Wayside

Every day, I have to remind myself of a task that I accomplished earlier this year: I wrote a novel.

That is no surprise to many of you who follow me (and in case I haven't said it enough, thank you for following me and for supporting me in my writing and photography: you rock!). I talked about it at length after I finished it and there is a link to it in the right-hand column of this blog. It's been available on its own blog site for years—as I wrote it—and it has been available as a Kindle download since May. I have even started the groundwork for a sequel, though that hasn't seen much movement in a very long time.

But I haven't really spoken much of my novel since the spring. And here's why:

I'm using a self-publishing company to produce printed copies of the book, and shortly after publishing my story through Amazon, I submitted my manuscript to the publisher. The publisher is iUniverse and they have an affiliation with Chapters, so they told me that I could have my book, Songsaengnim: A Korea Diary, on the bookshelves by the fall.

Great, I thought. That time frame seemed really good to me.

A couple of weeks after I submitted my manuscript, I received feedback from the editor—a service that was included. The editor provided some excellent feedback and made some suggestions on how I could improve the story. What I liked about the comments was that they confirmed some things that I myself thought about the story. They also echoed some of the comments I got from those of you who read the rough draft that I posted online while I was writing the book.

I spoke with the publisher after I went through the feedback, and I said that I liked most of what I read and would implement the changes. I said that I'd take a month to do it and would resubmit the manuscript when I was done. There was no rush, the publisher said: there were no deadlines.

Here's what's happened since then:
  • Summer happened—who wants to sit at a computer when there is fabulous weather to enjoy. In truth, I would take my laptop out to a pub patio and work on the changes, but I started doing that less and less.
  • Work deadlines happened—after all, I have a 40-hour-a-week job. Projects came up, deadlines that earned me my paycheque happened. That's life. Some days, I would be too tired from a long day of writing in the office to go home and write some more.
  • Vacation happened—Cape Cod was too nice to spend in front of a keyboard. And then there was Boston. And then Toronto.
  • School happened—the kids went back to a routine, and Lori and I wanted to ensure that they stuck to it. So we sat and made sure that they did their homework. And we took them to music lessons. And swimming lessons. And gymnastics. And dance.
  • Taiwan happened—twice a year, Lori goes to Taipei for business. While she's gone, all my time is wrapped up in taking care of the kids. When I got a moment to myself, I was too tired. And for a few days, I was sick, so there was no way I had the energy to write.
  • My blogging and photography happened—yes, I was distracting myself away from writing by writing. I'm addicted to my blog. I've rediscovered my love for my camera. Sue me.
  • More work deadlines happened—I'm currently working my way through three projects, putting in lots of overtime to meet the deadlines. I'm busier at work than I've ever been, so much so that I fear I'm approaching burnout. But I persist.
I need to get back to my book. As it is, I'll be lucky if Songsaengnim hits the bookstores in the new year. So I'm going to cut back on my blogging, starting next week, when my work deadlines are over. I'll start posting every couple of days, rather than the five to six times a week that I'm currently churning out stuff.

The time that I currently spend writing blog posts will be used to put the final changes on to my book. And by the end of November, I will resubmit the book to iUniverse.

And then we'll see. Stay tuned.

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