Then one day you realize you’re not a complete novice anymore

Thirteen weeks after the second day of the new year

Author is finding that working on her next book for you is different than it was with her first two books, The First and the current book that is soon to be published.

With the first two, once Author received the draft manuscript back from the editor, she went through the editor’s comments, focusing on them, analyzing and learning. Only then did she go over the manuscript again, changing, improving, completing. But this time, with her third book for you, while working on the editor’s comments—marked on the hardcopy in that red folder she has told you about—she quickly found herself reading each chapter on her laptop before going through the editor’s comments, already making changes, seeing herself what needs to be improved—better grammar, clearer wording, consistency of details. She is already rewriting and entering comments for herself on the way, to go through later, in effect doing now some of what in the past she would have done in later stages of her work.

Only then does she go over the marked chapters in the red folder, but this time she is able to better judge what to accept and what not to, able to better understand, even anticipate, the editor’s comments. And some of these comments are not even relevant anymore. Author has either already caught them herself or has entirely changed the relevant word, sentence, paragraph, because she is now able to write them better.

It’s funny. Author has completed the draft that was sent to the editor only months ago, yet in a way it feels as if she has written it in years past. Not in terms of the story itself, its characters and plot—these are and will always be her thoughts, her way of expression, the so familiar story she has set out back then. But in the months since, when working on her other books, Author has taken the time to learn, gain a better understanding of what she does and doesn’t know. And so now, working on her next book for you, her third book, feels different. More…solid. Yes, that’s it. Mind you, Author doesn’t think for a moment that she can see herself as being an experienced writer. She has a long way to go before she gets there. Author is curious, though, she must confess. What will she know a book, two books, five books from now? What kind of a writer will she be? And will she ever be able to look at a book she has written with a smile, nod to herself, say “I did well”? That is for time to tell. Time, a lot more writing, and you, her readers.

What about Sister? Well, it’s different for her. While Author is now completely focused on Author and Sister’s next book for you, Sister is still immersed in her side of the work on their current book, which is now her focus along with their previous book. That’s the nature of what she does. While Author moves her focus from book to book, giving each story it’s due place in her mind and time, for Sister each added book lines up next to the previous ones, all constantly vying for her attention, all equally eager to be seen.

And a word about the Everward sisters’ Canada Quest: spring is here, and it is volatile this year. But not only because a warm sun shines one day and a downpour of rain takes over on the next. This year the volatility is also in the threats to this place the Everward family lives in, frightening threats from within and without. Sitting here, writing this post, Author is trying hard not to think about what might happen, what is looming. And so she keeps a tab in her web browser open in which there are photos from a colorful spring in a peaceful Canada, full of the promise of a better life. Photos, that’s as close as Canada has so far allowed her and her family to come. Author doesn’t understand why.

And a tip from Author and Sister: It’s worthwhile to take the time to learn, to understand what you know and what you need to do better. If you do this, the day will come when you are able to look at your writing with greater confidence, and then you will know you are well on your way to becoming the writer you want to be.

 

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