Wednesday, October 12, 2011

RTW: That Whole Writing Thing

 *Please don't forget! If you liked my second Campaign piece, I need your votes. Head on over and "Like" my entry (#51 on the list)! I'm currently 4th out of 192 entries, so thanks very much to all who have voted!*

And now, it's Road Trip time! This blog carnival is hosted by the lovely folks over at YA Highway, and if you haven't participated yet, you really should. All you have to do is pop over to their website, answer the prompt on your blog, and leave a link in the comments section of today's post. Easy peasy, right?

Today's question: We've reached the 100th mile marker. How has your writing journey gone so far?

This is an interesting topic of discussion for me. I may have mentioned this before, but I wrote the first draft of my WIP 6 years ago. I had just finished my freshman year of college, wrote the whole draft in 3 months, and thought it was the greatest thing ever written. It really wasn't.

I tried getting it published anyway, like the naive teenager that I was. I knew nothing about the publishing industry or marketing myself. I queried a handful of agents with a terrible query letter and got rejected by all of them. So, in the spirit of an unmotivated 18-year-old in the process of learning life skills, I quit. I quietly filed the document away on my hard drive and forgot about it. 

I spent the next three years finishing my degree. I traveled, I worked a full-time job, I made friends and braved parties, I saw concerts, I explored my environment. I lived! And I kept a journal in the process, so I was still writing. Once I graduated, I started teaching preschool, I moved to a new state, I got engaged, and slowly, the desire to pull my novel out for a second look grew stronger.

I tried NaNoWriMo for the first time last year. I didn't win, but I don't count it as a fail. It reignited my writing spark, which had been nearly extinguished for a long time. This summer, I started blogging more seriously and getting in touch with new writer friends (which is very, very important...I highly recommend it). I also broke out my first draft and started brainstorming ways to make it better.

At this point in time, my original story has changed so much that it's almost like writing a first draft again. I have several close writer friends that I count on for advice and motivation. I'm still reading a ton, and I'm starting to figure out how to fit writing into my busy day. Once my wedding arrives and I don't have to worry so much about planning (30 more days!), it'll be a lot easier to devote more time to writing. And now I have goals, which is something I didn't have at 18. I want to finish my draft by January (maybe February), and I want to be able to start querying agents by next summer. Even if I don't reach my goals, I'm still winning, because I'm learning a lot in the process.

Thank you to all of you who have been with me on this crazy journey, and I look forward to meeting many more of you. :) What has your writing journey been like? Leave a link in the comments and I'll be sure to read your post!