Friday, August 6, 2010

Feelings surrounding finishing my latest children's book

Perhaps it's because I'm writing a blog that I've paid more attention to the feelings I have experienced on finishing my latest children's book. Or perhaps it's because when I finished the last one in, 2008, it had all been such a rush to get it to press that I had no other feeling besides panic. I had, after all, set the launch date and was having the usual challenges that crop up with some printers here. The 'binding machine break down', in this case, and then promises are made, or extracted for numbers of books which all concerned parties are praying will magically happen. At that time I had decided to produce the book myself (having worked in publishing I thought I could). Well, of course, I could, but I had all the challenges that one has in publishing. My dealing with it myself did not make it easier at all.

So I finished the writing of my latest young adult novel this week. It took a year to write the first draft. ( I work at other things).Then it took almost another year to do more than one revision. (Who's counting?) The usual emotional see-saw... 'I don't want to change this. I not doing it! I don't want to cut out that entire part. No man, I not doing it!' to ... 'Tchu! Maybe I will', till finally, ... 'Okay then!' Just keep on revising.

How did I feel when it was finished? As if I'd been set free; wonderfully emotionally and physically exhausted; and funnily enough, not as anxious as usual. Anxious as to whether the 'readers', (the gatekeepers for any publishing house) will like it, and thus allow it to be accepted by a publishing house. It's almost as if, instead of worrying, worrying, if it will find a safe haven, it's like a ship that I've set sail and hopefully it will find it's way somewhere, and if not, well... so not quite a message in a bottle - that's really too arbitrary, too left up to fate.

So I thought I'd share this with you, my fellow writers. Of course, it may be that I'm so emotionally tired out , that I don't too much care at this point, this week; or because this latest book is also a deviation from what I usually write, that it might as well be left up to fate. I know! I've just contradicted myself!

The thing is I started out writing at the picture storybook level, ages 6-8/9, and wrote there for years. But all along I had been working on my Time Travel series for older children 9-12. (Another blog on that eventually) and I finally got around to that (producing 2 books in the 'series', with a third planned). And I seem to want to do more at this older level, when it would be easier and take less time to work at the younger level.

We go where the muse or the characters take us. And as you all know, the characters can pull you in many directions. They may just appear one day and keep pushing and prodding you until you start to write.

Where will our muse or characters take us next?


  1. Hi Diane, do you have a website or a place I could go to to see all the books you've written to date? I'm always adding Caribbean children's books to my collection and surprisingly enough, I have none of yours as yet. This need to be rectified! :-)

  2. My muse usually takes me all over the place and I go along for the ride, even if I can only write ideas down to work on later. I think it's natural for writers to stretch in different directions over time.