Errant observations and unsolicited advice ahead.
One of the toughest things about writing a novel is realizing that you have committed to such a long endeavor. Knowing that it could take months or years (the latter is more likely) will play tricks on you. What if I write half a novel, and nothing is any good, and I have to start again? How many years will that set me back? Should I write what comes to mind, and cut from there, or should I force myself to be lean and mean and get to the point? What if I waste several months on research? Dammit, I only have 90 minutes in the morning on weekdays, how much time will that take to finish this beast?
My answer – and it may not be yours – is that I have very slowly learned not to give a shit. I am resigned to the fact that this novel could take many years, resigned to the fact that I’m not getting any younger, resigned to the fact that you can’t rush something as expansive and all-consuming as a novel. In my newest project, for example, there’s a book. It’s kind of a MacGuffin, kind of not. The contents of this book, however, have to be shared at some point. You can’t say “Hey, reader, here’s this book – sorry we don’t have time to get into it, just trust us that it contains very important information.” People recommended I write the story – write the book within a book – and I immediately thought “Ah, jeez, this is gonna take forever….”
In the end, it only took a few weeks, and I can’t believe how important it has been. The lesson? It’s OK to take your time, as long as you’re doing the work.
I had no reason whatsoever to tell you that, it was just on my mind.
This week we talk to J.C. Villamere about her entertainingly hilarious book “Is Canada Even Real? How A Nation Built On Hobos, Beavers, Weirdos and Hip Hop Convinced The World To Beliebe.” It’s a title that’s hard to remember but also can’t be forgotten. You can pick it up thanks to Dundurn Press. Hope you enjoy!