This past Sunday was a great day for me. After almost sixteen full years of chasing a dream, I finally crossed a very important finish line. I completed the first draft of my first novel.
I’ve been writing poetry since I was in high school. I now have five children’s books and a collection of my poetry. For me, those are projects that are easier to accomplish. I can’t explain exactly why. I struggled over every word in those stories and poems just as I did with the novel, but the novel was a little closer to my heart.
Now, before I go any further, I should clarify what that means. When I started writing “Emma” so many years ago, I was excited. I could feel every emotion of my characters. I could visualize everything happening to them. I was part of them and they were part of me. “Emma” was lost and I had to help her find her way.
Eventually, though, life interrupted my thought process and “Emma” was put away. That would happen several more times. As life and the world changed, my story would somehow change with it, only to be put away again.
Deep down, I knew I wanted to finish it. Writing is a drug for me. I wanted to show myself I could do it and that the effort would be worth it, but picking it back up to keep going became hard to do.
Eventually, I became a little more serious about wanting to become published. I made myself a list of goals because I was determined to get a few things done. My number one item on the top of the list was to publish a novel by the time I’m forty. I have to share with you how accurate that has become. I will be forty in June, and “Emma” is going through its first revision. Not bad, right!
The official title is actually “Emma’s Journey”. The goal I had for the book remained the same from the very beginning to now. Simply, it’s a book about a woman on a journey to find herself. In today’s world, it’s easy to lose who you are. I didn’t want to write the typical plot and cliché of other books. I wanted to, hopefully, be different. I wanted to focus on the woman and her life and who she was, not just the romance side. (Yes, there is a handsome dilemma in the book. Can’t have a book without that can we!)
Maybe that’s why it was so hard to write. Maybe I was trying too hard to be different. Maybe the timing I had in mind was just off. Or maybe, like “Emma”, I had to be on a specific journey myself. Whatever the reason, it is done. The first draft is complete. It’s time for the next major turn on this road I’m traveling. There are other books to be written, but “Emma” will always be the most special one to me.