by Shelt Garner
It’s really taking a lot, lot, lot longer than I imagined to write this first novel. A lot of the delay comes from how I’ve been drifting towards my goal, rather than setting any clear deadlines. I suppose I just am reluctant to make this a chore. Writing a novel is supposed to be fun, not something you dread.
But I’m just not getting any younger.
I have to at least try to be more organized, focused and driven with this project. My current goal is to start querying in the fall of 2023. But to do that, I’m going to have to write two drafts then have beta readers then get someone to edit the copy THEN querying it.
As such, I probably need to have my second draft done in early 2023. I’m well on my way to making that a reality, but I have to stop daydreaming so much. I have to focus. I really want to at least have a second draft done in early 2023 that I can be proud of.
Then I can try to figure out how to get some beta readers in the summer of 2023 and begin the process of querying in the autumn of 2023. I have no idea if the novel will be good enough to catch the interest of a literary agent, but at least I will have achieved my goal — go through the entire process of writing a novel and trying to get it published in the traditional manner.
And, what’s more, I will know how *I* develop and write a novel. And that will help me a great deal when it comes to writing my second novel. When you reach my age, you are forced to prioritize for no other reason than if you don’t get something, anything done, you’ll be in your 60s and it will be very comical that you’re STILL trying to “make it big.”
The existential change in what you can actually achieve in life once you reach a certain age is something I’m growing very unhappy with. Is this a mid-life crisis?
Anyway, I have to keep believing in myself. But I also have to realize that if I get what I want, I won’t get what I want. It’s not like I can “make it big,” move to NYC and act like I’ve live there all my life. Even if I stick the landing, and sell a pop novel that is huge — I’m still going to be an old man who can’t date 24 year old women. And if I tried, it would be really creepy.
I just need to stop deluding myself and start to think a bit more clear eyed about what my immediate future is.