A finished first draft!

I'm super excited to write this out: I finished the first draft of my second novel! And it only took a dismal six years. But, hey, that's not the point of this post. The point is that I finished!

Part of me has a hard time believing this first draft is finished. I blitzed through my first novel, Good on Paper in 11 months (yes, for me this is blitzing; I am crazy-slow). Back in 2010 when I wrote that first book, I had no kids. My free time was truly free, and I spent hours each day immersed in writing. Since starting Bad on Film in 2011, I grew and closed a business, took on a two new jobs, went through a round of IVF, produced a darling set of twins who are now rambunctious toddlers, and moved from our beloved Chicago to completely unknown Texas. So although six years felt like forever, a lot happened on the road to finishing it. I love my characters and their story, so there was never a time when I thought I'd give up. Just the same, knowing the first draft is done is the sweetest relief!

Next up, I'm jumping into the last revisions for Good on Paper. A few plot issues in book one depend on the outcomes in book two; while I knew how it mostly went, some of the elements are tricky and I needed to be sure they aligned. Now I am free to revise those few points, and then let me tell you something:

I am going to blast that manuscript at every relevant agent I can. For so long, I've been afraid to really go there, so I've toyed with sending it out a few times but never pushed it like I should have. Part of me knows this is because of the revisions above, but I could have moved forward with it. After all, I know how the story goes, and I know the characters very well. Finishing the sequel before refining this last draft was a luxury, and a delay I was willing to accept. But a big part of that is because I've been so scared it will fail. You know what? I'm not afraid anymore. I'm excited, energized, and full of back-up plans for making my own way if an agent doesn't come through.

Big talk, I know. But I'm ready to make it reality.