My hair grows slowly. I lost track of how many years it took to grow an extra 10 inches of hair so I could cut it and donate it to: www.LocksOfLove.org
These past several months when my hair was not quite long enough to cut, I couldn't help thinking that the process of growing one's hair to give away to someone you don't know, has a few parallels to writing a novel for unknown future readers. You take extra care of your hair, add more conditioner, avoid rubber bands that might damage it. And you hope that your small offering will be helpful to a child who needs it--because even though you don't know him or her and most likely never will--you care.
When writing, you take care to capture the best story you can, revise again and again, weave in humor and heart, all the while hoping that someday your imagined readers will laugh, maybe even cry, and that they'll discover a little strand of hope in your story just when they need it.
When revising your novel, it sometimes requires some drastic cutting, too!
Forecast: Less shampoo required!