During this highly abnormal time of COVID-19, I’ve found it interesting when people say they have a hard time coming up with things to do during the day. Some say they don’t get out of their pajamas or find themselves losing track of days. That makes me scratch my head.

Don’t get me wrong. The days for me are blurring together too and I’ve come to appreciate the small liberties we all used to enjoy, such as going to the store without having to wear a face mask and rubber gloves. Imagine: grocery shopping without fear. I long for the days I can go back to the mall. And thank you to everyone out there, whether you’re a doctor, nurse or grocery worker, helping to keep us all healthy and fed!

I’ve worked from home for about two years as a free-lance writer, editor and communications consultant. I already had a routine down. While my free-lance work has slowed, I’m finally finding time to finish rewrites on my book, “Restoration.” I’m learning that working as a novelist is a really hard job!

I sent my book to a New York publishing company in the fall last year and the editor told me that while there is much to like about the story, it needed work. So that’s what I’ve been doing. Working on it … and working some more on it … and some more and some more and some  more!

I’ve finally gotten it to the stage where I’m sending query letters, synopses, and portions of it to literary agencies for possible agent representation. All I can say is, ‘It’s exhausting!’ I have a new-found respect for how tough it is to write a book, write a synopsis, write a query, research possible agents and publishing companies, etc., etc., etc.

I already knew it was tremendous fun to just sit and write fiction for hours. It’s something else entirely to refine your manuscript to the point that it’s ready for an agent or an editor to look at. It’s a hard job! I hope subsequent books get easier! There’s a whole slew of stories waiting for me to edit and revise them.

I thank everyone who has given me excellent and constructive feedback on my story, including my beta readers Rick Beall, Denise Lowe, Jeff Samoray and Pat Anstett, who gave “Restoration” a good editing and came up with so many great ideas. Guys, you probably wouldn’t recognize the book as it is right now!

I’ve listened to other established authors who say it takes years for a book and its characters to develop. I just read “My Dark Vanessa” by Kate Elizabeth Russell, who has said that it took her 18 years to write the book. Yeah, I can relate!

For me, books are personal. Sometimes you have to get to a certain point in your life where you can complete a full story arc, come up with satisfactory character change, and a memorable and meaningful ending. I think I’m getting to that age.

I can easily say that fiction writing is hard. But it’s also something I want to come back to every single day. It’s part of who I am.

Now, I’ve entered the ‘selling’ and ‘marketing’ portion of my fiction writing. Wish me luck, folks!