Wednesday, October 5, 2016

When Do You Know Your Story Is Ready

October 5 IWSG Question: When do you know your story is ready?

You just do.

I say that like it's so easy.

But when I was writing my first book (get ready for a shameless plug here) Creating A Joyful Life: The Lessons I Learned From Yoga and My Mom , I thought the book was finished more than once. Actually probably a few times.

Finish #1: I had completed the first draft. Years of thinking about writing and 9 months of writing had finally brought me to the point I WROTE A BOOK! Life is good. I have accomplished something.

Just a couple weeks later I got the unexpected news I was getting divorced. And it was not the nice amicable kind of divorce. I was so devastated I thought my life was over and my book was crap so I literally picked up the manuscript and threw it in the trash. Dumb, I know.

About a year later I was flying home to help my dad and I found the manuscript on my hard drive. I realized my life was not over - it just needed a rewrite!

Finish #2: The rewrite is complete! My book is complete! My life isn't over! And I sent draft number 2 off to the editor. She loved it. Life is good.

And... then I had a crisis with one of my children. Book? What book? My life was consumed with doctors, hospitals, therapists, blame and tears.

This lasted probably another 6 months.

Then, and I swear this is true, I awoke from sleeping in the middle of the night and wrote the ending to my book.

Just like that. It was finished.

And, this time, I knew it was ready.

It sure would have been nice not to have to go through those years of trauma and drama, but I can honestly say it made my book better because it made it real. Everything I wrote in that book I lived and learned. That book was truly my blood, sweat, tears, heart and soul.

I'm now in the process of contemplating book 2. It's in my head, I'm just having some trouble getting it on paper.

Hopefully it won't take so many years and so much heartache this time around.

This post is a part of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, a monthly meeting of writers who over think, under write and just want people to like them. 


  1. Hi Jennifer!
    It's a sad fact that without those down points, we don't fully appreciate the ups, and it does make it more worthwhile - just darn painful to get through!

  2. My third novel has been an extraordinary struggle due to life changes, family deaths, etc., but I’m now in final edits. The book, although slow to take shape, has been made better by the trials I’ve gone through, and I’ve become a better writer during the course of writing the novel. Not easy, but in the end, win-win.

    VR Barkowski