Either I’m Getting Stronger Or The Molasses Is Getting Thinner

Even the President of the United States has to put up with unsightly public work near his home. There’s no particular reason for this photo with this post. But the juxtaposition struck me when we were there last Saturday. Well, not at the White House, but in DC.

With a title like that, you might think I’ve lost my marbles. Wait, that might be the subject of another post. Let’s try again.

Maybe you’ve seen my recent comments about revisions feeling like I’m slogging through a sea of molasses. For those of you unfamiliar with the substance, it’s a thick, brown, gooey syrup made from the by-products of sugar-making. I’m not particularly fond of it.

The revisions after Draft 2 of Death Out of Time were painstakingly slow. What should I change? How do I take these beta comments and make a better story? Somehow, I managed. Draft 3 was a heck of a lot better. But the beta comments showed it still wasn’t the final draft. I had both sci-fi and non-sci-fi readers for Draft 3, and there were interesting differences between their comments. I think the comments also reflected some male vs. female reading differences and some plot-driven vs. character-driven personal preferences.

So “interesting” differences basically translates to “How the heck do I decide what to do?” Let me be clear — my betas weren’t suggesting I write the book “their” way. These are some kick-butt betas who know that’s not their role. But they pointed out elements that tripped them up, took them out of the story, left them confused, and needed strengthening. Then they offered possible fixes.

Of course, when you ask “X” number of people for their thoughts, you get “X” number of answers. You’ll see overlap but also many differences. One reader might love a scene while another suggests axing it. One character resonates with one reader while another thinks he’s flat. When you have more than one person read your work, this will happen.

This is a real test of how serious we are about this “writing thing.” As I said in my beta reading series, writers get discouraged when the comments come back, especially on early drafts. It’s human nature to think we’ve already done our best. I went through a few days wondering why I was even trying. Who was I kidding? Who would like this book?

But even on those days, I couldn’t not think about the story. While I didn’t touch the manuscript, I mulled over those comments. Maybe not much at first. But enough to get my creative side simmering in the background. There were emails with a couple of readers where I tried to clarify my thoughts about their comments. There were talks with another.

Several weeks passed after the initial comments came back where I still didn’t open the Scrivener project. Meghan Bode jumped at the chance to tell me the plot of another short story. I jumped at the chance to write something original again.

And this last week, the revision ideas finally started to take shape. I could see how to change certain elements to better illustrate the characters, their relationships, and motivations and to raise the stakes and heighten tension. I don’t have it all worked out yet. But I’ve opened the Scrivener file and started making changes.

After a few days of depression and a few weeks of slowly emerging ideas, my struggles in the sea of molasses seem to be easing. Maybe the molasses is being watered down. But I prefer to think my writing legs are getting stronger and my Muse won’t abandon me. (She’s of the kick-butt variety and won’t let me wallow in self-pity too long. She’s another post in herself.)

As for those self-doubts? Who would like this book? Well, for starters, my betas. I believe them when they say the idea is good and I’m writing it well. They’re simply helping me turn it into the best book I can write. That’s what beta readers do. And mine are awesome. If you enjoy the book when it’s published, they’ll have been a big reason why.

This is where I hope to be spending more time now.

How about you? Have you surprised yourself by sticking with something long after you thought you would give up?

65 thoughts on “Either I’m Getting Stronger Or The Molasses Is Getting Thinner

  1. As far as your title is concerned, I think it is a little bit of both. I’m sure the molasses is getting thinner because you’re getting stronger, which in turn continues to make that molasses thin. 🙂

    Revisions can be fun, when they go well. Then they can be tough when you have to handle conflicting suggestions. It helps an author to have a full grasp of her novel when she approaches revisions, but even then elements are pointed out when she least expects it.

    It is impossible to please every reader out there, so it’s important to please your main audience. Which I know you’re doing. 🙂

    I’m happy revisions are coming together better for you. And I’m extra happy that your muse is still putting you to work. 🙂

    Like

    • One of the hardest lessons I’ve learned since I started writing is how hard the endeavor really is. Yes, I love the creative process, and I love the stories that take shape in my mind and setting them down. But when we decide we want to reach an audience outside of our “home circle,” the stakes are raised. And a lot of blood, sweat, and tears are required to be successful.

      I’d like non-writers to see what goes on behind the scenes before the books they enjoy are published. And new writers coming up should see what’s in store for them. New writers should also know it’s okay to get down and discouraged at times. But if someone’s serious about writing, they’ll find they keep on going somehow.

