Lester L. Weil



The idea had been kicking around in my head for years, since college, always in the back of my mind. But who has time to write the 'Great American Novel' when they have to work to pay off college loans, pay rent, and oh yes, eat.

So I spent years busting my hump working for X-Corp, managed to pay off student loans and even save some. Then Research & Develop hit it big. Suddenly my stock options were golden.

After much anxious handwringing indecision, I quit. Moved to a rural town where living is cheap and began writing.

I treated it like a full time job.

Up at four, make coffee and breakfast—usually toast and peanut butter—then open the word processor by 4:30. Lunch around 10:30 and then back to rework the morning's output. Next a seven mile run along the river, thinking about the morning's writing or problems with plot, characters, or whatever. Afternoons I'd chose a small section and edit, with a fine tooth comb. Evenings were mindless watching of movies or TV. Then, early bed. A hermit's existence.

As the book progressed, more time was spent just editing. A year later I am still editing—insignificant, nitpicky edits—putting off that fearsome day: the day I have to let go, show it to the world, send it to the publisher.

Courage is what I need now—courage to ignore my mind's cowardly “needs more editing” voice and go ahead and tap the key to SEND.

First published: May 2018
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