Suspend Your Disbelief

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The Magical, Dreadful First Hundred Pages: From the 2010 AWP Panel "From MFA Thesis to First Novel"

“For those of you who have yet to publish your first book, I can predict with about 96% certainty how it will go: It won’t happen when you want it to, or in the way you expect. Of course it’ll take longer than you want — you know that. It’ll take so long you could grow a tree, learn forestry and paper-making, then print and bind it yourself and carry it by hand to every last remaining independent bookstore in the country. That is, if you don’t succumb first to addiction, poverty, despair, humiliation, or suicide. In short, it will take longer than you think you can stand, and yet, in the end, as you struggle to make your last-chance, oh-my-God-this-is-going-out-in-the-world? revisions, you’ll inevitably feel rushed and wonder where all that time went.”