The Trouble with Time

As I write this, I have seven drafts of novels that are "done" enough for me to move them from the "to be written" pile to the "To Be Revised" pile (and of course, makes room for more novel ideas to be put in the "To Be Written" pile, but before I do that -- keep in mind friends, I have over 25 novels that are just in the "started" phase -- just a chapter or two on each of them) so before I take an idea and give it some chapters to go into the "To Be Written" pile, I need to take some of those seven drafts and take them from the "To Be Revised" pile to the "To Be Published" pile, which is, of course the ultimate goal for all of them.

So the "trouble with time" if I can call it that (I know, hard to find sympathy for the poor author who has too many drafts of novels) is two-fold, and isn't it fun when that works out? The first fold is literal time. Having a full-time teaching job, which I love, is a bit on the time-consuming side of things such as any full-time job would be. I have gotten better at letting go of the job once I log off, a task I could never accomplish as a younger teacher. Even still, revising takes time and concentration and for people like me with so many projects and perhaps some self-diagnosed ADD this can be problematic because I don't want to lose momentum on the novels in my "To Be Written" pile because I have really learned that writing a cohesive draft of a novel should be done while the author is in the same "place" in her life.

Which leads to the second part of the "trouble" with time. Four of the seven drafts I have in the "To Be Revised" pile were written between 5-10 years ago and to quote Brandon Heath's song again, "I'm not who I was." Those of you who have known me can protest this and say I am still the same lovely person. I've always been and I will virtually hug you say "thank you." But I'm not the same person I was and I am really not the same author I was. Life and the people who come in and out of it have shaped me both as an author and a person. I'm not who I was.

Trying to revise something I wrote then, as the person and author I am now, takes some doing, takes some time...and sometimes it seems as if I just need to scrap it and start over -- but I don't, not completely...because the foundation is still strong and the characters are still waiting for their story to make it to the "To Be Published" pile...all it takes is time.

*For those of you who are curious -- the novels in the "To Be Revised" pile are Crusin for Love10X10, Back on Track #1, Back on Track #2, Redeeming Trust, First Down, and Hat Trick. (Broken Trust is now in the To be Published pile)