Sunday, July 14, 2013

Moving on

by: Joelle Charbonneau

This week I turned in the second revision of GRADUATION DAY to my amazing editor.  She is giving it a read and if the manuscript is as strong as I hope it is the book will be off to copy edits!  With A Chorus Line-Up turned in a week before, I am officially finished writing all 7 of the books that went under contract in 2011 (most of which went under contract in the final month of that year).

Phew!  There are days I thought I would never see the light at the end of that tunnel.  It is a wonderful tunnel to travel, but a scary one because there were times I truly believed I wouldn't make it.  I was certain on each book that it was the novel that was going to stop me from getting to THE END.  The only reason I did make it each time was because I told myself I had never failed to get to THE END before.  And I have to admit that hitting THE END on the last of those books was the best feeling ever.

This week I have allowed myself a few non-writing days.   Not to say I've been completely on break.  Last week I was lucky to do two events, an NPR radio interview, signed books at all the Barbara Bookstores in O'Hare airport (so incredibly cool) and a follow-up interview with the Chicago Sun-Times.  But while I did those things and answered a few e-mails, I forced myself to take the majority of the week off from writing.

Wow...that was hard to do.  I'm a writer.  Writers write.  Rarely in 2 years have I taken more than a day off in between projects so this self-imposed writing vacation was a new experience.  And while I have enjoyed reading, teaching and playing marble works and dominoes with my son--the time has come for me to sit down at the computer and start the next project.  I have an idea.  The story is calling.  The terror that I won't reach THE END will begin, but so will the excitement that comes with building this new world and the challenge of telling a new tale.

I've heard some writers talk about getting stuck on editing a book over and over again or having trouble letting go.  A few have asked me if I have trouble giving up a book to the production part of the publication process (Copy edits, page proofs and finally the finished book!).

Strange, but the answer is no.  Perhaps it is my performer background that makes it easier to let go of one story in order to tell the next.  An actor is always looking for their next show.  Kind of like the writer is always looking for their next story.  I will admit it is a little odd to be finished with Cia's journey just as so many readers are starting it, but it is time to move on.  I'm a writer and there is a new story to be told.

Open document.


All artists need to find their next project and have to choose to Move On as perhaps best expressed by the incomparable Stephen Sondheim in his writing of Sunday in the Park With George.  If you haven't seen this show or know this song I encourage you to listen!

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