Honesty in stories. Truth in words.

Letter To My Book

I’m totally stealing this idea from Katie. She wrote an awesome letter to her novel, and it inspired me to do the same. So without further ado, here is a letter to my book, The Old River Road.


Dear TORR,

You aren’t the first book I’ve ever written, nor are you the last. You’re kind of that stubborn, middle-child story that was easier than my first, yet harder than the next. You forced me to grow, as a writer, in ways that I never imagined.

In hindsight, writing went relatively smoothly, despite all the tears, headdesks, and facepalm moments. I wrote you faster than I’ve ever written a book before, thanks to this insane thing called NaNoWriMo. 80,000 words in 3 months, the first 50,000 in 30 days. I didn’t think I could do it. It took me 4 years to write your 130,000 word cousin, Chained Heart.

To be honest, I hated the writing process. I was handicapped by my perfectionism; crippled by the fact that I couldn’t get every little detail exactly right.

But I did it. You helped me prove to myself that I can write fast. That I can edit fast. That “perfect” is unattainable (and that’s OK). That I can fit writing into my everyday life. That I can get over myself and do it.

Somewhere along the way, the idea/necessity for your sequel was born. I didn’t want to write a sequel. I still don’t want to. I don’t know if I have the mental energy to write it now, or even 6 months from now. But God has big things in store for you–I can see that already–and I’m not going to shut any doors just for the sake of my own desires.

I’m very excited for what comes next, yet am hobbled by fear at the same time. You are so precious to me for so many reasons, yet I’m going to be throwing you out into a big world of readers who may or may not like you. I’m ready to make the transition from Writer to Author, but I’m half afraid that you aren’t a worthy debut novel. I don’t know if any of my novels are.

I’m afraid that if I were to wait until my novels were ‘worthy,’ I would never make the transition.

Now that we’re in the final stages of preparing you for publication, I get all the warm fuzzies as I write the epilogue, afterward, and acknowledgements. I can’t believe I’ve made it this far. I’ve wanted it to happen, d e s p e r a t e l y, since I was a little thirteen year old with big ideas. But I never thought that you would be my first published work.

There have a lot of times when I wondered if I would even make it past the first couple words. There have been even more times when I wondered if writing stories was worth the time and energy it took. And unfortunately, there will still be times like that…lots of them…but I will be able say to myself, “I already did it. I can do it again.”

It’s been a frustrating, maddening, yet completely awesome ride. I can’t wait to see how God will use you in the big scary world of readers.

Much love,

your author.



7 comments so far.

7 responses to “Letter To My Book”

  1. Jesseca Dawn says:

    Your book is awesome, Ivy.
    I really enjoyed reading this; I love hearing the writer’s thoughts about their book. :)
    I’m so excited for the release, but I know it can be nerve-wracking as well! I have a book that will (Lord-willing) release July 22nd. And … yeah. The mix of emotions is there. ;)
    Anyway, this post was beautiful! And I’m very excited about seeing your book make its way into the world. :D

    • Ivy says:

      Aww, thank you so much!
      I’m so glad you liked it! The release is nerve-wracking, absolutely. And sleep-depriving; trying to finish up last-minute tasks. :)
      Good for you! I can’t wait to hear more about your book. All I know about it as of now is the title, but even that just sounds amazing. :)

  2. SO EXCITING IVY!!! I love your big heart for God and your delight to follow His will–even when it’s scary.

    With that said, don’t be nervous!! I published my first novella, The Mystery of the Midnight Trespasser (and it’s not perfect). If we do our best as writers, it will honor God, no matter if it’s “good” according to anyone else!!! =)

    If you have ANY questions about publishing at all, let me know please!! I would love to be an encouragement to you!!

    ~Hosanna Emily

    • Ivy says:

      Aww, thank you so much, Hosanna! Your words mean so much to me! I especially love what you said: “If we do our best as writers, it will honor God, no matter if it’s “good” according to anyone else.” That is SO true, and thank you for that reminder! I needed to hear it!

      I may very well be contacting you! Thank you for making yourself available. You are already an encouragement!

  3. Katie Grace says:

    Oh my gosh this is the absolute best! Just… wow. I have so much admiration that you’re publishing your first novel. It sounds like it actually behaved kind of well? It’s so nice that you’re able to edit fast — that’s SUCH a gift.

    (and oh my gosh, 130,000 word novel? o.O That’s… That’s insane. Good luck editing that. *hands chocolate* xD)

    // katie grace
    a writer’s faith

    • Ivy says:

      Thank you so much, Katie!

      I suppose when compared to my other novel(s), this one behaved rather nicely. It was the historical inaccuracies I ran into while researching that was more frustrating that the actual manuscript itself. And editing fast…ya. Not really something I thought possible, but I made it work! I had a choice–edit fast or don’t edit at all. I chose the former. :)

      (Thanks. I’m going to need chocolate for that beast. :) )

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