I’ve decided to enter the ‘Dear Lucky Agent’ contest through Writer’s Digest for a chance for a professional critique of the first 150-200 words of my manuscript (in my case, the first 168). It’s not often that a contest like this is open to Science Fiction submissions and I’m interested to see if I make the cut. If you’ve got either a Sci-Fi or a YA read, consider entering yourself!
To date, this project has already been more successful than any I’ve ever done. I’ve not allowed myself to self sabotage and self destruct. I’ve plotted out the basic outline of the entire novel (bullet points and a general outline in a paragraph of what’s going to happen, which I find helps me focus) and I’ve officially reached the halfway mark, having completed chapter eight. It won’t be a terribly long novel, especially as far as science fiction goes but for a debut, I’m happy with it.
For those readers that aren’t on my Facebook (wait, why aren’t you?!) I recently had a revelation that has given me hope for my future as a writer and strengthened my resolve to maintain my current path; if the first short story I ever offered to the public eye can be downloaded over 700 times in the last year alone and garner 4 and 5 star reviews without any encouragement from me … I might have the ability and talent to really do this.
I don’t write hoping that someday I’ll be the next J.K. Rowling or anything of that nature. I don’t hope for awards and praise, fame and success. I do this because I have a story inside that burns to be told. Characters screaming to be let out lest they drive me mad with their antics inside my head and a need to let the creative monkeys work their evil magics on paper rather than real life.
If someone enjoys what I produce during that journey … That’s awesome. I never thought I’d ever be published let alone find myself working on a novel scheduled to be released next year. The thought of seeing my face and biography on the guest authors page of a convention never even crossed my mind. Panels at conventions? Ha, right. There’s FAR more qualified people around. Right?
This whole experience has been amazing, life changing and … well, altering in the ways I am looking at myself.
And that’s not such a bad thing.
Recently I was laid off from my ‘real job’ — the day job that provided the bill-paying money. While having all this extra time to keep my house clean and my to do list nice and accomplished, I had hoped to find myself with a lot more writing time than I have had. My own fault, of course, because I still have an incredibly active social life and with Christmas less than a week away my usually hectic life has been crazier than usual.
So what does this all mean? Add this with the fact that I got not a lot of writing done in the month of November (I shake my fist at you, NaNoWriMo!) and I am no where near where I wanted to be at this point in December. I wanted to be finished with the first draft and moving on to the editing stage by the first of the year. Yeah.. that’s so not happening. I’ll be lucky if I’ll be there by the time I hit Rustycon.
BUT … I do have the rest of the novel plotted out now, at least. I didn’t have that a week or so ago. Not entirely plotted out but a rough outline of what’s happening to give me something to work with. I find this helps me be more creative than just going with it. I’m more of a ‘plotter’ than a ‘pantser’, apparently.
AND … I now have a spiffy new-to-me laptop that I can use to write whenever and wherever I want. I am not required to stay at the house and be stuck in my room. If I want to be in the living room, I can be. Hell, I’m not working… If I wanted to go to the Starbucks, I can do that too! Hopefully this will help me in the creative process.
So now it’s just time to put all my self doubts and excuses aside and get to work.
This post will also be posted on the blog on my publisher’s social site, check it out!
It has been no secret that I’ve struggled the last few months. I’ve made quite a dent on the work I have before me and then hit a wall – just unable to continue or find the faith I need in myself. I struggled with this wall for over a month, attempting to work myself out of the slump and push past it. I talked what was bothering me out with those whose opinions I trust and respect, I tried to just get through it.
But after a while I realized that the problem was bigger than something I could just work around. There was something telling me that things needed to be changed. So I took a hard look at what I had and in a moment of pure honesty, I realized I wasn’t happy with it. Now, before those of you who know me jump to the “she’s falling into old habits” vein of thought, this time I was able to point out specific problems AND how I could solve them. Way different than simply deciding it’s crap and throwing it out.
So I’m changing things: the POV (which is a bitch by the way) and adding in a level to the main character that adds depth to the story, along with adjusting the characters a little. It’s been a week and I’m already feeling tons better about the project as a whole.
But I can’t help but wonder … am I shooting myself in the foot? I can’t be the only writer that’s done something similar, right?
I guess we’ll find out.
Also! For November, in honor of NaNoWriMo, we’ll be doing our own version … I don’t want to follow the actual rules and start a whole new project — that would murder my creativity. But it’s a great way to motivate yourself. So I’ll be posting progress and goals throughout the month. ^_^
I CAN DO THIS!
I haven’t worked on my novel in almost two months. I have completed three short stories in that time but the last one I submitted to my publisher was like a month ago. Since then I’ve done no writing – though I have a perfectly valid reason.
I had to have emergency surgery and have my gall bladder removed.
It was FUN.
Ugh. While I feel tons better (no more waking up in the middle night in such terrible pain it leaves me vomiting), I am having a hard time getting back into the project … mainly because I’m now seriously doubting myself.
I don’t know how to find that confidence that had me going before.
Anyone who knows me knows I have a very busy and hectic life – I am not only married with two kids and have a full time day job that pays the bills and a household to maintain but I also have a secondary life that demands a lot of my attention as well. I am head of a party group that does events and conventions here in the Northwest (this takes up a surprising amount of time and energy), I have a second relationship that is still in that brand spanking & super shiny new phase (o.O is all I have to say on that subject for now), I have a super busy social life with activities and parties nearly every weekend (no I’m not exaggerating) and to top this all off, I’ve now increased my writing from occasional hobby and fanciful dream to a managing responsibility – which by no means is a BAD thing.
So I am posting today about balancing out everything you want and need in life with your writing – I need to work a day job (for now) and I need to clean the house and cook dinner every night. I want to keep seeing my friends and having date nights and alone time with the boys. But I need to schedule my writing in there somewhere as well.
What do I give up? Sleep? I get little of that as it is. I have tried writing while I work and to say that is impossible would be putting it lightly. Try infuriating, creativity-killing or just plain frustrating.
So I guess I’ve got to bite the bullet and give up some of that social time. I can’t think of anything else I can cut out without getting in trouble in one way or another.
Any advice from you, who might be reading this blog post? Some way you’ve figured out on how to knock out a thousand words while washing dishes with your feet?