I wrote a novel in 2014-15. Nobody ever saw it (except the agent that rejected it), but I spent over a year of my life working on this piece of fiction that was loosely based on my teen years. Tearful emotions poured out of my soul and onto the keyboard, then popped up as 80,000 glorious words on a glaring white screen.
I was an inexperienced writer, and the novel was rightfully rejected for a number of reasons that I now understand. The novel that nobody ever saw is waiting to be fixed. It’s sitting in the corner, collecting digital dust for the time being. Fixing it would mean revisiting all those memories, and crying isn’t really my thing.
Meanwhile–since the spring of 2015–I’ve been working on another novel (not straight through, there were some months when I wasn’t working on it at all). It was supposed to be a fun, lighthearted “zombie” novel that I could write over the summer as practice. It was supposed to be silly, and I was supposed to write it with a certain level of detachment, but it’s turned into so much more.
I’m rounding the last corner on the 400 meter dash that had somehow turned into a marathon instead. The book is written from beginning to end, and I’m half-way through the tweaking, editing, and revision process. I’ve spent a lot of time on this book (that I wasn’t supposed to care about) and have learned many valuable things along the way.
Even if this novel is unsuccessful, I am confident that I’ve at least gained some experience.
…But it’d be even better if a bunch of people buy and love the book.