One of my favourite quotations on describing the writing process is by E. L. Doctorow: “It’s like driving a car at night,” he says. “You never see further than your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”
This approach has worked well for me: know my destination, put my head down, and don’t look too far ahead.
But it’s also been rather short sighted.
As I work with my agent Jill to sell my manuscript, I’ve been fairly preoccupied with selling this one book. I’ve been writing, rewriting, tweaking and dreaming. I’ve become so focused on this book that I forgot something – or perhaps I’d never realized it.
I’m a writer. I’m not a one-book woman.
This epiphany came about due to two events.
I met with Jill over the holidays in San Diego. I shared with her some of my other book ideas. In other words, I looked beyond the headlights, to other possible destinations. She was supportive and enthusiastic. She told me I was a career writer.
Like every other good tidbit I hear, I filed that piece of information under “Nearly Irretrievable.”
Fast forward to last Monday. I’m absorbing feedback from publishers as well as my Canadian agent who’s handling pitching to editors in Toronto.
Cue the light bulb.
I’m a career writer. Whatever happens or doesn’t happen to Get That Train off Your Penis, there will be another manuscript, another destination.
This is not a phase, I am not a one-book woman, I am a career writer.
This is not my only trip.
Have you ever had a writing epiphany?
We’d love to hear about it.