I Believe in my Book

Barbara - South Yarmouth, Massachusetts
Entered on February 4, 2008
Age Group: 65+

Well, not quite. It’s not a book yet, it’s a manuscript. I’ve been writing a novel for the past five years. I’ve shed tears on scrubbed pages. I’ve crashed two hard drives. I’ve agonized over critiques from friends. But I perservere, hoping someone, someday will publish my darling, my baby, my cherished novel.

In a few months I’ll be 70 years old. My goals have been to publish a novel before I was 30, then 40, 50, 60 and now 70. I don’t want to go around saying I want to publish a novel before I’m 80.

Previous manuscripts are stacked in cartons in the attic. They weren’t good enough. At least that’s what agents and publishers told me. They said they knew this with only a query letter to go by.

This time I’m having no better luck. Yet. I shall perservere because this is the best novel I’ve written and I doubt I can write a better one. I toiled over the research and rewrote, revised and revamped entire chapters. I got rid of some of my characters that I’d grown to love.

Even though I’ve had plenty of articles and stories published, I’m a nobody when it comes to novels. Few agents and publishers want to take a chance on a first novel by anyone, and they’d really be taking a chace on a first novel by someone approaching 70.

What’s taking me so long? What are my excuses? Children to raise. Jobs. Home to care for. Dogs to walk. Flowers to grow. Lame!

Maybe I’m not a good enough writer, but I don’t think so. I’ve read novels that I think are terribly written by sons and daughters of fine novelists. They have an “in.” I don’t.

But then there always have been nobodies with no “ins’ who publish good novels. Tolstoy had to start somewhere.

Not that “Fallsboro” is “War and Peace.” It’s merely a humble novel about folks in a fictitious town in Connecticut, set between 1999 and 2001. Oh, the research. Oh, what we should have known.

So I carry on and send query letters, emails, synopses and first chapters. I believe in my someday book. I’ve got to.