I’m nearing my second year of writing my novel, The Girl Who Frosts the Cakes. And I can honestly say that the only deadline related to that I’ve managed to meet is writing the original 50K during NaNoWriMo 2016.
And even then, I almost quit during the first week of the month. Imagine how different my life would be if I had? It’s amazing how much one choice can change everything.
Since that November, I’ve had way too many deadlines to remember: not one of them was met.
For one thing, I remember wanting to publish the succeeding March; I remember telling a potential editor I would have my manuscript ready “sometime in February (2017)”; I remember a moment of panic when my mental health got in the way of my goal to release my novel during that summer, and trying to rush into editing was only making it worse. I remember my great-aunt asking if I still planned to publish in October: I said I couldn’t. Somehow, book wasn’t ready yet.
Then, at the end of last year, I said I wanted to publish “before the start of my junior year.” That was one of my 2018 goals. Well, junior year is around the corner, and guess who’s still editing?
That was my last “official” publishing deadline. It took me awhile to learn my lesson, huh? You can even read several blog posts here with empty publishing dates.
It isn’t just deadlines, though! From outlining up till now, entering my sixth draft, nothing has gone as I planned.
My detailed plot structure? Out the window.
Book cover design? I can’t afford that yet, and I’m not qualified to make my own.
Editing schedule? Hah, what’s that?!
It’s so easy to just pretend I have everything together, especially when I have an online presence on platforms like Instagram. Slap on a pretty filter and tell people I’m a perfect writer, right? Isn’t that how it works?
These past couple of months of writing, I will admit, have not been easy on me. Not gonna lie – I just took the biggest break from my book I’ve had in nearly two years. (And it was only a 2-month break!) I just got back to it, and out of nowhere, all these problems are jumping out at me. A haunting realization hits me like a brick: my book still isn’t ready.
(Now, I know my novel will never be “done” – there will always be one line of dialogue I wish I’d revised, or one chapter that needed a better hook. But I believe I’ll know when it’s actually ready: now is not that time.)
I literally just wrote a few weeks ago how my book is “wrapping up” and “almost done” and “final editing” blah blah blah. What happened?! I was so sure of myself! I had such a great plan laid out. It was gonna be perfect!
Here’s the thing, though: sometimes – most times – my own plans don’t work out. And that’s okay!
I can plan all I want. I could spend every hour of every day carefully laying out the rest of my life like an aesthetically-pleasing flatlay if I wanted to. I can make goal-boards on Pinterest and plan out every minute of the week in a pretty bullet journal illustration.
But none of that is going to change the fact that God’s plan still exists, and it will prevail over mine every single time.
And good thing, too, because we’re pretty bad with planning. If we were in charge, we’d wreck the world so fast. Luckily for us, God knows what He’s doing. We can trust Him to handle this stuff; and all “stuff,” really.
You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.
Basically – no, I have no idea when my book will be ready for the world. (Or maybe the world isn’t ready for my book?! That must be it.) I have some guesses and goals, but I think I’ve learned by now not to be too hasty in sharing those things.
Regardless, I’m still pressing forward! Because at the end of the day, I know working this hard will be incredibly rewarding. I’d rather finish a great book years from now, than release it today and wish I’d worked on it some more.
I know I don’t post about my book very often. It’s just hard to keep you up-to-date on my book’s progress without throwing out random release dates.
But, like I said, I have an online presence beyond this site, which I try to update at least daily!
On my Instagram, I post fun glimpses into my writing journey, as well as content too brief for a blog post; and yes, that includes updates on my novel. (Also check out my Twitter for some honest blips into a writer’s life!)
Okay, that sounded really promotional. I promise, I didn’t just write this post to convince you to follow me online.
To sum up everything I’ve rambled about in this post: God’s plans are always greater than mine! If you told me two years ago where I’d be today, I wouldn’t believe you. That’s how amazing He is.
At the risk of being cliché, I’m here to tell you that everything happens for a reason – the setbacks and the sadness, the celebrations and the moving forward: none of it happens without a reason. You won’t always notice it, but it’s there! (Psst: it’s the secret to living a regret-free life!)
No, things haven’t exactly gone my way when it comes to my book. But it’s gone God’s way, and that is infinitely better!
So, like always: praise Jesus, and happy writing. 🙂