Monday, October 19, 2009

What I've learned...

I've been writing for about a decade now, although I haven't been serious until just recently. I'll admit that it was more of a hobby than anything, a dream that I always found an excuse not to fulfill or try to do. Those excuses have included: well the plot sucks so it needs to be rewritten from scratch (4x), characters don't have depth so it needs to be rewritten (2x), I don't have the time (ok granted doing school plus writing seriously was out. I couldn't go to school, work then find time to write. There was no time). These were just some of them.

What changed? Events shifted in my life and made my dream reachable, even thought I know I will still have to edit more and probably send out over 100 queries. But that dream of being a writer, of one day holding that book in my hand, each word written, each sentence edited... each query sent, brings me that much closer to that dream.

I'm still learning. But I've learned a lot. I've realized that I'm a pantser. Plotting blocks me and I just...can't...get through. Where I used to think that I could only write at night, I've found through a goals group I'm in that I can write during the day. My muse, is finicky but I can make it work. Those characters that I thought were flat? I feel as though they are more alive and that I can flesh them out. Yes, I may still have issues with pacing and plotting but you know what? I can still DO IT. I can write that plot (even if it needs to be reworked). I can even rewrite if I need to without giving up. I'm stubborn. This is MY idea. MY story. Yes, editing is grring at times, but you know what? I can take it. I can even take the critiques. I can be flexible and be stubborn at the same time. For different reasons but's possible. In the past, I might have given up. Heck, I have. I've given up 3 novels mid-write because of a new fancy shiny idea to tease and flaunt my way.

I set my novel aside for almost a month while I reworked the first 3 chapters recently. I just picked up the rest to edit and yes, there are still things to be worked out, but honestly, it could be worse. My writing has grown. And I'm proud of that. Yes, I still have issues, but they are easily workable.

I'm working on the second book in the series now. Yes, I know there will be rewrites. I can point out the issues (well some of them ;) ) and tell you right now that the one plot needs to be strengthened and added to. But that's all still part of the learning process. Either way, first draft is scheduled to be done Dec 1st. Wish me luck!

Finishing that first manuscript, joining RWA, going to the DC conference, getting critiqued, getting that first R... it's all just something that's an ongoing learning experience.

So I'm curious. What has your learning experiences been like? What do you still struggle with?

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