stewie.

Yes, I give you Stewie. Because sometimes I just need to relax about the whole process and squeak out a laugh instead of taking myself too seriously. Besides, as Stewie says, we all deserve some time off (even if we sometimes let our kids eat pizza from the freezer).

Speaking of pizza, if you’re headed to the freezer can you get me some? It’s the gluten free one, with the tapioca cheese . . .

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6 thoughts on “HOW YOU COMING ON THAT NOVEL YOU’RE WORKING ON, HUH?

    1. Coleen

      Dear Anonymous,
      Now what fun would that be? Besides there’s lots of other things to ask me about like gluten free pizza and turtles, just to name a few.
      Thanks for reading 🙂 !!
      Coleen

  1. Jennifer Bogart

    I like the turtle analogy – sometimes I wonder about rushed books – there are often mistakes, plot holes and the characters are flat. The “take-your-time” approach makes for a better book, in my humble opinion. Works in progress need to be nurtured.

    1. Coleen

      Thanks Jennifer! Yes, nurtured is the perfect word–for our books and us (when we step out of that shell).

  2. Janet Gurtler

    I remember those questions well. The best was the wife of my husband’s co-worker who said, “Still haven’t seen you on the shelves!” I imagined cruel things happening to her for a while after that.

    Once you do get published, the question changes to “how is your book doing?” Or still, “how come I can’t find your book at the bookstore?” Which is kind of funny when you think about it.

    Good luck with your writing! Keep going, perseverance is gold.

    1. Coleen

      HI Janet-Thanks so much for your comment and by the way your encouragement is also gold. Thanks! Coleen

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