I just finished an extensive rewrite on my next novel, Ghostwriter. How do I feel about it? Not sure. I'm never sure when I'm in the midst of writing something. Ask me next May when it comes out. I gave it my all two times (first writing it and then rewriting it) but that doesn't always mean the book is great.
I've had ten books published to date (one of those being a repackage of my first two novels). And I'm very thankful for each one of those. It's incredible to be able to do something you love on a daily basis. But here's something you might find surprising. I feel like I'm just getting warmed up. I feel like I'm playing in the minor leagues not because of sales or publishers or any of that but because of my own limitations. I feel I'm getting a little better, that I'm learning, that I'm figuring things out, but that I still have so far to go.
When I finish a book, I don't breathe a sigh of relief and take a break. Not at all. I try to organize my writing life and figure out what's next. I'm always working on something. And work doesn't always mean writing. Sometimes it means taking notes, or plotting bits of the story out, or trying to come up with a fresh take or idea in the story. I'm always thinking and always wondering and always working.
My goal is not to figure out how to make a million dollars. That's not how to get to the major league in my mind. (Not that I don't appreciate dollars, especially these days). But it's figuring out how to take a story and deliver it in a fresh way that moves the reader and that makes it mark. To tell something in a simple yet profound way. Every story I tell is an attempt to do that, but I'm still learning. And I still have so far to go.
But it's July 1, 2008. The page is empty. And it's time to try once again.