Thursday, September 11, 2008

Nothing Wasted

So right after CHARLOTTE'S ROSE was published, I started a new book, a book about which I was really passionate. I loved (LOVED!) the characters, and I felt like I had total control over the story and language. Anyway. I did draft after draft after draft because I wanted to get. it. just. right.

I sent it out when it was finally ready. And it was rejected. Frequently. Thoroughly. Soundly.

I've been rejrected before. It took a few years to place THE LOSER'S GUIDE, for example. But the rejections on the new book were different. They held out no hope at all. I put the book away for awhile, and when I returned to it, I saw that the criticisms were justified. It was one of those books that was just wrong-headed from the get-go.

For a long time I looked at the box holding all my drafts as my own personal Box of Shame. How did this happen? Maybe I really DIDN'T know how to write a book after all. Maybe I was a fraud.

Well, a few years have passed, and I have a different perspective now. I'm glad I wrote that book. It was the book I apparently wanted and needed to write at that time. I grew with my characters, and I'm pretty certain that they'll show up in another book someday. Meanwhile, I've got some great back story.

See what I mean? The time I spent working on that book was NOT wasted time.

3 comments:

Pink Ink said...

Gosh I hope not. I'm amazed that after you have been already published, you still struggle with those feelings? I have so many stories behind me, and there's a lot of time spent there, collectively. I hope it all pays off in the end :-).

K. Marie Criddle said...

Hey Ann! Kristi Thompson here, from good old BYU days...I'm so excited to see your website and blog here! And I just ordered THE LOSER'S GUIDE from Amazon...so excited to read it! Hope all is well...

Janine said...

Ann--
Hi! I just discovered your blog. Yea! I don't know if you remember me, but I took a writing class from you at BYU...before I was married...like five years ago.... Guess what? I'm still writing. Anyhow, I'm super excited to see you've got a new book out there, and I'll be sure to pick one up. Meanwhile, I'm hoping to see you tomorrow at the Utah Book Festival.
Cheers!