In August 2009 I had a little freak out. There I was, 20 years of age, and what had I achieved? I’d spent my teens scribbling in secret, but had yet to ever write The End on a novel. I was a failure, and imposter, and I was getting old! (Feel free to laugh).
I decided something had to be done. I made myself a goal to finish a novel by my 21st birthday. And I did. Two and a bit years after I made that first goal, I’ve shelved that first novel (which taught me so much and made me some contacts in the industry, but just wasn’t ready) and am currently revising a second.
I’ve come along way since first writing Chapter One, and this blog reflects that. There was a time no one but my parents knew I was a writer. It was something I held so close and dear, I guess I was afraid it would break if I shared it. Over time, my husband and a few close friends were let in on the secret. Then I started my first blog in order to keep track of my progress and share all that I was learning writing that first novel, but I still wasn’t ready to claim it with my real name.
Sharing that first story with my friends and the agents I sent it to was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, and for awhile I thought maybe the writing had broke because of it. But I survived, and grew stronger and more confident because of it.
More recently, I shared the first chapter of my WIP (work in progress) with two writers I know online. Writers. People who I respect, who know what they’re talking about. People I’ve never even met reading the first draft of my story. And guess what? I survived again!
I don’t think bravery is innate. I think it’s something you choose. And with writing, it’s something I’ve had to choose again and again. I choose it again today, in launching my new blog under my actual name. I’ll choose it again in a few months when I send my WIP off to critique partners, and then to agents. I choose it ever day because writing is who I am, and I’m not hiding anymore.
As I mentioned above, I’ve just started the first revision of my second novel, currently titled Restless. I’ve given myself the goal of finishing this revision by the end of February. If you read my old blog at all, you’ll know I am pretty much obsessed with goals and charts and organization. If you didn’t read my old blog, here’s your introduction to my crazy ways:
Hmm, maybe I should have written a little larger. If you can see those silver stars, they’re the word count I’m planning to hit each week. Along the bottom is Week 1, Week 2 etc. Up the side is my word count in 10,000 word blocks, up to 70,000 (which is what I estimate the book will be at the end). At the end of each week I’ll enter the current word count and do a little happy dance every time I end up over my goal. I know I will this week, as I’m already over 🙂
I’ll keep you up to date as I go.
What’s To Come
I’m trying to decide whether to import all my old posts or not. I’m thinking I might do a regular “from the archives” post, where I’ll highlight a favourite post from days past.
In terms of life stuff, in the next few months we will be buying a house and getting a new puppy (chocolate labrador) so there will be plenty of updates on that front.
While I’m revising Restless, I’m also brainstorming a few other projects. I never really know what I’ll write next until I get there, but I like to have a few things ready to go. One of these projects is a young adult novel, a thriller like Restless. The other is new and exciting and I don’t want to say much about it, but let’s just say I may finally be ready to write the story I tried to write with book 1. I’m dancing now, that’s how excited I am about this project.
I’ll also be posting my annual New Years Resolutions posts (did I mention I like making goals?) and a rundown of my favourite books of 2011.
Have a great weekend, all.