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Like Kayce Dutton, I'm on the ledge.

Writing a novel is not for the faint of heart. It goes a little something like this:

Me: I'm done!!

Brain: Are you, though?

Me: Well, I edit as I go, so.... yeah!

Brain at 3:00 am: PLOT HOLE ALERT!

Me: crap

Rinse and repeat this cycle 7 or 13 THOUSAND TIMES.

Me: Now, I am done!

Editor: Are you, though?

Brain: See, I told you.

Me: Ok - Revisions done. I'm done.

New Editor: Are you, though?

Brain: hehehehe

Me: I'M DONE!!

This is, of course, an abbreviated version of reality, but there are two important take-aways. One, you are NEVER done. That book will keep writing and revising itself long after is is placed on the bookshelf. Two, the writing, revising, and editing process is a true journey. You DO learn. You DO grow. Your story deepens and develops waaaay past what you thought it would be. In fact, oddly, the first iteration of my debut novel plays like a cartoon in my head - very Scooby Doo - fantasy edition. Now, I see the sweeping cinematic vistas in vivid color and feel the emotions of my characters. But it took painstaking time to tease these things out.

Enjoy the process, but maintain your discipline. There are two paths and both involve a little pain. The first keeps you going in circles, asking the same questions, and never getting the result you hoped for. The second asks you to answer difficult questions, to cut words you love, to write words you love more, and to really tell the story you wanted to tell. (pssst... choose the second path!)

Hang in there. Keep writing. You've got this.

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