I sat down today to reward myself for getting a lot of stuff done and finally have a few minutes to write. Two hours later I had to stop to go to an appointment and again asked myself why I didn’t do this more often. Why I always make it the last thing on my list to get done. Granted there are many priorities that do come before writing but I know it really isn’t as low on the list as I always place it.
I feel so good after I have sat down to create characters and experiences out of my own imagination. Yet I figure that if I can’t make money with my writing then somehow it isn’t worth doing. It is a constant battle with myself. Why would I tell myself that, when it is something I love to do regardless of whether or not I make any money doing it. I love to garden and I love to hike and read. Yet I make no money on any of those hobbies and I’m ok with it.
I think it’s because I feel that if I can’t make a lot of money doing it then somehow I’m not a good writer. If I’m not a good writer then why am I even doing it.
Because I love it!! And I won’t get better unless I continue to write. Sheesh. These arguments with myself can get old and there the same ones over and over again.
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.
I am going to try something new. I decided I would write a new post each week about my life and writing. I have six boys and and one girl which means my life can get pretty busy and crazy. This blog is as much for my own discovery of myself as it is for anyone else. I do hope that someday someone that loves to write might discover it and in so doing might find some form of hope or encouragement in it.
I truly discovered my joy in writing about nine years ago. My husband having just listened for an hour and a half to a story that I had been daydreaming about exclaimed, “That’s like a movie. You should write that down.” At that point we had been married ten years and although he knew I daydreamed he had never asked me to tell him any of them. My response to his exclamation was simply, “I can’t write. Trust me I tried once.”
He continued to push me to write it down. I finally decided to try. What have I learned? A lot! What do I have left to learn? So very much. One thing I can tell you is it has been worth it. I love creating people, lives and plots so that everyone else can enjoy them.
Today however I want to start at the beginning. English and grammar are important in writing but truly my distaste for english in high school and college is one of the reasons I never thought of being a writer. So if you don’t like them or think you are horrible at it, please don’t let that stop you. You’ll probably find in my blog an unlimited amount of errors but I no longer let that keep me from writing. Plus there is this really great person called an editor. When it comes to writing he/she is my new best friend.
Ok back on task. So how did I start? I sat down at my computer and having no idea what to do just started typing the general idea of my book. The first draft was about 100 pages and was awful. I was enough of an avid reader to know that. One of my mistakes I realized as I read was that I had censored my story to be what I expected other people to want it to be. As a result I hated it. As a matter of fact I have no idea where my first draft went. Sadly I think I eventually got rid of it which I seriously regret. I decided then and there that I would write it the way it was in my head. So I began the long task of rewriting.
That is the first step in my writing journey. I will continue the story later as I am now going to continue writing in my second book of Soul Conquest before my kids get home from school and all writing endeavors must end.