by Shelt Garner
I shouldn’t talk about anything to do with this novel project, but I’m 100% extroverted, so here we are. Think of this as just a really long tweet. Anyway, I’m very close to reaching the midpoint of this first novel in a projected five novel project.
There are some problems, however.
One is, I really need to hurry up and get something done. If I don’t wrap this first novel up within, say, about a year, I’m going to be creeping into “Wow, you’re so old” territory. I will no longer be “in the prime of life,” I’m just going to be fucking old.
I think about this all the time.
I wasted so much of my life dwelling on the past and having grief over something I couldn’t fix — the fact that everything wrong with ROKon Magazine was my fault — that I let slip past a number of “prime of life years.”
There’s a risk, of course, that now I’ll have grief over those lost years and be back to where I started. I can’t change how old I am. I have to accept that I’m no longer cute in the same way I used to be and even if I magically win the publishing lottery and sell this first novel that what I want to have happened — to be be young in NYC or LA, just isn’t going to happen.
I’m going to be judged in accordance with my age and people will say, “Wow, you were a loser for much of your life, how does it feel to suddenly be a success when you’re nearly a corpse?” I’ve reached the point where any success I have at this point will be relative to how fucking old I am.
This is something they don’t tell you when you’re growing up. They don’t tell you that there is a sweetspot for success age-wise and if you are past that point, well, too bad for you sucker. You’re an Old.
All I can say is, what am I supposed to do about it? I can’t help that I’ve always been a late bloomer. All I can do is, should the occasion arise and I have the means to do cool shit in a very public way, I’m going to squeeze every moment out of that brief flicker of time before I get so old and decrepit that I can no longer be seen in public at all.
Anyway. Like I said, I’m just about at the midpoint of the first draft. Once I finish the first draft, I’m going to throw myself into developing the second novel for maybe a month, then turn my attention back to the first novel and rework it as necessary so it’s good enough for Beta Readers to take a look at it. There remains a lot of things — mostly having to do with the police procedural aspect of the story — that I just don’t know anything about.
But you have to keep the faith. You have to believe in yourself and believe that somehow, someway you’ll manage to fix those problems to the point that you can get an agent and then sell the novel.