Yeah, well, those missed deadlines have been at the bleeding heart of my writing life this year. I, friends, have a good chunk of time most days to write, but I am not a fast drafter, a fact that continually pokes me in the brain while I watch my word count rise as slowly as the creaky war veteran from his seat of honor along the parade route. Nonetheless, earlier this year I started The Fire Sisters, the third book in my Brilliant Darkness series, with high hopes. That is, at first I hoped to finish my draft by the end of May. Ha. Then I hoped it would be June, then July, then August . . . you get the picture. I'm only now creeping past the finish line, with a tuba-full of revisions still ahead.
I went to the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers conference here in Denver this past weekend—always a great place to network with local writers and gather information on the dizzying changes in publishing these days. Everyone from professional authors to people who think they might want to write a novel someday—and every kind of fiction writers in-between—attend. Many of these people work very hard on their craft, spend long hours at their desks, scribble away on their lunch breaks from the dreaded Day Job, or type furiously into the wee hours of the night after caring for children all day.
There are tons of writers out there working their fingers into repetitive motion injuries and their eyes into stronger prescriptions when they'd probably rather be spending time with their families and friends, reading, or watching the latest hot series (*cough* Outlander *cough.*) Or, God forbid, sleeping. I came away from the conference with a strong sense of pride in being a writer, even one who misses her damn deadlines, along with a certain sense of humility. I truly admire those writers: their courage, their commitment, and their gutsy determination to finish that book, no matter what else is going on in their lives. They are my heroes, my inspiration.
So, as I sit here writing this post much later than I would normally be working, I commit to stop circling the block, cursing the early birds. Instead, I will do what I set out to do this year. I will spend every spare moment finishing The Fire Sisters. I owe my best efforts to all those other hard-working writers out there, I owe my readers, and I owe myself. Because, you know, the parade won't last forever. It will end, and I want to be there, sitting on the curb in the front row, cotton-candy smeared all over my face, clapping and satisfied, as the final, lurching float disappears around the corner.
To learn more about A.G. Henley, visit her about the author page.