04 Jul The Three of Clubs
Writing a novel is a labor of love, and I do mean labor. I discovered after writing the first draft of my novel that I needed to learn the craft of writing if I was going to be any good at it. Over the years, I joined several writing groups, took classes, read books, attended workshops, both large and small, participated in critiques and sent my manuscript to beta readers. And I’ve gone the round with several editors. I’ve rewritten my novel five times, and each time I got better at the craft but also discovered that I’m a perfectionist. It’s a handicap I’ve had to overcome.
And don’t expect to get rich on your writing, at least not for a while, if at all. That’s why it’s a labor of love, because if you don’t love writing, then you won’t have enough gas in your car to reach your destination. Perseverance is probably the most important ingredient needed in any Writer’s toolbox, for without it, you won’t finish. I have a small poster on my wall of writing advice by my favorite author, Neil Gaiman: Finish what you’re writing. Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it.
Once your manuscript is polished and shiny and the best that it can be, it’s time for the second part of the equation: publishing. This leg of the journey involves shopping your novel around to the appropriate small houses or agents, or you could go on the scenic self-publishing route, if you have an entrepreneurial streak. Did I mention that you need a thick skin? I know one guy who wrote a thriller and has gotten 204 rejections so far, but he still continues to query agents. He is the poster child for perseverance.
I arrived at the second part of the journey last month. And that’s when I got cold feet. I didn’t know if I could handle the umpteen rejections and/or have the stamina to wait two or three more years to find a publisher. I also looked into self-publishing, but since my novel is an upper middle grade fantasy, it’s tough to get indie books into schools and libraries and that could spell an early death for my book baby. Honestly, I was beginning to wonder if I had lost my love affair with writing.
But never fear — a synchronicity appeared! Two actually. And it all happened when I was contemplating whether a writing career was what I really wanted. A hawk flew in low as I was driving to the grocery store. Hawk is a messenger bird, and seeing one tells me that I need to pay attention to messages coming my way. Later that day, I was totally blown away by the second synchronicity.
Getting some fresh air during a much-needed walk I found the top half of a torn playing card in the grass: the Three of Clubs. I picked it up and looked up the meaning of the card in my Metasymbology book when I returned home. Three of Clubs, is the Writer’s Card. I kid you not. I love it when something like this happens.
I didn’t need any more validation that I was on the Write Path. All I have to do is trust and keep moving forward.