Taking the long view

It turns out I’m not a patient person.

I know, right? Shocking. You’d think that motherhood and teaching and 40 years of living on this planet would have taught me patience.

I know that writing a novel takes a long time. I mean, duh. People ask me “when I expect to be done?” and I smile, shivering inside. I’ve been working on this novel for so many years that it sometimes feels like I’ll never be done, that I’ll keep writing and changing and deleting and writing some more, forever and ever.

Writing is amazing and revelatory and challenging and meaningful, but it’s nice to actually finish something!

The truth is, I’m a long way from the finish line. I’m working hard on my scene-by-scene outline but I’m coming up against some hard truths about the road ahead and the amount of work that’s still to be done.

During last week’s virtual “office hours” for my online course, one of the writing instructors casually mentioned that “an author might take two or three months to finish an outline.”
Well, the top of my head just about blew off.
Two months?
Just for an outline?!
I’ve been exasperated with myself for needing two weeks!
So yeah, another reminder that patience is required if I’m going to do this right. When will I be finished this book? I can’t answer that question yet. I can’t even say when I’ll be done this outline, but it’s fine. I’m learning to keep the long view in mind.