It's been three years since I started writing again. What do I have to show for it? Two completed first drafts of manuscripts and a mess of re-writing to do. And then after that, hundreds of letters to agents and no guarantee that one will even send me a rejection letter. If I ever sell my book, I think my pay will be about 1 cent per hour. But if I was doing this for the money, I clearly wouldn't be writing.
Despite the daily frustrations and the highs and lows, I'm extremely happy that I'm writing again. I wish I had never stopped. The process of getting back into it was very frustrating. I remember plotting out my book with great excitement, drawing maps of my narrator's boarding school and making a character list. My characters were very clear in my head. I just couldn't translate what I heard in my head to the page.
About a year into the process, I announced to my writing group that I was able to write like I had when I was sixteen. Two years in, I felt like I had when I was a senior in college. Back then I had unlimited time to write. Now, I squeeze my time in after work and on the weekends.
I feel like I’m getting close. I know what I need to do to turn around Quads, the first book in the series, so that it jibes with Living Little Women, the second book. I've got the third book plotted out. I feel like I've got a handle on the process of getting an agent, although I'm well aware this won't get me an agent. And I have business cards with my name and my blog on them. It made me feel super professional. The other thing I have—and this may be the most important one—is hope.