It’s been a while since I last wrote. The holiday season has had me busy and distracted. I’ve thought a lot about writing but haven’t taken the time to do it. The ironic thing is there is always time, I just haven’t made it a priority. If I don’t write at least three times a week then writing tends to get shoved further and further down my to do list. You would think that knowing this would prevent it from happening but sadly it doesn’t.
I was able to go to my writers group in the beginning of the month and decided then that I wanted to write about it. If you like to write and aren’t in a writers group then I would highly suggest joining one. The first writers group I was in met sporadically but I was new and was comfortable with the people so it didn’t bother me. It was there that I had my first experience reading my work out loud to someone other then my spouse. It was also the first time that I allowed my work to be critiqued. I discovered that it wasn’t as scary as I had imagined it would be. Everyone there were writers and they understood what it felt like to write and put yourself up for criticism. So it was very constructive. I was able to perfect some of my writing skills from the input I gathered from this group.
Sadly, they slowly stopped meeting and the writers group fell apart. Over a couple of years I really desired to be a part of another writers group so me and a friend started talking and soon we came to the decision to start our own group. We got together and began setting guidelines for the way we wanted the group to be organized. Finally we were ready to start sending out applications to some people we knew. Our group will hit our year mark in January and it has been amazing. We have a great group. The most important thing I get from my group is encouragement. I always leave with the desire to write more. I also get some of the best feedback on my writing. Also, I have become a better writer as I have given feedback to my peers.
If you haven’t joined a writers group then do it! It doesn’t matter if you are just starting out. As a matter of fact what better time to start then at the beginning. We have several brand new writers in our group and their talents and skills are invaluable. They have such unique ways of writing and are invaluable to our group. So don’t let the inexperience stop you.
Ok, back to the story. Where was I? That’s right, it was time to start rewriting. My rewriting journey turned out to be a really long one. There were a lot of reasons for this. First, I was a young mother of four active boys at the time and I wasn’t done. During my rewriting process I had three more children. That, however, was only a small part of reason it took years to get through the process. The largest dilemma I faced and continue to face is myself. I always put writing last in my life. It doesn’t seem to matter how much I love it or how much joy I feel after I’ve written, I still put it last in my priority list. So as you can imagine my busy life as a full time mom always had stuff I could do. With writing being at the bottom of my list I only got to it occasionally.
I did enjoy the rewriting process. I think my joy came from my learning curve. With each new rewrite I was able to see my ability to write improve. My story started to come together little by little and with it my excitement. On about the fourth rewrite I was confronted with a new challenge. A member of my extended family asked if they could read it. I was truly surprised by my reaction. I felt embarrassed and anxious. It felt like I was baring my soul. Now that I am where I am now looking back. I have discovered that the length of my journey may have been a good thing because it gave me time to get used to the idea of people reading my work. I know that not everyone is that way but for me it was a real challenge.
I self published my first book after sending out query letters for a year. I would still like to get into the traditional publishing market but for now am content to focus on writing more stories because that is what I love to do. Oh, another thing about rewriting. I think I could rewrite my book indefinitely before I would be 100% satisfied.
I was just about to end this post when I thought of something that happened yesterday morning. I had woke up my twelve year old early because he said he had some unfinished school work to finish. Several minutes later when I walked into the kitchen I noticed in big letters at the top of a large piece of paper he had written, “Soul Conquest The Ultimate Trial.” When I asked what he was doing he said that he was doing a book review for english and he chose to do it on my book. That is what has kept me going. If no one ever read my book the fact that those I love have, makes every minute worth it.