Living the Dream

By Julie, enjoying the waning days of summer in Somerville

I am days away from the deadline of my first Clock Shop Mystery. As I make that final lap of revisions and rethinking, I can’t help but remember that a year ago tomorrow I got the phone call that put this whole adventure in motion. In this year, I have signed a three-book deal, picked out a pseudonym, and am close to hitting send on my first manuscript. It is all, quite literally, a dream come true.

Thanks to my Wicked Cozy sistahs, I knew what to expect. And I have a cheering section in place for constant support. But there have been a few unexpected lessons along the way.

Helping me finish the final lap
The Final Lap!

Just because it is a dream, that doesn’t make it easy.Writing a book is a challenging process. And all the advice in the world doesn’t get the word count to rise.

Writing needs breathing room. With a deadline months away, it is very tempting to let writing goals slip. But that is a mistake. Finishing a draft, and leaving time to take a breath before going back in is a necessary luxury.

It is easy to get lost in your book. After a few rounds of edits, I got turned around. What was the name of the guy with the hat? Is his backstory the same all the way through? This is when I brought in a ringer, aka a first reader. Jason Allen-Forrest is a cozy reader, a good friend, and an excellent reader. He gave me confidence to keep slogging through the next round of edits.

Every day, I remind myself how lucky I am. I am living the dream. How blessed am I?

Gentle readers, what lessons have you learned while living your dream?

17 Thoughts

  1. If writing was easy we all would be doing it. Thank you for writing – I love to read!

  2. So happy for you, Julie! One lesson is to embrace that dream, even with all the hard parts like the muddle in the middle, the uncomfortable sitting for hours, the horrifyingly low pay per hour. This is what I wanted, and seeing the magic of watching my character do something I had NOT planned unfold under my own fingertips is worth all of it. This dream makes me happy.

  3. Sometimes life interferes and then the goals slip. But as you said keeping up the writing goals when it seems like you have plenty of time to write the story is key. And I love that Edith mentioned the magic — so true! I can’t wait to hold this one in my hands!

  4. If you’re lucky (or if you’re really meant to be a writer), there is joy in creating a story and putting the words on paper (or screen), and if you’re even luckier, that feeling lasts past the first couple of books. Sure, there’s tedious work involved (and if you think you’ve gotten lost in the book, wait until your editor wants you to change things!) but it’s worth it.

  5. I signed a multi book deal with Secret Cravings Publishing. My first book, DEATH BY HIGH HEELS, came out a few weeks ago. I’ve learned that the hard part of going from writer to author is all the other stuff that goes along with it. Self-promoting is hard work but necessary. For me, my favorite part is getting the story on the page. I’m currently working on book 2.

    Huge congrats on your contract and your upcoming release.

  6. Congrats on reaching that first deadline, and it sounds like you are in great shape. Really looking forward to reading it.

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