Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Circle of (writing) Life

Are there ever two sweeter words in the English language than, THE END?

Not as far as I'm concerned. (I thought I would never finish this book!!!)

But for a writer, even after I type those words, I'm far from over. As soon as I get to the end, it's time to go back to the beginning, rip it to shreds, then put the confetti back together into something that resembles a novel.

After rinsing and repeating that for a few times, its everyone's favorite thing -- QUERIES.
I have to say that is by far my favorite thing about having an agent. No more query letters.  At least not to agents. But she and I do have to come up with a good synopsis to send out on submission to the big 6 and the middling 100.

And while I watch the inbox with baited and dreaded breath, it's time to start the cycle over again and outline a new book.
It's the circle of writing life, or the psychotic hamster wheel. It depends on the day you ask me about it. And if I'm extraordinarily lucky, I'll never get off.

There are ebbs and flows, successes and not so happy tears, deadlines and past deadlines. However, the experience gained from each go around the wheel makes the next time that much sweeter.

Finishing Red Reaper is my fourth turn in the two years I've been on the wheel. I've been fortunate enough to sell and go through the publishing cycle on two of those books (if writing is the hamster wheel, publishing is exercise bike you have to pedal to keep the electricity running). Though it feels like I've been doing this forever, my time is just a drip in what will hopefully end up being a big old pond.

Some people catch a bolt of lightning on their first go around. (insert any number of debut best sellers here). Even I grabbed a lightning bug at least to publish my first book, even through a small publisher. But for the most part, it really is a process, and each cycle makes me a better writer than I was the book before. Sure I'd love for my agent to call me tomorrow and say, "Simon and Schuster is offering a 5 figure advance on your book", but barring that miracle I'm pretty content to keep going around building new characters to love and hate, fantasies to live out on paper, and richer worlds to explore.

That's why I love THE END so much, because then I can ONCE UPON A TIME all over again.

Betsy Schow
Author of Finished being Fat & Trouble's on the Menu


  1. What a great last line - I want that on a pillow!

  2. Ha! Great closing! I wish I had an agent!!!



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