The Writing Life: Update on My Novel

So, I hadn't heard from my editor in a long time.

I signed the contract for my novel in the early part of May and then, nothing.

I wasn't too worried, because my friend who had his novel published by the same house said that happened with them.

But still, time passed and no word.

Meanwhile, my friend Dan, one of three people in my writing group to get a book contract this year, got his edits and sent them back to his editor.  And he got his novel accepted after me.

So I kept thinking I should write my editor.  But then I didn't.

I, um, procrastinated.

Because what if something was wrong?  What if they didn't like it after all?  What if they decided to back out of the contract?

I know, silly thoughts.  But maybe they weren't.  Because you never know.  Shit happens.

Finally, last week I screwed up my courage and wrote my editor.  She cheerily wrote back, saying edits would be done this week or next and not to worry–that there were no massive changes that would take a huge chunk of my time (another one of my worries).

When will I ever learn that most of the things I worry about are baseless?

Probably never.

Anyway, it looks like we're on track.  Or I should say, I'm on track, because my editor was never off-track.  I'll keep you informed about the editing process, as a matter of writerly interest, when it happens.

Meanwhile, do tell: do you worry about writing-related things (or non-writing-related things)?  How do you control your worries?

**Speaking of novels, I'm teaching a novel writing class starting August 14th.  You could join us if you wanted, and if you're interested, click here.


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22 Responses to The Writing Life: Update on My Novel

  1. Don 07/23/2012 at 16:27 #

    Great news Charlotte! I can’t wait until you book comes out so I can brag that the author is my friend! Yeah!

  2. Charlotte Dixon 07/23/2012 at 16:31 #

    Oh Don, thank you!  I feel honored to have you as a friend.

  3. J.D. 07/23/2012 at 18:41 #

    I don’t control my worries. If I could control them they would be perfect sexual fantasies. Now, about your writing group. Three contracts! That’s extraordinary. Is your group an invitation only? How many members? Is there some distinguishing characteristic? Oh, I want an early copy and signed–whatever I have to do to make that happen.

  4. Charlotte Dixon 07/23/2012 at 20:13 #

    I appreciate you so much, J.D. You'll get a signed copy one way or another.  And your comment made me laugh out loud.

  5. Patty/Why Not Start Now? 07/23/2012 at 23:42 #

    You know what I love about this Charlotte? That you normalize the worry loop instead of making it a big deal, acknowledging that you’ll probably “never learn.” How refreshingly human of you. I worry about stuff like this too. And I procrastinate! Like you my worries usually turn out to be baseless. But hey, that’s just sort of who I am. (And what great news that the edits won’t require big changes – Yay!)

  6. Fear of Writing 07/24/2012 at 07:58 #

    Wonderful news, Charlotte. I’m so thrilled for you! (and for me, a reader who wants to get her hands on that book when it comes out)

    I was chuckling all the way through this post, identifying like crazy. I would have procrastinated for aaaall the same reasons you did. And, like Patty, I thoroughly enjoy the way you’re so human and honest in your blog writing.

    Do I worry about things? Oh, boy do I ever. Not all the time but when I do it’s a doozy. And how do I control it? Let me answer by saying that one of the drawbacks to being a writer is how much my vivid imagination can feed my worries. (Contrast this to my engineer husband and it’s like the monkeys in the loony bin vs. the science lab. LOL)

    I recently went on a big blow-out and for several days I could not even imagine life after the big scary event I was so worried about. In my blackest worries, I would not even have a life because I would be learning to cope with doing time in jail, at the mercy of the unfeeling law and all those jailbirds. LOL!

    (Ironically enough, one of your recent blog posts featured a picture of a jail cell. It was like you could read my mind without realizing it.)

    I can look back and laugh at it now – and try to remind myself that things will probably never be as bad as the scenarios I cook up in my imagination – but, like you, I may never learn that one. At least right now I can laugh at myself. :~D

  7. Charlotte Dixon 07/24/2012 at 08:55 #

    Thanks, Patty!  I don't have it in me, I guess, to hold myself up as a paragon, because Lord knows I'm not! Sometimes I'm embarrassed to admit my frailties but I always feel better when I do!

  8. Charlotte Dixon 07/24/2012 at 08:58 #

    Milli, I'm in the midst of an event for which I volunteered and I can't tell you how much I worried over it!  And now, two days in, of course everything is going just fine, really, really fine even.  All that time I wasted worrying about it!  I think you're right–its our writer's imaginations going to work.  We're used to looking for conflict!  Thanks for being excited about my novel, I am too.

  9. Roy Burkhead 07/24/2012 at 10:28 #

    Fantastic news!!! So happy for you. :-) Roy

  10. Charlotte Dixon 07/24/2012 at 10:39 #

    Thanks, Roy!

  11. Roy 07/24/2012 at 11:02 #

    You deserve every good thing that will come to you because of this! Let’s talk in the coming months about how the journal can help you! Be sure and have your publisher send me plenty of press releases for the site!!!!!!!!!!1

  12. Charlotte Dixon 07/24/2012 at 11:03 #

    Thank you, Roy and yes to everything!

  13. Carole Jane Treggett 07/24/2012 at 15:13 #

    Charlotte, I’m joining the chorus and saying again how excited I am for you! So glad you put yourself out of your misery and contacted your editor. Why do we always imagine the worse-case scenarios for ourselves? Time and time again (I know for myself)I’m proven wrong. Ya think I’d have learned by now, by noooo lol.

    Anyway, great news. Now I have to wait all these upcoming months before I can read your book! :)

  14. Charlotte Dixon 07/24/2012 at 18:31 #

    Thanks, Carole Jane–I love this chorus of people saying they are excited about the novel.  I can't wait for you all to read it.  And maybe by then we'll all have licked this worry thing.  Ha!

  15. Karen Phillips 07/25/2012 at 04:04 #

    Charlotte, I can’t wait to read your book! You are such an inspiration to me! It is odd that just this morning in my journal I wrote about how many things I can find to worry over. They are all powerless stuff for me, too. So I made myself write down the things I had some control over if I just had a little courage. That list was so much more fun to write! I love your courage! KP

  16. Charlotte Dixon 07/25/2012 at 08:50 #

    Ooh, I love that you made a list of things you have control over, that's a great idea.  And I'm so pleased and honored to be an inspiration to you.  Thank you!

  17. Patrick Ross 07/26/2012 at 03:49 #

    You had me nervous there for a second!

  18. Charlotte Dixon 07/26/2012 at 09:08 #

    You and me both, Patrick.

  19. Sandra / Always Well Within 07/29/2012 at 11:54 #

    Oh yes! I can get caught up in worry. But I’m learning more and more that it’s a useless waste of energy. I find the way to deal with worry is, if there’s something that can be done, do it! If not, it doesn’t help to worry.

    I’m so happy everything is on track with your novel and that the changes will be minimal. Hurrah!

  20. Charlotte Dixon 07/30/2012 at 06:55 #

    That's the funny thing about worry, Sandra, that it doesn't help anything at all!  You're so right that it is much better just to take action.  Thanks so much for weighing in.

  21. Melissa Marsh 07/30/2012 at 14:10 #

    Congratulations on everything with the novel. How exciting!

    How do I control my worry? I journal a lot. I pray. And if it gets really bad, I force myself to stop, take a deep breath, look at the situation, and pray some more! LOL

  22. Charlotte Dixon 07/30/2012 at 16:45 #

    Love it!  Prayer works, I'm convinced of it.

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