I Finally Wrote a Book and Neglected Life in the Process

8 Feb

I’ve been neglecting my blog lately. I feel like a terrible mother, leaving my child to try to survive on her own. I’m pretty sure my poor, sweet blog is going to develop an “older sibling complex.”

That’s right; my blog has a literary little sister! I’ve been writing a novel for the past 14 months, and I finally completed it. I’ve spent all my free time writing, editing, reading, reviewing, studying, and writing some more. I’ve always wanted to write a book and I decided it was finally time to cross it off the bucket list. I woke up one morning with an idea and over the course of all these months, it finally became a story. 60,998 words of a story, to be exact.

I’ve never had any professional instruction in writing. I took the required English classes in college, and a few extras (English in the cinemas, horror edition!) but I didn’t know how to write a book. So I just started writing. The story truly unfolded as I wrote. I had a basic premise and a hint of an ending. And nothing in between. But just like in Field of Dreams, if you build it, he will come. I gave my hands the baseball field, and eventually, all the players showed up.

I had periods of weeks where I had absolutely nothing to offer my book. I had no ideas, no thoughts, and not even an ounce of love for my story. I needed to hit reset on my brain, so I wrote a short story, as suggested by the Husband. And you know? It worked! My creative juices began to flow again and I finished my book soon after.

(Note: that short story ended up being published in the American Journal of Nursing! It was their first use of fiction in the history of the magazine! You can read it here.)

I think my story is great. Sometimes. Other times I read it and wonder what the hell I was thinking. While I was having my writer’s block, I read lots of books by successful authors about the writing process. They all assured me that this was normal. So I sent the book to one of my best friends, Carolyn, then walked away from it. She finished it in a matter of days and raved about it. She loved the plot, the characters, and the ending. But she’s been my friend for a million years and pretty much thinks I’m great at everything (that’s what friends are for, right??). But the confidence I gained from her reaction made me comfortable sending it my mother. She read it in one night and called me the next morning. She actually cried while she was talking about my main character! My writing managed to suck her in and make her fall in love with the characters. That’s pretty powerful, even if she is my mom.

So I decided it was time to re-read and edit a little. I read the whole thing, then subtracted and added. I loved the final story. Then I made the mistake of reading it again. And I hated it. But I knew I was being illogical and ridiculous, so I just put it in a drawer and walked away.

So now I’m going to work on my blog more while that baby cooks in my desk drawer. I have a few posts waiting to be written, and I’m heading to NYC and Punta Cana in the next few months, so that will give me lots to write.

Oh, I bet you’re dying to know what my novel is about, aren’t you? Well, if you know a good agent or publisher, let me know and in a few months you can buy it for $29.99.

Kidding.

My novel is about a man on his last day on death row. Sam was found guilty of murdering his mistress and sentenced to death. Five years before his execution date, Sam decided to accept that he was going to die and found peace. He spends his last day reflecting on his life and telling his prison guard, Jonathan, what happened the night when his life changed forever. But a last minute discovery may save Sam’s life.

Wait. Did I just write the jacket for my book??

So that’s my book. She’s the reason I haven’t been blogging. But now I can cross ‘write a book’ off the bucket list and get back to traveling and blogging!

 

Did you write a book? Or have you always thought about writing? Let me know how it went or if you have any questions about my experience!

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3 Responses to “I Finally Wrote a Book and Neglected Life in the Process”

  1. sniplock February 8, 2016 at 4:16 pm #

    I was wondering why your blog had gone quite. Congratulations on your book & good luck with it.

    • Patti February 8, 2016 at 4:23 pm #

      Thanks! I honestly didn’t even realize how neglectful I was being until my mother yelled at me! I’m going to be better now that I’m done.

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