This is my first post in what seems a century. The good excuse? Oh, and there is one! I can now say with conviction that final revisions on my first novel are completed, I’m prepping my agent and editor submissions, and am ready to let my pages fly. There’s no feeling like it, for me, and no hope so great. Even in a worsening economy, in an uncertain world, I cling to that hope. It’s my baby I’m letting go, a story set on an island where I used to dream while watching the moon rise like a diamond over the sea.

Yes, this is all true, but I also know this book is a product that must be sold and marketed. I’ve got to convince agents, editors, sales teams, publishers, booksellers, and eventually the reading public that this is a worthy investment of their time and money.

For the first time since I began this project, I believe I can do this. For a long time, I didn’t think I would even get halfway through the project, and then all the way through, and then all the way through the revisions. But I completed every impossible goal, every difficult task. And it was worth every moment. And every word.

I think all writers who are at this stage with a first novel must go through these stages to varying degrees. We all doubt; we all worry. In the end, it’s our courage that makes or breaks us. And our persistence. These two characteristics are what you have to hone, if ever you are to carry your novel on to publication.

So much of the work now rests on us: the writing, the decision-making, the marketing. And the cash flow in this industry is drying up fast. Is this our last shot? Who knows? But it’s worth striving for. If you’ve not finished your novel or collection of short stories yet—keep going! Don’t stop. This experience of completing of a life’s work is like nothing else. Writing is a dream for us. And to let it go, no matter the circumstances, is to abandon that dream. We don’t have any excuses. All it requires is a pen and paper. It has been that way for centuries. And despite all the advances in technology, it always begins with that pen and your limitless imagination.

Don’t give up. I’m sure glad I didn’t.