      I still have no idea how this writing adventure will turn out. But I’m enjoying the trip—even the rough days. 🙂

      Like

  2. Oh, dear. I hope the “down days” didn’t last too long… you have an awesome book waiting to get out there in the world!

    I think one of the most difficult things I’ve wrestled with as a writer is the revision process. Some of my writer friends LOVE revising. They think it is the most fun party, and they can’t wait to attend! No. Not me. But I now realize how important the fixing and changing and improving and tweaking are.

    You’re going about it the right way: asking questions, making changes you think are right for the book and trying to produce a product that you feel proud of.

    You should be proud of yourself! Good luck as you revise.

    Like

    • Not to worry. 🙂 After a beta round, there are usually 2 or 3 days of self-doubt (and self-pity). Then the Muse starts kicking me and gets my brain, ego, and the characters to start thinking about the fixes. That can be like getting motivated to exercise the day after a huge holiday meal or a grueling sporting event. But over a few weeks, they all start working together again. 😉

      Loving the revision process—I wish I could view it that way! My brain and ego usually protest, saying things like, “But we’ve already given it our best shot. What do you mean readers are confused/bored/whatever by some of the scenes and characters?” It’s a grudging process to make them come around to thinking about changes.

      But slowly the brain and ego are beginning to understand (and anticipate) the required steps. 😉 And they understand why betas are in the acknowledgments and get complimentary signed copies of the books and “book bling” when they’re published. 🙂

      Like

  3. Thanks for sharing your experience. It helps a newbie like me who just started to take writing seriously (and experiencing plenty of those self doubts) to see they are part of the process.

    I’m happy to hear that after letting the feedback sit your muse has given you a way to work with it. I “hear” the excitement in your words. Good for you!!! I look forward to reading about how close your next draft will be to “final.” 🙂

    Like

    • I think every one of us starts out believing, “It will be different for me.” And we all learn—it won’t be. 😉 So it’s comforting to learn the self-doubt, self-pity, frustration, and all the other negative emotions are shared by 99.999% of other writers. (And I think the .001% are just in denial about what they really feel.)

      I honestly believe anyone can write a story if they really want to. But doing what it takes to get that story to a professional, polished level is what separates the serious writer from the wannabes.

      If I had understood how helpful and supportive the blogging community would be, I would’ve started blogging a lot earlier in my writing journey. Good for you for getting here quicker—you’re able to share in that so much sooner!

      Hopefully, Draft 4 is the last major one. I’d love to be moving into the polishing stage soon. 🙂

      Like

  4. Yes, I was using Motorola 6800 microprocessor assembler language to execute IBM 360 Floating Point instructions; About 2 pages of M6800 code to execute one IBM360 FP. Then I timed it and found it took to long too execute. So I looked for and removed redundant code. Still to long. Then I changed algorithms. Still too long. Then I layed the idea out on graph paper and came up with a new idea. Still too long. Finally I hit upon some new idea (don’t embarrass me by asking becuase that was 35 years ago – – – hell – – – today I am lucky if I can remember to turn on the dryer after I have loaded it). Well the new idea worked. I was considered a “wonder.” (“I Wonder what Wally screwing up today?”) And here I sit also wondering why the hell I spent so much time on a project that was scrapped within a few months after I completed my portion of it. Maybe it was my microcode. (Is that where they got “Wally” from for the Dilbert cartoons?) Maybe I need another coffee to hold in my hand while I walk around.
    But thanks for asking why I stayed working on something until the end. Now it has become a bad habit.

    Like

    • I guess you could look at it as you got paid to stick with it. But that is sooo the corporate world, isn’t it? — spend countless hours (and dollars) on something that will be replaced within a year.

      Did you have glasses like Dilbert’s Wally? And did anyone’s tie stand up like Dilbert’s? 🙂

      Little known fact about me that you can find in a few WordPress comments—I started out as a Computer Science major in college. That lasted all of 3 semesters. I could handle (sort of) the Calculus classes, and I breezed through Matrix Algebra. It was the ComSci programming courses that BORED ME TO TEARS! Of course, the obvious switch to make was to Anthropology, with a focus on Archaeology.

      So, yes, my eyes glazed over as I read about your experience. And all these years later, it’s safe to say I don’t regret changing majors. 🙂

      But speaking of the dryer…. Damn!

