My five month long professional leave ended on January 25. When I told friends that I was back at work three weeks ago at Wellesley College, where I teach writing, and that I had just finished the 500-page first draft of a novel the day before I was to return to the classroom, many of them sweetly congratulated me and asked me when it would be “out,” that is, published, as though this would be imminent. When would it be on Kindle? In paperback? Or maybe hardcover?
Don’t talk about your book, one writer friend advised me, after we discussed my next steps in revising the overly long and unwieldy draft. So in this post, I won’t be talking about my book. I will be talking about the process of writing a book, a novel or a long work of creative nonfiction.
When the first draft is completed, it’s only a very, very preliminary thing. Continue reading “Expecting”