Friday, January 04, 2008

The Final Lonely Push

Writer and former publisher of ByLine Magazine, Marcia Preston, once wrote a wonderful editorial (actually she wrote a lot of terrific editorials) about the feeling that comes when writers finish a manuscript. She talked about hearing from a former writing student who'd published a book, and how he'd spent the summer working on the "un-fun" part of writing -- completing the final edit. But here's the thing. He also confessed how much he actually loved what he called "the final lonely push".

I know what he was talking about. After years of writing and rewriting, and having just received feedback from my editor (who's worked on the book twice) I'm about to start the last and final edit before publication of Fatal Encryption. I have mixed feelings about this. One is excitement. It's been twelve years since I last published a book, and I'd forgotten about the adrenalin rush, the sleepless nights, and the anxiety. How will it be received? Is every comma in the right place? Have I left a tiny, crucial detail out? But I also feel relief and a sense of closure. Family responsiblities, jobs, and other things made writing this novel a nine-year ordeal and it's time to move on. I don't plan to continue this series because I've written two books in another series which an agent's interested in. Still, letting go of Alex, Tristan, and Jillian will be tough.

As I begin this final, lonely push, I'll think of all the other writers who are going through the same thing, and I'll salute you. We've got the bug. There are no others options but to push forward and create, send it out there, and see what the world sends back.

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