The Changing Writer

February 6, 2013

Twenty-four weeks. That’s six months, isn’t it? (Math and I don’t get along. I’m sure I said that before.) Why am I asking? Because in updating my submission tracker I noticed I’d be waiting SIX MONTHS for a response from one publisher. And that in turn got me thinking about how long it might actually take to get to a contract point should I be lucky enough to make the grade. AND THAT got me thinking about how at any given time what’s being published isn’t always representative of what a writer’s writing now. (I hope that makes sense.)

Here’s an example:

Save My Soul, my contemporary romance to be published by Crimson Romance next month, was written three years ago, during a very emotional time in my life. As such, I wanted to write a romance tinged with a bit of darkness and ambiguity, something the felt paranormal but wasn’t paranormal, something that spoke to the struggles of finding happiness despite life falling short of expectations. I’m not sure I accomplished all of those things, but questioning my own direction in life at the time I was writing, I figured at the very least there’d be authenticity in those pages. When I was finished writing, Nicole critiqued the manuscript. She gave generous feedback—as always—and left me feeling good about what I’d written. That was two years ago.

I submitted. I waited. I got rejected. I submitted again. I got rejected again, and again. I put the manuscript away. More than a year went by since I first sent the manuscript out into the world, and I decided it was time to give up. Still, something (rereading Nicole’s complimentary words, probably) had me pulling it out again. I rewrote a lot of it, using feedback from editors’ rejections, and I sent it off again.

When the manuscript sold, I was shocked. The longer I sit with that truth the more I wonder how to bridge the gap between the writer I was (when I wrote Save My Soul) and the writer I am now. (My last few manuscripts have been light, fun reads.)

Has this happened to you? Have you noticed a difference in what you’re writing now as opposed to what you were writing a few years ago? Does it worry you when it comes to building a reader fan base?

Just curious. I’m probably overthinking this like I overthink everything else. 🙂



2 Responses to “The Changing Writer”

  1. Actually, I thought I had lightened up considerably from where I was a few years ago. But this novel is nearly finished, and it’s a lot darker than I’d expected it to be when I started it. I had to go trolling for humor (taking notes when listening to my crazy friends) to lighten it in spots. So — maybe things aren’t as good as I thought!

    • It’s funny you should say this, because I had the same revelation with my current WIP. I started reading it back, and I was shocked at how the tone of the story matched my earlier work. I guess it all depends on the characters I’m working with. 🙂

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