For as long as I can remember, I’ve been reading and writing. I remember being picked to read a story about a bus at preschool graduation. I wrote my first story when I was in the second grade (about a girl who meets an alien girl and they become friends…guess there is a little sci-fi in me). Before there were iPads, Angry Birds, smartphones, and Candy Crush to keep children quiet in church, there was the latest edition of The Baby Sitters Club and Sweet Valley Twins to keep me from disrupting service. I loved books and I still do. I used to tell people all the time that I was going to be a writer when I grew up.
Well, now I am grown up and I still have a plethora of stories in my head clamoring for attention. My ability to focus and stay motivated has been challenged as life happens (marriage, kids, career changes, etc.), but being published still remained on my “Someday” list. Several years ago, I made an attempt to move a novel from Work In Progress to Published. I had it edited, I had a cover done, and I told my friends and family (which for me, was my biggest hurdle). But before I could finalize my plans, I looked at the story and decided that it wasn’t ready. Several writing no-nos had been committed such as:
- Too much backstory
- Too much telling and not enough showing
- Too much reliance on dialogue
Now, that particular story is not dead (I’ve got something brewing for that particular character) but the way I was telling it definitely was. And in the midst of trying to figure out how to properly tell her story, I took a creative writing class. We were given several writing prompts and one of them I liked so much that I decided to lengthen it after the course was over. That flash piece turned into a novella. I had a few trusted people beta read it and since I got some good feedback, I considered committing the writing sin of just publishing it without it being edited. (SN: One of my past jobs was as a copywriter, so I consider myself to have some decent editing skills. It was where my love of ultra fine point color Sharpies was born. However, I feel that writers shouldn’t edit their own work; we’re too close to the story so why I tried to publish without an edit is beyond me! Call it having a case of “Giterdone”). Fortunately, a great and supporting writing friend stopped me before I made that potential horrible mistake. I attempted to have my professor edit the story, but we just couldn’t connect. More excuses came into the picture and basically, the story sat dormant…for two years.
Until recently. When I decided that I would stop being a punk about my writing, I picked up the novella again. And I felt ready to move forward. Through She Writes, I met another amazing and hilarious writer. Through her, I met a wonderful and talented editor on Twitter. I finally decided to request a quote and as of a few days ago, I submitted the manuscript for a proofread.
So, here I go again, on that journey to becoming published. I’m not sure how much longer this process will take. Another one of my mistakes was trying to rush the process as well in addition to trying to work too many steps at the same time, which can be overwhelming because I tend to overthink. However, I’ve learned a lot and I’ve grown a lot, and while I still have (tons of) nerves about this process, I’m pushing through it and transitioning this dream of mine from someday to today.
- The Art of Self-Editing (illusiobaqer.com)
- Editing (theun4givables.wordpress.com)
- So, you want to be a writer? (shadowflame1974.wordpress.com)