So here it is. You write your first draft. It’s pretty awful, the ghost of your novel. You go back and revise it, and your second draft has more meat. It still has lots of holes here and unnecessary filler there, so you revise. You polish. You cut and trim and polish some more. Your novel begins to shine, so you send it out. Rejection. Lots of rejection. Was it your query? Your opening pages? You don’t know, so you go back and revise. You polish.
By now you know your characters so well, you have conversations with them. You obese over details. You read about agents and what kind of novels they are looking for. You alternate between despair and obstinate hope. You keep polishing.
Because you’re a writer, you are a natural introvert, but you force yourself to go to workshops and writers groups where you learn you aren’t alone. You feel marginally better about polishing. Then you start going to conferences. You work on pitching. You become slightly more confident.
Lightening strikes. You find an agent. She likes your book. You celebrate for a moment then obsess about whether she’ll find a publisher. When she does find a publisher you almost pass out before you do a happy dance. Congratulations! You have a two-book deal!
You have something to show for your years of hard work; though, now you obsess about whether anyone will like your book.
Wait. A two-book deal means compressing seven years of work into one. Oh well, sleep isn’t that important.
Keeping at it is.
P.S. My debut novel The Eighth Circle, a noir thriller, will be published in January 2016 by Crooked Lane Books.