It’s about time to turn in the first draft of my first published novel.
It’s a weird thing to write!!! I’ve been thinking about publishing a book since I was, eh, thirteen? But then, you know, things get in the way. Finishing high school, getting into college. I chose English Literature as my major, over Creative Writing because I thought I wanted to be a teacher and wanted a more general degree.
And then, when it was time to go to grad school, I was paying for it myself so I knew I better come out of it with a viable career. I graduated from college at the same time the economy collapsed, so instead of becoming a teacher at a time when teachers everywhere were getting laid off, I went to library school. I just didn’t think a degree in Creative Writing, a field that is notoriously hard to find success in, was a sound financial decision.
It’s not that I ever stopped writing. I’ve been writing consistently since I was a teenager. I started with fanfiction, I wrote original stuff in school, but fanfiction has been my hobby for 20 years. With every story I hit publish on, with every new fandom I dipped my toe into, there was always that thought in the back of my mind that I still had time to writing something original. A novel.
Lately, though, I’d started to put that dream to bed. I work at the library, I know intimately that a lot of books aren’t even very good and yet, getting published is HARD. A lot of it is just knowing the right people, networking, being in the right place at the right time. The rest of it is hustle. Write the damn thing, send it out, get rejected over and over again. It all sounded so difficult while trying to balance a full time job, a marriage, a chronic illness, whatever else life was throwing at me at the time. So I started to shift my thinking away from that. Fanfiction makes me happy. I like to write it and I find the community I’ve built around it to be very fulfilling and I worried that turning my hobby into a hustle might make me like it less, anyway. I was at peace with not being a ~writer~ and I figured that unless something fell directly into my lap, it would just never happen.
Guess what fell directly into my lap?
In a way, it was about networking, about being in the right place at the right time and knowing the right people. Fandom is a powerful network. I’ve made so many fandom friends who have become powerful, badass adults. Now I’m on this journey, I guess. I feels like the right step for me now. Maybe I’ll publish a few books and decide it really isn’t for me. Maybe I’ll publish a few books and decide that I love it and I’ll keep going. I can’t wait to find out.
But first, I just have to send in this first draft, real quick.