Do you ever have the dream where you discover that your house has an “extra” room you never knew about?

16 years ago I wrote my second novel. Apparently.

This past weekend I was organizing a big batch of hard-copy creativity: journals, short stories, poems, songs, cartoons, essays, and novel sketches. Some was hand-scrawled on napkins.

Then I found a stack of 264 pages.

An entire novel.* A novel I had completely forgotten about.

I remember outlining this story and researching and contemplating it, but I don’t remember writing it, and I don’t remember just setting it aside to languish in the same box as my cartoon drawings of talking cats.

While I’m very excited to have re-discovered this novel, called the Queen of Snows, it presents an entirely unexpected project. Now I need to get it scanned and converted using optical character recognition (OCR), because I have no idea where the digital version would be. I need to re-read the novel from a structure and flow level. Then re-write and edit the document. Hire an editor. Get a cover.

This comes at a time when I’m workshopping and editing my third fourth novel, Grave of Songs. First world problem, I guess.

Do you have that dream where you discover an extra room in your house? This was a real-life version of that dream. The lesson here for writers who are a little earlier on in their writing is: get those novels written. Don’t get stalled on your first novel, because your best novels are yet to be written, and you won’t get those other ones until you finish the first one. And the second one. And the third one.

Keep going.

*Entire novel. Entire, except the final four pages are missing. I will need to rewrite those from scratch.

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