November is here and time for another post to the Insecure Writers Support Group, created by Alex Cavanaugh. To stay on track, our topics need to be about struggles, insecurities, challenges, or encouragement. Today I choose challenges…

On September 30, at 12:38 PM, I completed book #3, announcing the arrival of my new born, Time Trials. Still steps to take before the final product is up for publication, but the characters finally allowed me to say DONE (my delivery date).

I speak only for myself as my writing career didn’t begin until my late 50’s, but writing a book is like having a baby…somewhat. There’s the initial stage where not much is showing. A lot of excitement, identified my characters, created the story board and off I go.

A bit into the story I began to feel rumblings of unease. Something didn’t feel right, although the belly of the book was beginning to show. Then, the ding, ding, ding goes off. What I’ve spent 8-12 months writing, turns out to be more the middle of the book. Rats.

This sometimes happens when I give free-range to my characters.

Thank goodness the human female gestation periods don’t work this way. Can you imagine a woman having to “re-do” the first trimester? (I hear screams)

After some hormonal temper tantrums, I began the journey of creating the first part of the book. I rationalize, hey…by the time I catch up to my original beginning, I’ll be two-thirds done.

Wrong.

 Time Trials covers three different time periods (1972, 1992, 2012). And each required its own research, which required more time. And then more time.

Wading through the maze of publishing and marketing my first two books, Saving Gracie & Partly Sunny, I found less and less writing time geared toward Time Trials. Where did the hours, weeks, months go? Literally, days raced by in a blur.

I have two pets who can tell time. They sat at my feet day after day. At five o’clock each afternoon they’d move in closer, if that is possible, and stare at me like “uh…duh, have you not looked at the clock lately?”

Seriously? Didn’t I just feed you guys? You mean another day has already slipped away? They nodded and proceeded with their meal.

Having a baby is a labor of love. Writing a book is a labor of love. My initial thoughts about the story line for Time Trials turned into much, much more “labor” than I anticipated. Tons of research later, which I found I actually enjoyed, year #1 rolled into year #2. Some days I’d sit at the computer and pat myself on the back after rolling out 1,000-2,000 words. Then I’d see a post on Facebook like:

“Had a creative idea when I woke up this morning. Have already cranked out 3,000 words and still going.”

Really? Where’s my light saber? I feel like zapping something…

Other days the typing went so slow one would think both hands had been tied behind me with a pencil wedged in my mouth pecking out each word.

Frustrating? Yes

Rewarding? Yes

Completing a novel? Ecstatic

According to my calculations, my trimesters on Time Trials lasted 8 months, which means my book/baby gestation period surpassed an African elephant’s pregnancy by 2.5 months…ouch

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Challenging…