I have a three-year-old at home who is demonstrating the power of the phrase “Terrible Threes.” A phrase I hadn’t heard until I already had a kid. It’s like “Terrible Twos” but with attitude. The ability to ask for a cookie, receive a cookie, and then have a complete melt down because it’s not the RIGHT cookie that was wanted. Tears falling, lungs yelling, feet stomping madness.
As a mother I often want to throw these tantrums myself. Especially when my son is throwing one of his. Okay, I admit it; I’ve joined in. He’s ranting and raving about a cookie, I’m ranting and raving about him and his cookie, the cats are looking at me like, “WTF lady? Can I have a treat?”
So here is my rant of the day: Writing a book is hard. It’s great fun, don’t get me wrong, but if anyone ever says it’s easy to write a book I might have to bite them, toddler style.
I’ve been working on one story for over a decade. It’s been fun, it’s been brutal, it’s been mind numbing. I have quite a few other projects simmering; two that have complete plots fleshed out. Yet I’m still on square one, editing away to mind numbing oblivion.
Because we only get one first book, one first impression. Most firsts are still not quite there yet, still need some work. I’m sure I’ll look back in ten more years and wonder “WTF lady?” and then go give my cats some treats.
First one has to create a plot and tie up all loose ends. My second book proved to be more of a challenge since I decided to be superwoman and juggle three plots at once (True, this one deserve the “WTF lady?” card, but I made it work! I think…) Then it’s the damn editing, the strive for perfection. I don’t think a writer is ever truly done with a book. Each time I read through I’m changing a word, fixing a sentence, scratching my head over whether I want to change this bit or that.
So the ultimate finish line is not when the book is done, because it never is, but when it’s ready. I’m ready. I’m very ready. I want the cookie and I want THAT cookie. But I’m still striving to be better. So I edit some more even though I want to pull my hair out and stomp my feet.
And now I really do want a cookie. Ssshhh, don’t tell my son. I’m going to go hide in the bathroom and eat a cookie. And if you don’t think this really happens ask a mother.