Monday, September 24, 2012

It's Been a Long Time

Wow. It's been a very long time since I've posted.

Blogging can be way too much fun. A total time suck. There are plenty of other distractions that stole bits of my novel writing time since my last post, but none that I would give up. Travel, weddings, rescue puppies, a grandbaby, our baby off to college and the new empty nest. So blogging got the boot--but I'm back! The novel is almost complete.

April 2012

If you're truly a writer, you write through everything. Writing is what you do. You can not not do it. All this no-blogging while, I've been diligently working on a realistic (contemporary) YA, clearly not a "speed project." (Ideas of how to do the next book faster are lining up in my head.)

I used to be uber competitive with word counts and page accumulations, but I had to let that go. What I want in the end is an excellent, complicated quality tale. I'm blessed to be a fast writer whose grammar should make her teachers proud, but I am indeed a slow plotter. I added a lot to the beginning of my novel as I approached the end. What was page one is now approximately page 85. I tried so hard not to include backstory, I left out a gorgeous chunk of the story.

Of course, there will be critics. Oh, believe me, I've dealt with them. At first I took what people said so seriously. I embraced the good stuff. What I interpreted as negative or harsh made me grumpy. I doubted myself. I whined. Complained. Buried contest results. But then I got brave and reread everything. The comments weren't as negative as I thought. Some were "twisted" help. I threw all suggestions in the big mixing pot of my imagination (What if she is right? What if I...) and what do you know! I could take what I wanted and ignore the rest. You can fix problems if you know about them. I swear someone told me this a long time ago. I was just too sensitive to hear it.

My pride in finaling in several contests last year was leveled when my desktop computer crashed in April. I'd saved EVERYTHING on flashdrives and another computer--except scoresheets and ultimately contest entries. This was not my first computer crash. I should have been smarter and taken my time to back up EVERYTHING. (I told you, I needed to slow down!) I can't tell you the names of all the contests I entered. I can't even tell you the names of some I finaled in. If I sift through my 6000 saved yahoo emails, I will probably find my submissions and scoresheets again... but sift is the keyword. Sift is a slow word. Like sifting through sand. An unproductive slowness. Sifting through emails won't get the book finished. But what wasn't lost is what many of my awesome judges gave me: confidence. 

Since I last blogged, The Novel has undergone severe revisions. The story's not what I thought it was going to be--it's better. I accept that some will say it absolutely is not better. (I didn't write it for them.) I'm eager to yell, "I'm done!"--which should be, "Done again!"  So I will leave you for now and get back to work. I wish you a happy whatever-you're-doing today!
Wear yourself out!