Sunday, June 03, 2007


I was supposed to blog yesterday. I think this is the first time I've missed my day. Because we're all writers, I have the best excuse in the world: Friday I finished a novel I've been writing off and on for a year and a half! Ever since, I've been reading it. The dishes have piled up, the laundry has piled up, and the blogging has piled up. Sorry!

Finishing this novel has been a huge challenge for several reasons. Since I started it, I went through the revisions and edits of MAJOR CRUSH, wrote and then went through the revisions and edits of THE BOYS NEXT DOOR, and revised another book three times for a new agent. I've repeatedly gotten my hopes raised and then dashed about two other books selling. The books I've actually sold are both young adult novels, and the one I've been working on is an adult romantic comedy, so there's been less of a guarantee my work will pay off. With all this upheaval and uncertainty in the air, I have doubted myself.

And several times when I had to stop working on this book in favor of another project, I have wondered whether I should go back to it at all. I have doubted that my characters are likeable, my subject matter is marketable, and anyone will give a rip. Finally one of my critique partners sent me this e-mail message:

From: Victoria Dahl
To: Jennifer Echols
Date: Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Subject: Re: Crap

Yeah, I think all your breakdowns seem to be related to doubting what you've written, going back over it, hating it, revising it, hating it even more. If you can sit down and write it all out ONE time, take notes of what you might need to go back and change, but keep moving forward...this would be good for you.

So that is what I did. And now I have a book. I'm not sure how good the book is, but I have it, and I can revise it. And this e-mail is tacked to my bulletin board, where I read it every day.

I'm not quite through proofing, so...back to work!


Victoria Dahl said...

Hm. That's not quite frameable, Jenn. I think I need to revise it.

But anyway, "CONGRATULATIONS!" You did it. You are DONE. And you'll never have to sit down and write that book again.

Carla Swafford said...

Whenever I hear someone say that a certain book was hard to write, but they still finished it, I think of Rhonda Nelson. She talked about a book of hers that was a pain to finish. Oddly, enough that book was her first Rita final.

So it may be crap to you for now, but it may be your future Rita final. As you fine tuned it, you may be showing the world that you're a real writer.

Yeah for Vicki! for giving you good advice.

Christy said...

That's excellent advice, Jenn. I'm proud of you for finishing your manuscript.

Now, I need to take that advice and do it myself!

MaryF said...

Congratulations!, and your advice is one I am going to take, it has come at a most opportune time.

Victoria Dahl said...

And it must have been good advice, if I do say so myself, because I'm one-third through the book and it is rocking my world. So funny that I can't even print the words to describe it. Something like
"So *&$%#ing funny!"

Good job, darlin'.

jennifer echols said...

Dancing the ego dance... woo-hoo!

Kelley St. John said...

Yea, Jenn!!! WAY TO GO!!!


Anonymous said...

Super, Jenn.

Go celebrate!

Karen Beeching