Writing by the Numbers
I have been sitting in front of this screen for awhile thinking about what I’d like to say for my website’s first blog post. I’d love for it to be witty! Engaging! Moving!
Guess what – that is the life of a writer. Or, the majority of it.
Sure, I’d like to say that its glamorous, and that life is a daily inspiration that feeds the art and the words flow and the fingers create effortless masterpieces.
Wouldn’t that be nice???
I have always wanted to be a writer. But, with the exception of a few bursts of creative genius, there were much longer periods of times where I’d stare at a page and have no idea what to do next. Writing is not about the talent or the inspiration. It is about the hard work and the dedication that go in to it.
So, here is the reality of what it took for me to write The Memory of Us:
Five gallons of Dr. Pepper to keep me awake at night so that I could keep writing. (I totaled how many bottles I drank over the course of putting out the first draft.)
Six years of writing and revising.
Seventeen drafts – I hope the earliest ones never see the light of day!
One hundred and sixteen thousand words. Yes, that’s the length of the book.
Four children competing for my attention.
Four writer’s conferences. These events – two in New York, one in Dallas, and one in San Antonio – were instrumental in honing the craft and learning how to make it stronger.
Forty-two rejections. That’s right. Forty-two agents DIDN’T want to represent the book. So, each time, I learned how to make it stronger and stronger until…
Two agents DID want the book.
Countless readers, supporters, and writing friends who have been cheerleaders along the way.
So, while I’d love for all of my reading and writing to be done as you see in the picture above – barefoot and waterside – the truth is that it often takes place in my tiny home office, with the distraction of a home with four children and a dog, dinner needing to be made, and eyes sagging with the need for sleep.
Whatever your dream – don’t wait for everything to be PERFECT to make it happen. Start it NOW, blemishes and all, and build those numbers so that they add up to achieving what you want to do as well.