LETTING GO OF MY BABY
It took me four years to write, rewrite, rewrite again and finally stop rewriting, my first published novel, Eternity. This was the book that I dreamed into existence and gave me the desire to write again after twenty years of inactivity. This was the book that saved sanity my after my husband came home from deployment and told me he’d met someone else—that’s another story for another time.
After my daughter, this book was my second, very precious child. Through the many rewrites, other authors advised that I should move on, write something else. “You’re going to spend ten years writing the same book.” They may have been correct on that point, but luckily fate stepped in and Eternity was published by a small independent press around the same time my daughter left for college.
Both of my babies had grown up and were on their way out into the big wide world. Time to cut the apron strings. I worried about them, what they were doing? Whom they were meeting? Were they appreciated for their beauty and brains? My daughter could defend herself. She had my wit and twice my courage. But my other baby was on its own, which was fine, until I received my first bad review. Actually, it was more lukewarm than bad. They gave me two stars because they didn’t like the reincarnation theme of the novel. Okay, that was in the blurb.
That first bad review is a punch in the gut to every new author. I think it was especially so for me because I wrote the novel during a time of deep personal rejection. For days, I obsessed about that review, alternating between wanting to question the reader about aspects of the story she/he did enjoy and depression. The logical side of me knew that you can’t please everyone all of the time while the emotional side of me wanted everyone to love me.
Well, I’ve picked the wrong field if I’m looking for eternal love. And that was the key to me letting go of my first novel baby. If I make a few people happy, if I make one person happy (me) then I’ve accomplished what I’ve set out to do. To be a writer, you have to love what you do, even if you’re the only one and if you find that you do have a few fans out there, appreciate them.