So I finally finished my novel, 97k words in 33 chapters and it’s terrible. Now I’m not being modest or self-effacing. The book stinks in its current form. The first ten chapters hop back and forth over a thousand years (yes really) and the last ten chapters are told from different POV characters. But at least it’s done.
Now I can take some time away from it, work on something else for a change before the arduous task of slogging through a second draft. I decided to devote more time to my garden and decompress. Nothing more calming than picking berries and pruning tomatoes.
That is until my buddy sent me a picture.
You could say I inspired him to start a garden. He cleared up a small plot and got started after Memorial Day. I snickered at his late start, his naiveté, then I get this picture.
He’s getting this every week in his garden and it’s his first year.
Meanwhile, aside from some stinking berries, I’ve gotten nothing from my garden. Okay, so maybe my garden had some hiccups, a late frost, too much rain, aggressive birds, squirrels and rabbits eating everything in sight. But this is my seventh year, the golden year for gardeners where all the other years of toil pay off with a bountiful harvest.
Maybe I’m over reacting. I’ve got a lot of stuff that’s growing slow and steady, also I’ve got even more things that take a few years to produce. All my hopes are on a late harvest (and the ground drying up).
It’s funny how patient I can be with my garden, how forgiving I can be over a tree that hasn’t given me any fruit in seven years. Next year is always going to be better. When it comes to writing, a couple years seems way too long to spend on one project. Hell, there are tens of thousands of writers that knock out a novel every November. So, why is it so scary to plan on finishing something in two or three years?
The short answer is : it might suck and I’d have wasted years on crap.
Writers like gardeners take chances. Chances that our labor may be in vain. Chances that people won’t like our efforts. And chances that we may reap more than we ever expected. We can’t get caught up in what our friends are doing, or some success story we read on the web.
All we can do is finish the work no matter how much it sucks because it will be better once we are trult all done.