      Like

      • No glasses like Wally’s. So I had to take a copy of the cartoon to my ophthamologist and have him make me a pair with rose colored glass. The world was much better when I started wearing them.
        I won’t say anything about ties standing up for fear that the smut police may be monitoring our messages. I had the monitoring chip removed from my neck; but you never know.

        Like

  5. I bet it’s a bit of both too. And YAY for slogging through the muck and coming out on the other side to meet your Muse again. I know how hard it is, writing will always be a love-hate thing for me, and I always struggle with persevering through the tough parts. I do a lot of stopping and starting. So glad your beta readers are giving you such great feedback—we’re a lot harder on ourselves than anyone else is, aren’t we?

    Like

    • Oh, yes. I am my own worst critic, especially during those first few days after feedback. I convince myself even the positive comments were just to keep from hurting my feelings too much. Fortunately the Muse isn’t afraid to start kicking me back into shape when she’s had enough of that nonsense.

      But I understand that love-hate relationship. Most people who aren’t writers or involved with other creative projects often don’t understand. They wonder why I keep doing it if I don’t always love it. And I’ve never found a good way to explain it. Something in me keeps on going, and there’s a kind of satisfaction in not giving up. I’ll bet you and my other fellow writers will understand what I’m trying to say there.

      Like

  6. Glad it’s all coming together for you!

    NaNo is my first attempt at writing a novel, so I don’t know how I’ll feel about revisions on that, but in other my other writing – short stories, articles etc, I actually prefer the editing and revising process to the initial writing process. I get excited about my ideas initially, but then I struggle to put those ideas down in the way I envisage them. When I do the editing, I can then see how to mould it back into what I really wanted, or maybe into something different, but either way, it all becomes much clearer after I’ve written it.

    Like

    • Isn’t it funny how we all enjoy different parts of the creative process? And have different ideas about what we’re good at? I love getting that first draft set down, even though I know it’s in for round after round of revision. It’s the revisions that bring out my inner demons who whisper I’m no good at this and no one will enjoy the final stories. I think it’s my Muse who finds the way to beat them down so I can get back to revising and writing the next story. You can see why I don’t begrudge her the time spent on the beach with her mojitos. 😉

      I am in awe of those of you who can do NaNo. Someday, maybe I’ll try it. But there are WEEKS when I don’t get 2,000 words written. How could I do 50,000 in a MONTH?!

      Like

  7. Glad to hear you’re still working away on this one. I’m looking forward to reading it some day. Kate’s right though, part of getting feedback is to remember that you can’t please them all (especially when some of the comments are contradictory). The balance of using the feedback but not automatically changing everything they want is hard. *hugs*

    Like

    • It IS hard — especially as I have to decide what to change and how to do it and also what to leave in place as is. And if you knew how awful I am at decision-making in normal life, you’d know how revisions become doubly hard for me. 🙂

      Thanks for the hugs and support! And I promise this book will be published—after I make it the best one I can. Before then, I’m looking forward to reading at least one of yours. (More if you published them!)

      Like

      • Thanks! Thats *gulp* going to be soon too… *hides in a cave*

        In all seriousness, I do understand the way natural difficulty with decisions can complicate the revisions process, especially when combined with the desire we all have to make it the best you can. And, of course, the normal self-doubt that we might ever know best. I promise, I have pretty much all of this every time I go into revisions on anything.

        Like

  8. Giving time for your work to simmer is helpful. As you discovered, mulling things over in the mind a bit can make things easier when you finally return to the project. I haven’t experienced opposing beta reader views for my fiction, but I did face something similar in an academic article I got published. One reviewer said to add more to a section; another suggested I take the entire section out; and a third thought it was perfect. Okaayy….now what? Ultimately, I had to go with what felt right to me. Sometimes I think our gut instinctively knows.

    As for molasses–not my favorite either. Except when I’m making Ginger Snaps. Yum.

    Like

    • Ah, that sounds like some graduate school experiences I and fellow students had. But in those days, the advisor’s view won out. 😉 Our opinions didn’t carry the same weight for some reason….

      Not that I like to give lots of advice to people about many subjects, but “trust your gut” is usually a safe bet. Of course, my self-doubt will point out, “What makes you think your gut knows anything?” That’s usually the cue for my Muse to throw her mojito in self-doubt’s face, kick my behind, and tell both of us to knock it off. 😉

      Ginger snaps are good when I know I’ve had too many of the sweet cookies and candies. But if my mom’s walnut crescent cookies are around, forget the others. 🙂

      Like

      • Oh, those sound good. Which reminds me, I will need to begin my Christmas cookie baking frenzy soon. My sons would love it if I made dozens and dozens of the chocolate kiss cookies, but I like a little variety.

