Maybe because it's a chilly Monday for the middle of August and I've been up late and woke early to read The Half Blood Prince - my favorite Harry Potter of all, so far.
But I feel down right down.
Maybe because I was sick over the weekend and my lingering mood is left-over virus, but still... I can't seem to shake my low spirits.
Like I said, I was reading Half Blood Prince this morning and marveling at how JK just keeps turning and twisting her stories and how she never ceases to amaze and surprise me. And then I started thinking about Stephenie Meyer and The Twilight series, and then I started reading all of your lovely blogs - most of you are already contracted and have second and third books on the way, have agents, and editors, and line edits to do, etc. And well, I guess I am having a pity party.
So, I need to turn that around right now... Enough of that! And you can all help me...
See, all of you, including JK and Stephenie, at one time in your career paths, had only a rough idea of your stories. You had a first draft or maybe even a second or third draft and not much more. You didn't have an agent yet, or interest from an editor. We all start out at the same place -- the beginning -- the time before a polished, clean 6th draft, the time before an agent, the time before a contract... I want to know about that time to help lift my spirits and give me hope, remind me that we all begin at the beginning.
So, if you will humor me, remember back, way back, to when this was all just a huge, fantastic dream and you were writing your first novel. Maybe you had never even written one before. It was sometimes a dark and murky experience with flashes of light and inspiration. Can you remember that time?
What did it feel like when you finally finished that first draft of your first novel? What was your big moment like when you knew, after many revisions, that your novel was as good as it was going to get without an agent's notes? When did you know it was ready to send off to an agent? How did you meet your agents? Did they love your story right away, or at first say no? What was the turning point for you when being a children's author became a reality and not just a dream?
If you don't mind sharing, please stroll down memory lane with me and tell me about your starting-outs as writers. I would love to hear about it and know that each of you were once where I stand now, with your nose pressed against the glass peaking in on contracted writer's lives, hoping, dreaming, and praying -- a lot of praying...