October 22, 2012

What I learned from finishing my novel

Let’s be honest. For most of us, completing our book (which I have done twice in the last three months) means starting a new one. There won’t be agents waiting breathlessly checkbook in hand, or (if we’re lucky enough to have an agent) publishers in a frenzied bidding war over the power of our prose.

I’ve finished three books and neither of these happened. In fact, the only reason I knew I finished was because I was too f*** sick of the story to edit one more line.

This time, maybe it’ll be different. I’m not counting on it even though I have an agent who has guided me through the edits. I’m already telling those few who know I’m a writer how much I grew personally by writing this book, and that what I’ve learned from the process is more valuable than any crass money and fleeting fame inherent to being a published author.

But since you ask, I’ve made a list. Here’s what I learned from writing this my third unpublished book:

  • hope springs eternal. Have you ever met an ex-writer?
  • writing is your muse’s circadian rhythm. Every time you put your pen down for the last time, you start again in the morning
  • to NOT write a fourth (likely unpublished) book would be as likely as putting toothpaste back in its tube
  • the grass is always greener on the other side of a book. Always
  • few things are less interesting than a friend’s unpublished novel. That’s why I have beta readers
  • God must love unpublished authors because he makes so many of us (replace ‘unpublished’ with ‘Indie’ if you’d like)
  • I’ve transcended the belief that book sales means authorial success. I now realize I’ll have to settle for a sense of personal fulfillment and a cup of coffee
  • over-editing results in nightmares

That’s it. You now know everything I’ve learned from writing a book and you didn’t have to spend two years, eleven months, twenty-four days and eight hours in the foxhole learning it.

Jacqui Murray is the editor of a K-6 technology curriculumK-8 keyboard curriculum, creator of two technology training books for middle school and six ebooks on technology in education. She is the author of Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.comEditorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing TeachersCisco guest blog,Technology in Education featured blogger, IMS tech expert, and a bi-weekly contributor to Write Anything. Currently, she’s editing a thriller that should be out to publishers next summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.

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Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, and the thriller, To Hunt a Sub. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for TeachHUB, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning. The sequel to To Hunt a Sub, Twenty-four Days, will be out this summer. Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-8 technology for 15 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-8 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, CSG Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, CAEP reviewer, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, and a weekly contributor to TeachHUB. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.

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