Writing The Novel

My cat, Callie tries to write her own novel on my laptop…

My cat, Callie tries to write her own novel on my laptop…

On June 19, 2011, at about 6:15 in the morning I completed the first draft of my novel.  I was sitting right here at my desk and listening to the Music Choice channel on cable television when the song Billie Jean by Michael Jackson came on.  I had been writing all night, the final chapters so clearly ingrained in my mind and in need of finishing that I literally could not stop writing.  No matter what comes of my writing career or my book, I doubt that I will ever forget that moment.

This novel, which I began dreaming up and writing in 2000, has been with me so long it has often felt like a never-ending pregnancy.  Even in the days, weeks and months where I could not bring myself to actually write anything, this novel has always been with me.  Simmering and stirring in the back of my head at every turn.  A pulsating voice from within telling me to "just write the book already," or was that the voice of my mother.  Or maybe both?  Either way it's been over ten years of blood, sweat, tears, procrastination, doubts, triumphs and persistence.

I can't say much about the novel just yet, but I can tell you that it will be the first book in a four book series.  And because I have been working on this book so long, it is more like a 1.5 draft of the novel than an actual first draft.  And of course, being a draft I'm not delusional enough to think that the novel is perfect as it is.  I still have a long way to go.  But in writing this entry, I am in my own way pronouncing my entry into the publishing industry in the near future and also putting pressure on myself to edit and rewrite the novel in a timely fashion.  And frankly, after all of these years, shouldn't have I the right to celebrate something?  LOL.

Although I've been writing since I was about five or six years old, and have written everything from plays, poems, songs, essays, short stories and novellas, writing a novel has always been a lifelong goal.  More importantly, I've wanted to be a full-time writer since the time I read an interview with Jackie Collins and realized that her 'job' was writing novels on her laptop by her swimming pool at her mansion in California.  I was twelve years old and thought that was the most fantastic job ever.  LOL.  I remember telling my mother this and she thought it was great but that I should always pursue something more realistic to "fall back on."   Thus, the reason I have a bachelor's degree in Economics.

Fantasies aside, I have learned so much about myself and about my writing process.  During the entire writing process, I kept a novel for my notebook and I also kept a journal where I wrote about my feelings after each writing session.  Reading back earlier entries help me to see where I've grown and become more confident in myself as a writer and in my "voice"----the belief that I have something to say and that I have the right to say it.

After a really tough year, I am just so excited that I'm finally making headway in something that I love to do.  No matter what is going on in my corner of the world, when I'm writing I am the happiest.  I'm usually very cautious about sharing my dreams and goals with anyone, let alone the world, but this is just something that I feel the need to share.  And of course, I am prayerful and grateful to God every step of the way.

Glory!

Naj

Naj