Three years has gone by so fast and so slow at the same time. It's hard to believe that it was that long ago I was inspired by a new friend when she told me that she wrote her own novel. Her courage to step out of her day job in the medical field (that I also work in) and pursue her passion for writing gave me a nudge to indulge my creative side as well.
To say that I had no clue what I was doing, is an understatement. All I knew is that she wrote a book and then met a with a group to help her critique and edit it and was in the process of preparing to submit it to agents. Easy, right? I'd had what I considered an entertaining idea for a novel in the back of my mind for years... I would write the kind of book I loved to read. I would make it contemporary, easy to read, page turner with romance, wit and reality.
So, I sat down and wrote a very simple and loose timeline and named my key characters... and just started writing. Oh, I knew how it would start and end. I knew a few key things that I wanted to happen between. And I let my imagination fill in all the blanks. I truly enjoyed every moment as I felt the words come to life and the story unfolded over the pages.
I honestly only told my husband what I was doing because otherwise he'd wonder why I was glued to my laptop every night instead of Grey's Anatomy. Oh, and by laptop... I mean a tiny NetBook. Yes, folks, I'm pretty sure I deserve some kind of award for writing an entire novel on that, if nothing else in this world. I kept it to myself until I sure I could finish the darn thing
Finish, I did! I was ecstatic! I had to read it from front to back and make some edits... then I was ready to tell my inspirational friend that I wrote a novel. I called and blindsided her completely. She was floored that I secretly wrote a novel and was gracious to immediately offer to help me on the next part of the process.
Here's the funny part. She asked how many words my novel was. I had never looked up an appropriate number of words for a first novel... I just wrote until the story was complete. I told her it was 240,000 words and I could feel her astonishment over the phone. She let me in on what was apparently common knowledge: a novel should be 80-100K words. Oops. I had more than doubled the recommended length and I would never be able to submit it to agents and publishers at such a length.
Big problem. But, hey, I had written a dang book and I was excited for the journey to come! I had so much to learn. Stay tuned for the rest of the story.