RELUCTANTLY ROMANCING THE WORDS: How I Finally Fell in Love with My Novel – by Jayne Thurber-Smith

RELUCTANTLY ROMANCING THE WORDS: How I Finally Fell in Love with My Novel – by Jayne Thurber-Smith

I vaguely remember dating as a shy teenager. I mostly recall hating it. I would beg my sister, Roxanne, not to leave me alone in our family room with the guy, no matter how sweet she thought he was, and how perfect for me. But, her instincts were often right and she never listened to me anyway. She would give an excuse like she had forgotten if she had put the cat out yet, wink at me, and disappear for an hour.

There would then be a lot of ice breaking to do with the guy and the inevitable awkwardness, but anything worth having is worth fighting through. If we were lucky, we would gradually get to the good stuff: that elusive emotional connection and the “where have you been hiding all my life?” feeling. Roxanne would eventually come back to announce visiting hours were up, but it seemed like only seconds had passed.

“I can’t wait to see you tomorrow,” I’d whisper as we were forced to say goodbye.

I was reminded of that rollercoaster of feelings today when I came home after a lovely and long overdue lunch with my neighbor, Heidi. I had jumped at her invitation because I was still in the early conception of my novel and it was pure torture. This morning, I had typed out on my laptop what felt like thousands of words, but then checked my word count only to see it had been a few hundred.

‘Microsoft Word is broken!’ I yelled at the ceiling of my thankfully empty house.

And so I opted for a delicious and distracting lunch, then loitered in our cul de sac, asking Heidi about her summer vacation plans even though it’s only January.

“Okay, well it’s been fun but I have to get some housework done,” she smiled, turning to leave me at my mailbox.

“Really? Don’t you have to walk your dog? I’ll walk with you. I could use a walk,” I begged pathetically, causing Heidi to give me a peculiar glance.

“Thanks for the offer but Mark said he was going to walk him while we were out,” she said. “See you later!”

I offered a weak wave while inside I screamed, “No don’t leave me alone with that pathetic manuscript! It’s wretched! I hate it so much! How am I going to find enough distractions in that house to keep me from facing it?”

I turned dejectedly towards my front door. I made a cup of tea, and forced myself, as Anne Lamott instructs any and all writers, to put my butt in my writing chair. I opened my laptop, and stared at my words suspiciously. Could I trust them? Did I like them or not?

I read over the last paragraph I had written before Heidi had rescued me, and thought, “Wait, who wrote that? Really, I did? That’s not too bad. This might actually go somewhere.”

By the time my husband Peter came home from work four hours later, my tea was ice cold and the house was dark. I was so enthralled with the story pouring out of my fingers that I could neither drink nor turn lights on. The words had totally overtaken me and the muse was playing Cupid between us once again.

“This is good, wherever it came from,” I whispered to myself as Peter shrugged, and ordered Chinese takeout. “I don’t even know whom to name as the author of this novel. Something has overtaken my hands and I have felt like I’m just the transcriber. Hey, whatever it is, ‘Where have you been hiding all my life?’”

When Peter announced the arrival of our dinner, I reluctantly said goodbye to my promising novel.

“I can’t wait to see you tomorrow,” I whispered, as I patted my closed laptop lovingly.

>>>Read More WritersWeekly Feature Articles<<<



Jayne Thurber-Smith is an award-winning freelance writer for various outlets including Faith & Friends magazine, and A favorite activity of her and her husband’s is being included in whatever their four adult children have going on.





Fall 2023 24 Hour Short Story Contest


7.625 STRATEGIES IN EVERY BEST-SELLER - Revised and Expanded Edition

At this moment, thousands of would-be authors are slaving away on their keyboards, dreaming of literary success. But their efforts won’t count for much. Of all those manuscripts, trade book editors will sign up only a slim fraction.

And of those titles--ones that that editors paid thousands of dollars to contract, print and publicize--an unhealthy percentage never sell enough copies to earn back their advances. Two years later, most will be out of print!

Acquisition Editor Tam Mossman shares seven essentials every book needs to stay in print, and sell!

Read more here:

One Response to "RELUCTANTLY ROMANCING THE WORDS: How I Finally Fell in Love with My Novel – by Jayne Thurber-Smith"

  1. pamelaallegretto  December 29, 2017 at 3:49 pm

    Great article! Thanks!