How Old Will You Be?

If you are a regular follower of my blog then you know that I have been working on a novel rewrite for months…and years. When I wrote the shitty first draft of this novel (thank you, Anne Lamott), my daughter Emma was two years old. Now she is fourteen. True, I have not worked on it continuously. I’ve taken years off! I’ve done other things (teaching, raising kids, writing poems). But this novel has never let me go.

Today I came across the story of another writer’s journey and once again was reminded that I’m not alone. I don’t have permission to share the excerpt, which is from the class I’m taking, but in a nutshell, she spent 16 years getting her first novel published. (You can read more about Laura Drake at her blog. I’m reading her romance, The Sweet Spot, because it’s been so highly recommended by Margie Lawson.)

Sixteen years? Laura Drake says it’s been worth it. I remember something my sister Kathy (who used to read about one romance novel per day) told me many, many years ago when I wanted to go to college. “It will take four years to get a degree,” I told her. “I’ll be thirty years old before I get it!”

We were talking on the phone, one of those ancient landlines with the big buttons and the twisty, long cord. There was a pause. And then Kathy said, “How old will you be in four years if you don’t get the degree?”

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