Guest Blogger: Jenny Milchman
As I write this, a journey of thirteen years is going to come to an end, and another trip is about to start. It took me eleven years to find a publisher for my debut novel, and twenty-one months after that to ready the book for publication. Tomorrow, it will come out.
It’s hard—for me at least—to wrap my head around pursuing one goal for that length of time. When I began writing, the internet was far from ubiquitous, and there was no such thing as a laptop (I don’t think). There weren’t even personal computers in every house. I wrote the first pages of my first novel on my husband’s machine at work.
We didn’t have any children. For a time we put off having kids, imagining that at any minute, I’d get an offer, and then who would have time for a baby? Thank goodness we didn’t wait. That baby is in third grade now, and she has a brother in first.
The first novel I wrote is not the one that’s going to be my debut. Neither is the second. Or the third. Or the fourth, fifth, sixth, or seventh. COVER OF SNOW is my eighth novel. It’s about a woman who wakes up one wintry morning in her Adirondack farmhouse, and finds her police detective husband missing from their bed.
The world has changed. We all communicate by email now and spend a portion of our lives engaged virtually. If you don’t want to put thirteen years into getting published, you can upload a book within minutes.
And yet in some ways, nothing has changed. There will always be times when it’s hard to be sure which road we’re meant to be walking. The best things are still sometimes the most difficult to achieve. Some things we need to do simply because we love them.
Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of our lives.
How about you? If you knew for sure that a journey had a good chance to wind up in just the right place, where would you set out walking?
If there’s a road before you now, I wish you all the best along it. I would love to hear from you as I take the first steps on mine.
Jenny Milchman is a suspense novelist from New Jersey whose short stories have appeared in ELLERY QUEEN MYSTERY MAGAZINE, ADIRONDACK MYSTERIES II, and in an e-published volume called LUNCH READS. Jenny is the founder of Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day, and the chair of International Thriller Writers’ Debut Authors Program. Her first novel, COVER OF SNOW, is published by Ballantine.