Just a couple of hours after my last post, Rachelle Gardner, Literary Agent wrote in this post:
...we may be doing you a disservice if we contract you when you've only written one book. Yes, writing that book was a huge accomplishment. And if your very first book garnered positive attention from editors and/or agents, that's even more of an accomplishment. It's terrific!
But it's not enough. The hard truth is that it takes a lot more than one book to really know "how to be a writer"...
This reinforces and encourages me in my plan to hold off on what I feel will are my most promising works until I've completed the first one. It seems that I would have to write something pretty extraordinary to be taken seriously the first time around (like all hopeful writers should be, I am delusional enough to think it's possible). Even in this case, however, it is not necessarily enough.
My approach to writing is to balance delusion with humility, to do the very best I can on what I produce, to revise, edit, revise, and to maintain a sense of humor when it comes to rejection. It is with this in mind that I step gingerly into the waters of writing my first novel. I am prepared for the goosebumps, I am prepared to gasp at unexpected waves, I am prepared for the inevitable moment when certain bits of my anatomy get sucked into my body from the chill, and I am looking forward to diving all the way in.
Since I don't want to write "WIP" for Work-In-Progress all the time in reference to this project, I will use a more specific working title in my blog: The Heaven's Gate Project. HGP for short.