        As for the gut, isn’t it fun when our brain argues with it? 😉

        Like

        • Can you believe Thanksgiving is this Thursday?! Dinner will be easy for us—we have reservations in DC. 😉 That’s our new tradition here in Maryland. Cooking a holiday meal for two makes no sense.

          Different tastes—I would go to the chocolate kiss cookies when all my favorites were gone. 😉

          And brains vs. guts is definitely a messy battle. No one wins. 😉

          Like

  9. I would imagine that your skills are improving with experience. Plus a little time away, can often help with the flow, with ideas, solving problems and the like. Not that I have a lot of experience of it, but feedback can sometimes be a bit of a hindrance as well as a help. For example, sometimes a relatively flat scene might be necessary because of what is coming up. Ultimately you have to take the advice, but be brave in making a final call on what feels right for the story, not what is favourite for you.

    Like

    • When multiple readers raise similar points, it’s easy to see those sections need work. (Not that it’s easy to make the fixes.) It’s much harder for me when some like a particular bit, others don’t, and others are indifferent. That usually has to come down to trusting my gut/instincts.

      And that “flat” scene can be critical as you say. But I’ll spend time wondering if there’s a way I can perk it up and give it more dimension. If not, the next scene should make up for it.

      I think the skills are improving. I’m actually quite happy with the way Meghan’s first story turned out, given that I was writing it as I went with little time for true editing and no time to “let it simmer” before going back to each installment. Obviously the novels require much more detail and sub-plots. But I hope the next ones I write will get to a polished state sooner than the first two.

      Like

  10. Yes, I have written posts about doing after kinda giving up. My Masters Thesis was one. Publishing 3 shorts stories this year has lifted me into the clouds. Your writing has done the same to me!
    I will be nominating you for an award tomorrow on my post (So, understand what I think of your writing.).
    Rules will be there. Congrats!
    Scott

    Like

    • Rules? Did somebody say rules? *runs away and hides under the bed* Just kidding! I’m looking forward to seeing what it is. 🙂

      I am really hoping to have the final draft of Death Out of Time done in 2013. And maybe it will be early enough that I can start shopping it to agents before the end of the year. I don’t want to query it too soon, but I also don’t want to be the kind of writer who’s always thinking the book needs “one more go through” first.

      Getting those three stories published this year has got to feel great. And it shows the quality of your writing. That’s going to be a great basis for you to build on in 2013. 🙂

      Like

  11. Sometimes I think we writers over think in general. It’s hard to absorb negative or even constructive criticism easily sometimes. I find if I reach out for too many opinions I lose track of where I was going in the first place so go to people I thoroughly trust to be straight forward and honest about their feelings on what I have penned. You always do great things!

    Like

    • Over thinking would be a good term to describe the way I live my life. Although, honestly, I’d rather over think than not think enough.

      I had four readers on this draft, and I don’t know how I would handle more. I know other writers will have 10 readers. I think my brain would explode trying to sort through that many different comments! But I believe these four readers were as straightforward and honest as you describe. I won’t make every change that was suggested. But there are a lot more comments that I will address than not.

      If people like the book, the betas are a big reason for it. If the book falls flat, it will be because of me—not them!

      Like

  12. Revising is a hard Jillian exercise workout for writers. The more you do it, the stronger and better you get at it. Glad you’re wading through the molasses easier. I have been amazed by all I’ve learned from the first book revising to the 2nd book. Can’t wait till you get this book done.

    Like

    • Oh, what a great way to describe the process. 🙂 I really hope Novels 3 and 4 will be easier. As far as I know, they’ll be sequels to 1 and 2. Of course, the Muse has been known to shake things up now and again….

      If we look over the careers of our favorite writers, we can see how they’ve improved from one book to the next. And if they did it, so can we. Just so we don’t enter the next stage of “phoning it in” as sometimes happens.

      When this book is done, you will know it. When I find out if it goes traditional or I will take it indie, you will know it. It’s so much more fun and a bit easier when we can all share in this writing adventure together. 🙂

      Like

  13. It’s difficult when you get opposing opinions as well as more than one suggestion for a novel update at a time. I try to spread mine out a little. I first send my draft to a proof reader (they don’t have ‘opinions’ on plot or theme), once that’s done I send it to someone who is great at editing, and then it goes off to another who is great at picking up major issues (like eye or hair colour changes in the characters). I try to avoid betas who want to make changes to the story (I don’t listen to them anyway) because it detracts from want I want the story to be like.

