The 3 Hardest Things About Writing:
1. The first sentence
2. The last sentence
3. Letting people read it when it’s done
Right now, I’m in step three. This afternoon, I was thrilled to be done and was ready for some critiques. Then my husband came home, turned on his laptop, and started reading while I made dinner. From the kitchen, I listened to his every breath, examined every facial expression, and waited for some sort of response. I almost burned the sauteing onions and zucchini. After he mentioned a couple of typos in the first couple of pages, I begged him to stop until I fixed them, did some formatting corrections, and resent it to him.
Why is it so hard?
I guess it’s because it’s like a baby. It’s my firstborn. And now I’m sending it off to be examined, judged, and prodded by others. And no matter how much I trust the people I intend on giving it to, part of me just wants to keep it hidden and safe.
The other part of me wants it to be judged as harshly as possible so it’s as perfect as it can be before I try to get it published. I think I can handle anything anyone has to say. I have a thick enough skin. I’ve had rejection letters before. I’ve only had rejection letters save one e-mail to read a poem at college. And that was one of the most terrifying and thrilling moments of my life, standing behind a podium and reading to two of my former poetry professors, some members of an English society, the other participant, and the posse that came to see me.
Ah, what a contradiction I am.
Fortunately and unfortunately for me, it’s too late to take it back now. The novel is again sitting in my husband’s inbox. And it will soon be printed and sitting on friends’ coffee tables and nightstands. If ever I am to be a writer by trade, I have to let go of my baby, let it grow up, and face the world on its own.