Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Breaking Up is Hard To Do

I've tried.  I've given it my all.  And I'm tired, exhausted, numb.  I continue to go through the motions, but there's no feeling behind my actions.  All I'm doing is causing myself pain by dragging out the inevitable.  People always ask, "How do you know when it's time?"  All I can say is, you just know.

First off, let me clarify--I am very happily married :o)  In the paragraph above, I am referencing my novel.  My first novel, to be exact.  After almost 120 queries, I think it's time to lay it to rest (listen closely and you can hear "Taps" playing in the background).

It's hard to explain, but there's this strange sense of resolve within me.  I've accepted the fact that this book isn't "the one," and I'm ready to move on.  You know when people say, "I love you, but I'm not in love with you."  Well, that's kind of how I feel about my book.  I still love it, but the passion I once had for it is gone.   

Months ago, I couldn't imagine letting go of it.  I had put so much into it, and the idea of all that time and energy going down the drain . . . UGH!  But over the course of these past few months, I've realized it wasn't a waste.  This was my first novel after all, and therefor, a huge learning experience.  I can not begin to tell you how much I've learned.  I will never regret writing this book.  Even though it may never see the light of day, I consider it one of the greatest things I've ever done with my life. 

Some day I might revisit it, but for now I'm just excited to take everything I've learned and put it to good use on my new project.  Breaking up is hard to do, but more often than not, you wind up better because of it.


  1. Someday, you'll write the one. When you become rich and famous, you'll pull out your "lost novel" and it will make millions. Just don't ever give up. The chances of making it on the first try are slim to none, and think of how your writing has improved since you began. All your doing is learning from your mistakes and moving forward, it's the best thing any of us can do.

  2. Aww, that is heartbreaking. I remember trashing my first novel. It is hard, but sometimes a necessary evil to help us grow and progress. On the other hand, I love the feeling of writing a new beginning, especially when I have a shiny new idea (you know me, I like sparkly stuff!).

    So you go, girl! Keep on writing. We'll cheer you on ;)

  3. Oh, Angela, my dear friend. I totally feel your pain. That said, I'm so proud of you for knowing when it's time to put it aside for now. That's one of the best things about writing, you can move on while still taking what you learned with you.

    LIke you said, this is the beginning of your journey and your time was not wasted. And you can always revisit that book one day and possibly get it out there.

    If it makes you feel any better, I have seven books under my belt. SEVEN that have yet to see the light of day. The first one is going to need A LOT of love if I ever want to get it out there (but it's a have to thing if I want to get the second one out; it's a trilogy). :)

    All that to say, I have lots of books that I still plan on getting pubbed, even if I have to go the untraditional route for a few. Until then, I keep writing forward without look back; because my dream ... it's ahead of me, not behind.

    Dive into that WIP, and write your little heart out, girl!

    *waves to our sparkly cheerleader, Cheri*

  4. Angela, good for you for knowing when to let go, but boy does that suck! I really feel for you! And I'm proud of you for continuing on with a new one! Can't wait to buy that one at the bookstore. :-)

  5. Oh honey, I feel your pain! It sometimes takes courage to admit defeat. Maybe the second book you write will be THE ONE and then you can always go back and resurrect the first, and make something of it (if it cries out for life!) I have scads of journal entries and short stories and unfinished novels and bad poetry and other stuff on my hard drive and in my drawers (not underpants, dresser drawers)...and ALL of it has made me a better writer. So has your novel. You have proven that you can finish one!

  6. Hey, Sister.
    I know that feeling--it's hard, sad, but also...refreshing. You're ready to move on. Knowing that it's time is a huge blessing. Truly.

    My current WIP is 1,000 times better than the book I'm querying and 10,000 times better than my first novel that was so hard to hide in the closet. You're going to fall in love with the next one, too.

    It'd be like co-starring in a movie w/Ben Affleck and then jumping into another with Bradley Cooper...both amazing--totally different. (Yes, anytime I can reference Ben or Bradley, I will do it.)

  7. You guys are awesome ;o) Seriously, I was actually getting teary eyed earlier reading the comments. Thanks to all for your support :o)

    @Jen- you are so sweet! I hope you're right! Whenever I get down on myself, I try to remember exactly what you said about first novels. It's not uncommon to find out that even some best selling authors trunked their first novels. It almost seems to be like a rite of passage ;o)

    @Cheri- Yes, I am VERY excited about my new project (1st draft is complete, just letting it simmer). There are so many things I've done different with this one. I'm looking forward to getting it out there (when it's ready!) ;o)

    @Anita- You are my hero! SEVEN?! Wow, talk about endurance. If anyone in this world deserves to see their book up on the shelves, it's you. When the day does come, you can count me in to be one of your biggest supporters :o)

    @Jenny- Thank you for your kind words. You are too, too sweet :o) This new book, I think, has the makings to be something really awesome. I'm doing everything by the book with this one, so we'll see!

    @Ms. Phresh- I definitly feel that I'm a better writer now than I was a year and a half ago. I'm so glad I have this other project to fall back on; it makes letting go of this one a bit easier .

  8. Bethany- Again, thank you for your kind words (I totally feel like I'm at a funeral and people are paying me their condolences). Yes, the fact that I'm not being dragged away kicking and screaming is good--amicable divorces are always better than those where one wants it and the other doesn't ;o) I'm looking forward to taking and investing all my energy into something I'm truly excited about. I know this one is better than the last (just hoping the agents feel that way too ;o)

  9. Nooooo! I hate encouraging someone to give up on anything, so I won't do it. =) I also hate that you're breaking up with your first book, but if you feel like that's what you have to do, then, obviously, you know best. =(

    120 queries? Gosh. I've sent quite a few, but not that many. And I already feel like giving up! I can't even imagine, Angela.

    I've been dealing with thoughts like these, too. It's hard to remain optimistic in the face of rejection (especially when you get five in 24 hours). I'm sticking the blame on my query letter! ;-)

    Are you querying something else right now -- other than the one you've given up on?

  10. Hi Ashley! :o)
    My women's fiction project- THE FINE LINE, is the book I was querying (up until a day ago, lol). I'm putting that aside for now, so I can focus on my YA paranormal- DARK ALLIE. I just completed the first draft of it a few weeks ago (it's on a six week "rest" for now), so I still have a ways to go before it's ready to query. I'm hoping by the end of summer it'll be ready to send out.

    I still REALLY like THE FINE LINE, but I'm just burnt out. I started querying that one last August, and then in the beginning of November I took three months off to do another revision on it. I started querying again in February. So yeah . . . I've been at it for a while ;o)

    I'd like to revisit it some day, but for now, I really just want to focus on my YA project. :o)

  11. You've been tagged, pretty!

  12. That's a really difficult thing to do and it takes a strong person to know when to stop and move on. I wish you good luck in your future writings! :)

  13. I know the feeling. It is hard to put a novel aside. I'm sure the next one will be bigger and better now that you've had experience finishing one. Good luck.

  14. You won my giveaway! Come on over -

  15. Krista M- Thank you very much :o) Yes, it was a hard decision to come to, but I realized I had done everything in my power, and I think that helps- knowing that I didn't just "give up" because the going got tough. Thank you for your comment! :o)

    Medeia- Yes, the fact that I had finished a novel was a huge accomplishment in and of itself, but now I want more. I want more than just a completed book. I want an EXCELLENT completed book ;o) Thank you for your well wishes ;o)