    One thing to remember is that you are writing this story for ‘YOU’ and not other people. As long as you like it and it’s satisfying for you to read there is no use being concerned about changes other people want to make (you will be editing it forever if this was the case).

    Best of luck and don’t let opinions about the story get you down 😉

    Like

    • When I have a few novels under my belt, I’ll probably be comfortable with reducing the number of readers for my drafts. But right now, I’m still new enough that I want the input from more seasoned writers about where I might be going astray and which areas are weak. I want readers who review the book to recommend it. 😉

      Even with this first book, I’ll have to trust my instincts on which changes to make—or not make. And that’s why I haven’t rushed in and started chopping scenes or rewriting characters. I want to be sure what I want to say in the story and then make sure any changes will be improvements toward that goal. I’m learning. 🙂 (Actually, I hope I never stop!)

      Thanks for the support, and someday before too long, you and others will get to read this book!

      Like

    • I decided it wouldn’t be honest of me to only focus on the “good days” of writing, when everything seems to be going smoothly. That’s not how most of them are. There are more days when it’s a struggle to get a decent word count in or a good amount of revisions. And, of course, blogging is social media, and we enjoy learning more about the people we’re interacting with. So this type of post gives a fuller picture of me—or at least as much of me as I can handle talking about. 😉

      I’m not a molasses fan—so slogging through it seemed like the best analogy for the difficult days. 🙂

      Like

  14. I know how you feel – revisions are just too slow and sticky. The whole process is incredibly slow. It does help to put it away for a while though. I’m always amazed that any needed changes seem obvious when I go back to it. I’m glad you’re getting through it all!

    Like

    • That “putting the manuscript away for a while” was an important lesson I learned when I first queried the other manuscript. Even though I had beta readers and did rounds of editing, I never set the manuscript aside for a few weeks or even months. When I finally did and then looked at it again, that’s when the lesson was truly learned. So this manuscript has seen three “drawer sessions” so far. And I think the quality of the writing is better for it.

      Like

  15. I’ve been glum over this as well with two different stories and two different readers. It’s a bit scary each time I see my child through the eyes of a stranger.

    Like

    • It is scary—and a bit depressing—when things I thought were clear aren’t or when a character or scene falls flat with readers. Ultimately, as Dianne Gray noted above, we have to tell our stories the way we think best. But self-doubt can make it hard to figure out what is best.

      Good to see you back in the blogosphere!

      Like

  16. It must be difficult to reconcile the differing opinions and decide what you want to do about it. You said in one of the comments that we can see our favourite authors improve. The first time that consciously struck me was when Asimov revisited the Foundation series and added some novels. Re-reading the series in chronological, rather than written, sequence highlighted the improvement in his writing for me.

    Like

    • I loved the Foundation series. 🙂 Every writer should improve with each work. Granted, the pressure to release the next “best seller” makes some big names backslide instead. But when that particular pressure isn’t there, I think we see the improvement even in writers who were really good to begin with.

      I also think when we deal with a series or sequels, the increasing familiarity with our characters helps us tell their stories more clearly/entertainingly as we deal with them more.

      The revision ideas are still taking shape, but I’m working on them—when Meghan isn’t dictating her second story. 😉

      Like

      • I’ve been thinking about what you said about the characters in a series from a reader’s point of view. We feel we know them much better and it is very frustrating if the writer has them do something we feel to be out of character.
        We were watching an episode of a sci-fi series recently and the characters who are normally honest were acting in a deceitful manner. We just couldn’t concentrate for complaining, “They wouldn’t do that!”

        Like

        • When characters have to act “out of character,” something’s wrong with the story line and needs to be fixed. It sounds like the writers of that episode wanted a particular story line and forced the characters to fit it instead of the other way around. I think we can get away with that when we’re writing the first book/episodes. But once the characters are established, they need to have a really good reason to do something atypical!

          Like

          • I think sometimes with a tv series, problems are created when they bring in different writers who don’t know the characters as well as the viewers do.
            I agree with you, we can accept a character surprising us when we first meet them, but we’ll be less forgiving of that later on – unless the author can give us the reasons for it somehow.

