What no one says often enough is that writing a book is more re-writing than it is anything else. It’s a continuous act of tearing down and dismantling what we’ve built. We ruthlessly eliminate the unnecessary so the necessary can speak.
It hurts to let go of words we worked hard to put onto a page. There’s no way around it. We have to do it.
My protagonist, Emerson Page, deserves the best, truest, and most honest version of her story that I can tell. That takes time, and my first instincts in her story are almost always wrong. And I’m not alone.
Any writer who tells you that the book just poured out of them like silk off a spool is kidding themselves. Writing and re-writing is a massive labor of love. If it were easy, everyone would write books all the time. We don’t do it because it’s easy. We do it because we must, because a story is so urgent and eager to be told that we must keep at it until it’s done, until it’s as good as we can possibly make it.
My role now, at this point in writing Emerson’s second book, is to be the chief deconstructionist, to literally pull back the sheen and write truly and deeply about what hurts, and then to heal that hurt with love and bravery and grace. To make every single word count.