Happy New Year, friends!
So, a show of hands: who out there is excited for 2013? Anyone? I, for one, cannot wait to see what this new year brings. Not only will my first book come out in just over a month (squee!)*, but my fellow Debs — these four lovely ladies who have become my writer sisters — will see their books enter the world this year as well. This is going to be such an exciting year for all of us!
I’m not big on resolutions, but I always think of the first week in January as a time for looking forward. What are my goals for the coming year? How will I achieve them? What did mistakes did I learn from last year, and how will I do better this time around?
With my current work-in-progress, however, I’m in heavy revision mode, which means I’m in the unusual position of looking backward and forward at the same time: backward as I go over a manuscript I’ve read several times and tear it apart, and forward as I envision how I’d like to book to take shape and reassemble the pieces back together.
In my view, this is one of the most exciting and frustrating parts of the writing process. Thanks to some amazing advice from a friend and reader, I’ve cracked the nut of how I can revise my manuscript to take it to the next level (yay!), but I now have to execute all of those ideas, some of which involve shifts in timing and sequence (argh). If A originally happened before B, but now B happens before A, the effects of that change ripple through the entire manuscript. Which means lots o’ revising on my part.
Revisions can seem overwhelming, and I sometimes wonder if I can make this book what I want it to be. But then I remember one of the best pieces of advice I received from my sister-in-law, a successful author in the UK:
Trust the process.
The process can be messy. It won’t always be fun. But I’ve done this before: I wrote a book, I revised it many, many times, and now, in a little more than a month, that book will be published. I have to believe that I will get there again, and I do.
What about you? Do you sometimes have to look backward — whether it’s at a manuscript or a life experience — in order to move forward? And — I have to ask — do you have any resolutions for 2013?
*I’m also preparing to deliver something else into the world in a little over two months, but that’s a story for another time…