            Like

  17. I was surprised that I stuck with my western. The fact that its a western was my first shock. (Being from Detroit, first of all; Never reading a western before, second) It’s being edited by my wife right now, but I am anxious to get back and re-read it. I know there are gaps that will need filling and corrections to make things technically plausible.

    PS: I’m so glad to find some Foundation Fans. I love that series. 🙂

    Like

    • I never thought I’d write any novels, let alone the two WIPs I have going. It takes at least a few drafts to get them right for even the best writers. Getting past our egos when the reviews come back is a major victory when you think about it. After all, it would be so much easier to quit or ignore the comments we don’t like (but deep down realize are spot on).

      It’s been a while, but I probably read most of Asimov’s works when I was younger. 🙂

      Like

      • One of the things I liked best at the workshops I went to was the instant reviews from my fellow writers. The questions asked would keep me on my toes and encourage me to keep going.

        I too read Asimov when I was younger. It is fun to go back every now and again though.

        Like

  18. Feedback is tough. I feel like a hen sitting on eggs waiting for them to hatch. It takes me weeks to understand and process it. Bravo to you for diving back in. The lows are so normal, it’s why most writers have to self medicate I think. 😉 Sometimes I question why I’m sticking with this, but I know there is nothing else I want to do this badly.

    Like

    • I honestly believe that inability to give up is the mark of a true writer. Even at those lows when we think about packing it in, something in us refuses. We can (and probably have) quit other things. But the writing won’t let go. So I know the day is coming when I’ll be enjoying your Six Train to Wisconsin. 🙂

      I can’t say I’m charging through the revisions, but I am moving forward. I could probably do it quicker if Meghan hadn’t taken over a block of time. 😉 But I’m not going to begrudge her the chance to be writing something new, too!

      Like

      • Better to go slower and get it right, then to rush and have to redo everything! I used to tell my boss I can do things really fast or really right, your choice. 😉 Aw thanks. I’m investigating indie publishing. It’s really exciting to realize I can get my book out there. Even if agents won’t take it on. I still have an option. And I love Meghan’s adventures on your blog. I think it’s a great marketing tool to build interest in your book too. 🙂

        Like

        • I’m seeing more new writers take that leap into the indie world. And it’s tempting me, too. Heck, the few passes/no replies I got when I queried Summer at the Crossroads too soon were crushing. Can I try again? I guess we’ll find out when I finish <Death Out of Time. But as I revise, I’m reading up on indie publishing, too. That’ll be the only way to publish a collection of expanded Meghan mysteries. No agent or press would take on that kind of book from an unknown writer! Maybe I’m delusional, but I think there could be a market for collections of short mysteries, even if it’s a small one. At worst, I’m wrong and it was a great learning experience. At best, I find an audience. 🙂

          Like

  19. This post has been sitting in my inbox for days, because I wanted to give it the attention it deserves. First of all, I love the title, it’s intriguing–in fact, I knew I wanted to comment before I knew what this is about (which is kind of my thing; I’m often vocal with my opinions before I know the first thing about a topic).

    I think that fear and insecurity is a natural part of the creative process. Just like the pain receptors in our bodies, I think fear & insecurity serve a positive function up to a point. Pain is no fun, but we’re glad to have the sensation if we think about it, otherwise we’d keep grabbing that hot pan on the stove. Along those lines, a little fear and insecurity about your writing (or any form of art) may prompt you to do your very best work, and that’s hardly a bad thing. Of course, a surfeit of this fear is what keeps a lot of great writers from ever becoming writers.

    It sounds like you have a healthy degree of insecurity. My advice would be not to lose it.

    Like

    • That is exactly what I hope—that my insecurity and desire to do my best will result in good books that others will enjoy reading. First and foremost, I love writing these stories. I never expected them, but once I starting writing, I couldn’t stop—even when I’d wonder if I would ever have another idea for a book. (I still worry about that sometimes, even though I know my Muse is always waiting to drop something on me. As long as it’s an idea and not bird crap, I’m happy.)

      What I have to keep in check is my natural impatience. It led me to query my first novel too soon. And that was a “hand on the hot stove” lesson. So even if I decide to go indie and e-publish with a print-on-demand option, I’ll still make sure the books are as well-written as I can make them and also professionally edited. The idea that others would enjoy my stories is amazing. That they would want to read a second (and third…) would be the ultimate compliment.

      Like

  20. Pingback: Reblog: JM McDowell’s Revision Molasses « Kourtney Heintz's Journal

  21. Pingback: Are You With Me? « jmmcdowell

Comments are closed.