It’s been hard for me to be patient and remain optimistic as I wait for the excruciatingly slow gears of the publishing world to turn the next notch in my direction. But I’m doing what I can to stay sane – and that’s to keep plugging away at my new book.
It’s going pretty well. The work got a huge boost last month, when I became critique partners with Emily, another writer is also writing a second novel while her first is out on submission. Every Friday one of us emails the other a chunk of our work in progress, and our partner sends back comments.
I have shown friends my work before, on an informal basis, but I have never had a formal critique partner. I recommend it. It’s been hugely motivating to have a formal framework in which to write, and tremendously helpful to have a second pair of eyes see what I’m up. And I have loved reading her stuff. She’s a great writer, and commenting on her work makes me realize how much I’ve missed exercising my editing skills on someone’s work other than my own.
Last month I made another important decision about my writing (important to me, anyway). I agreed to write a monthly column for The Jewish Voice and Herald of Rhode Island, a biweekly newspaper that serves the local Jewish community. The paper’s not as widely circulated or journalistically ambitious as my old paper, but lots of the people I run into in the course of my week read it. It’ll be good to have the regular assignment. It’ll let me write about topics outside the scope of my new novel, including issues around religion, which wouldn’t have worked for Seven Days. And it’ll be nice to enjoy the instant gratification of being read; that’s the hope, anyway. The column will be called Ad Lib. I’ll post the pieces here as they come out.
And in the meantime, I’ll keep keeping my fingers crossed for Little Grandma’s Mirror – except when I’m uncrossing them in order to write.