The End of the Beginning

Twenty-six months ago, I started writing a book that meant a lot to me. It was supposed to break me out of a creative funk, supposed to get me back in the groove and make full use of the nifty-new laptop I’d purchased to write on.

It was supposed to be a six-month project, and I told my publisher as much.

It was the first, and only lie I’ve ever told him.

Sort of.

When I add up the days I really spent working on the book, six months seems about right. The other twenty are the problem, and the only person to blame for this creative drought is myself.

It’s off to my publisher now, and I hope he’ll like it. It’s the shortest novel I’ve ever written, and also the most ambitious. For almost a year I was stymied on how to move the plot forward, until I spent a weekend at a writing retreat. Six months later, another retreat got me to the halfway mark, and a few conventions and another retreat later I was within spitting distance of the end.

And then, I wasn’t. The excuses kept piling up, and the work just wasn’t getting done. Friends died. Friends moved away. The plot I could see so clearly in my head refused to manifest on the page, and I thought very hard about writing a different book altogether.

In April, I had a completed outline.

In June, the man who is the reason I’m a science fiction author at all passed away, a month after my first ever short fiction sale. A week after that, I met some new writerly friends, and the words started flowing again.

And now that July is over, I’m proud to say that I’ve turned this

I love you, man.
Day 1

into this

Day 785

So tomorrow, I’m going to start another one. Just because I can.

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