The Middle of My Story
Written by
Tess Hardwick
March 2011
Written by
Tess Hardwick
March 2011

April 23, 2011.  The date of the official launch of RIVERSONG. 

There have been few days in my life I've anticipated, looked forward to, dreamt about, as much as the publication of my first novel.  

I'm the same as most of you - college graduation, my wedding day, the birth of my children, these were all big days.  Right up there on the list, however, is the launch of this book.  I've written a lot about how much of the journey was difficult - harsh feedback, rejection notes, the decision to keep going when I was plagued with doubt about my talent and the viability of this as a career.  All of those feelings, by the way, are still present, regardless of a publishing contract or not.  Perhaps I feel them more keenly now, knowing that in a few short weeks the first reader will open the cover, sit back in her favorite chair, and begin to read.

But all the fears and doubts have never stopped me from working.  I've worked in the midst and, in spite of, all those feelings.  I've written everyday, even holidays, except maybe Christmas, but even then I was thinking about it, working through plot problems or imagining scenes in my mind.  And I'll be honest.  Writing a novel is hard work.  Of the sweat and tears variety.  Days and days of sitting at this computer writing and rewriting until my head ached with fatigue. And the moment it was done, I got to work on the second one. 

Of course, we don't know the end of my story.  I'm only in the middle of the story of my life.  RIVERSONG could be a big flop.  One never knows exactly what will capture the attention of a mass audience.  But I do know one thing.  Nothing will stop me from finishing my second novel.  Nothing will stop me from writing a third and fourth.  I will not quit until they pry my cold arthritic fingers from the keyboard and lay me down for my final rest.  

This is who I am. 

It only took me twenty years of adulthood to figure it out.  So on the 23rd, whether you can attend the party or not, raise a glass for me and for all the late bloomers. Indeed, for all of us on our second chance.  None of  know the end of our stories.  But it doesn't matter to me. I'm going for it anyway.  

How about you?


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