Saturday, March 31, 2012

Day #8621 - Life Under Construction

I believe I am experiencing what the experts like to refer to as a "rebuilding phase" in a variety of areas of my life at the moment, but there's been a special amount movement in my writing life in particular.

For one, look at this blog. I'm playing around with my limited Photoshop skills to make a new banner that I don't hate. This one, while clearly off center and kind of ridiculous, is at least a step in the right direction. Construction is rarely pretty while it's going on, but as with writing, I'm just remembering that when it's all finished, it will be worth it. Trial and error is sometimes exactly what is needed.

But more about the writing life! Words cannot express how grateful I am that I finally seem to have found a critique partner that things will work out with. I wish I could fully express what a big deal it is. Sharing my manuscript with people is a big deal for me, and trying to find someone who can give me honest feedback on my work and allow me to return the favor with theirs is huge. The notes I've gotten have been hugely helpful and have helped me look over my story again with fresh eyes.

It has also boosted my confidence quite a bit. While life often hands us things we weren't expecting and it's easy to get downtrodden, I've decided that enough is enough. I could easily keep playing around with the intricacies of my manuscript for a very very  long time. It's not perfect yet. Even if it does end up published and on bookshelves around the country someday, chances are that it still won't be quite perfect. But I'm finally able to look at it and say that I'm ready to try the next step: querying for an agent.

I know I've been saying that for a while now, but trust me when I say that due to other events that have been taking place in my life as of late, I'm adopting a carpe diem attitude. The worst thing that happens is getting rejection letters, and I've reached a point where I can accept that they can (and, let's be honest, the probably will) come. Because it won't deter me from trying to make this the best story I can. And it won't stop me from working on my next Story Idea (nickname to be determined) and the idea after that and the idea after that. So I'll let you all know here when I dot my i's, cross my t's, and finally send out the incredibly terrifying First Query Letter EVER.

I hope you hang in there with me, readers. Hopefully this will be the start of a very big adventure. =)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Day #8607 - Happy Unniversary

First off, Happy Saint Patrick's Day! My Irish ancestors would be remissed if I didn't start right off the back with that. I'm sporting green and my pale skin with pride today. Corned beef will be coming later.

Anyway, I've actually been looking forward to today for another reason. March 17th in my mind has been a date one year in the making. It was, to me, the date that I could start calling myself a writer because it was the day I started writing in my journal and have written an entry every day since.

Now this was not my first time in my life trying to keep a journal. I have quite a nice collection of carefully selected notebooks that, if all goes to plan, NO ONE WILL EVER READ.

My first ever journal is not among these. It was from junior high and upon reading it a few years later in high school, I was so mortified by my former self that I ripped all the pages out and threw them away. Not to say that some of the thoughts in the ones I've kept are gems either. The earliest on the far left has sporadic entries from my freshman year of high school, then the pink one has random acts of high school and college. Next, the brown one was specifically for my summer studying abroad in Italy. Then the green one, a college graduation gift from my aunt, was one the one that got me in the habit of writing at least once a week again. That is, until March 17, 2011 when I then managed to start writing every single day, even if just a sentence proclaiming that I'm not dead yet.

So today was supposed to be my anniversary and a cause for celebration. Except for one tiny detail.

Upon double checking, I learned it was actually March 7th, not the 17th.  Oops!

Honestly, I'm a little bummed I missed it, but at the same I think it's a good thing that I did. I think it shows that writing has become such a part of me that it goes without saying, that it is as much a part of me as eating and breathing and all those other things we need to do to live. And now I really feel like a writer because I have done A LOT of writing in the past year in a lot of ways and forms, and my only wish is that I'd found this wonderful thing sooner.

In other writing news, I think Summer Project from last year is finally in a position where I'm comfortable with sending out query letters about it to agents and whatnot. So if you happen to be reading this, keep your fingers crossed for me, eh?

So there's a lot to be thinking about on this sunny Saturday in March. Happy Saint Patrick's Day, Happy Unniversary, and just think happy thoughts!