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. =)