I’ve done it! I’ve finished* my novel.
It’s taken me just shy of three years. I started in October 2011 and spent 2-3 months working out the characters and the plot. I started writing in earnest in February 2012 and I knocked out most of the first draft that year when I wasn’t working. I didn’t work on it full-time: I was also working on a screenplay.
I went back to work in March 2013, not long after I started the rewrite. It’s been a slog, mornings and evenings before and after work most weekdays, and some time most weekends, although moving countries and houses did disrupt the schedule some. But the effort is worth it, I’m pretty happy with what I’ve achieved.
I had to push to finish the rewrite so I could have the manuscript ready to submit to a publisher for consideration for an ebook series. I got it done, so it’s out there. I full expect to be rejected, that’s just part of the game. I’ve never even entered any of my writing in competitions: I know I have a lot to learn. That’s next I guess, plus a new project. I’m not entirely sure what shape that’s going to take yet.
I started writing again when I turned 40, and I set myself a goal of being published or produced by the time I’m 50. I’ll be 45 next month, so this seems like a good progress marker. So I’m proud to acknowledge this milestone publicly, and I hope my achievement encourages someone else to persist in chasing their dream, however long it takes.
*For now, at least. There’s at least another draft to come, whatever happens.