The Ten-Year Engagement

By Michelle Andreani

When Mindi and I were first putting this blog together, we started by working on our Who? page. (It’s a good one; I recommend it.) And I was astounded when Mindi mentioned that we’d taken our first online writing course six years ago. SIX YEARS AGO!

To put that into perspective, I could’ve gone to medical school 1.5  times in the space between my first YA writing class and this very minute.

And, of course, I couldn’t help but calculate further back. Because the novel idea I worked on in that 2006 course? I’d been working on that idea since the summer of 2002. And I’m still working on it. (Welp!) So, really, I’ve been working on that one particular novel for . . . *click clack calculator* . . .  ten years. TEN YEARS!

To put that into perspective: I COULD BE A CARDIOLOGIST RIGHT NOW, GUYS.

Well, anyway. The truth is I’d never given myself an expiration date with writing, or measured my “career” in years. I measured it by other peoples’ successes! HA-HA.  Jokes! But seriously. I was someone who worried about getting an agent/being published/all that in a theoretical way. “If it happens, it happens!” “It’ll happen when it happens!” “It can’t happen if you don’t finish this g-d book, Michelle!” Calm, casual stuff like that.

But now, I’d gone and slapped a number on it. Ten! A big number. A big anniversary. (Also the aluminum anniversary! Not that you have to get us anything, but how kind of you to offer.) Ten years of writing and, well, nothing to show for it.

*thunderclap*

The idea seemed like Loki feels.

But! Also like Loki, it wasn’t exactly what it seemed. (Totally nailed that transition.)

See, I could wallow all I want, but it would be false-wallowing. Because the more I thought about it, it was really like:

  • Ten years of writing and a manuscript that’s infinite-times better than it ever was.
  • Ten years of writing and sooooo many wonderful, generous, supportive people I know because of it.
  • Ten years of writing and, okay there was misery-on-steroids 2010, when we were gonna quit, but we didn’t. We came back stronger! Like Michael Myers!
  • Ten years of writing and so much more left to write.

And that, I think, is what this anniversary is all about. Not so much the second half of that sentence, but the first half. The “Ten Years of Writing” half. Ten years is a long time to be doing anything — to be in the same apartment or job or relationship. Not many are lucky enough to celebrate that. How many are excited about ten more years?

The way I see it, it’s not getting the book deal or signing with the agent that wills a writer to keep writing. It’s inside them always. It’s inside me. And I never wanted to be a cardiologist, anyway. 😉

Oh, let’s face it. We all want to listen to The Climb now.

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2 thoughts on “The Ten-Year Engagement

  1. Mindi Scott says:

    Awww, this post actually made me tear up a bit. And I’m just so glad that you’ve gotten past the 2010 misery! *high five*

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