Usually when I write these check-in posts I start with how much writing has changed my life and how much I enjoyed writing every day this past year, blah blah blah. (All of that is still true). But, this time around I felt something else. I felt…empty.

I sent my second of The One-Horned Heretic to beta-readers this week. For context, I have been working on this story since May of 2020. The story followers Hagador, a character that I have had in my unnamed grimdark trilogy plans for a while and when I sat down to write some of his backstory, this story came out of it. You could say it serves as an origin story for this vital character. It began as a short story, evolved into a series, was expected to be a novella, and then turned into an 84k word novel. My first novel. What a journey!

Halfway through 2021 I realized I took all of these stuttering steps because I didn’t think I could write an actual novel. I had these notions that I should eeeeeease into writing with a short story. That there is no possible way the first thing I publish would be more that a few thousand words.

Well. I was wrong.

But after all of that, all the transformation my story went through, all the support I got on social media when I talked about it or shared snippets, and especially after spending every day with it, I felt strangely lost after sending it out to betas.

It’s so personal, writing a book! Even if it has nothing to do with you, if it takes place in space or on a different world, it’s still something you worked tirelessly on. You chose every single word, you thought about it while you were at the gym or driving to work or while you were on a date. (If you are anything like me, you view the world entirely through a writer’s lens which can sometimes be distracting.)

I don’t have kids, but this felt as close as I’ll ever get to sending my kid to school for the first time!

I got past that feeling of emptiness and now I am full-blown excited to receive feedback and continue with a third draft. I have an October 22nd deadline with my editor so until then, I plan on reading, relaxing, beginning the editing phase, and continuing to do all the writerly things. Speaking of…

Some writely updates:

  • Social Media Marketing Booklet: At the beginning of the year, I took my seven years of social media marketing experience and began sending out one lesson per newsletter each month. Eight months later, I feel that it is in an excellent place to be a complete booklet with advice on graphic design, Instagram marketing, SEO, and more. It’s available for free to all my newsletter subscribers. You can sign up here.
  • Newsletter Interviews: Instead of those lessons continuing, every few months or every quarter I will interview someone in the writing, publishing, and editing world which will be exclusively available via my newsletter. More on that to come!
  • Buy Me A Coffee: A few lovely supporters have given me some amazing critique work over the summer. Now that I am in a beta phase, I’d love to critique more! Check out my page for my rates and contact me if there is something more you’d like done than what I offer.
  • Writing Competitions: I plan to submit to the Los Suelos anthology and the NYC Midnight 250-Word Flash Challenge which will be my first attempts at short fiction!
  • FIYAHCON 2021: I’ll also be virtually attending Fiyahcon this September so if you are too, make sure we connect on Twitter.

Follow me on Instagram to stay in touch and up to date with my writing. I love connecting with writers and readers there.

1 Comment on “I Finished My First Full Length Novel

  1. Congrats on finishing your first novel, Lily! I remember the feeling of completing my own and realising that I could actually do this thing that I once put on a pedestal. Wishing you all the best with the rest of your journey!


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