Wednesday, July 23, 2014

And I'm Back in the Game...

I've officially started the process of plotting my second novel. Hold your applause, please. After a bit of a break, I am excited to get back into the swing of writing again. After recently finishing what I hoped would be the last revision of my first novel, I was a little fried, to be honest. I thought I'd spend some time in research mode: reading more books, learning more about the publishing industry and finding other writers out there who were in the same sort of "limbo" that I am.

(Side note: If you are one of them, please hit me up! I'm anxious to hear about your journey and if you are having any luck getting published!)

I've also been sending queries to literary agents. Searching for the right agent seems to be a full time job in and of itself, but I'm still hopeful that I will connect with an agent when the time is right.

Anyway, I decided to take a break from my "break" and get back into writing. :) I'm very excited about the premise of this one, so stay tuned!

I'm still putting in the time to do research and query, but I decided to take stress and anxiety out of the equation. Regardless of publication, my first novel will always be my baby and I don't think it hurts to let her (yep, she's a lady) take a breather after all the work she's been putting in lately.

Ultimately, I can't predict what's going to happen or how. All I can do is continue to put in the work. Lucky for me, the job is AWESOME.

Monday, July 21, 2014

A little bit further from childhood

My parents recently sold my childhood home. I knew it was coming, but I think it doesn't really hit you until you know you can never go back there again. I'll never have another excuse to drive down that street, or stop at the nearby gas station. It won't be any convenience for me to use that Dollar General, either.

It's just weird.

Luckily, I got to visit right before they moved everything out. The home is pretty old and beat up and nothing I'd want to move back into, to be honest. However walking through it I couldn't help but relive so many memories that happened in that house.

The kitchen where my sister and I fought off the exploding mess of potato soup we made for the first time ever, trying to avoid the burn of potato-to-skin contact.

The bathroom where one of my siblings would retreat during a round of tag, only to find a broom handle shoved under the door and waved emphatically as the tagger tried to hit his or her feet.

The living room where we set up modified version of Celebration Station games, one of which is fondly referred to as the "alligator game"in which the alligators pop out and the person playing has to hit them as quickly as they can.

Or even the backyard, where we once burned way too many wooden pallets after dismantling a makeshift back deck. The resulting fire ended up more of a bonfire, which we still tried to use for roasting hot dogs and marshmallows. Of course, getting any closer than five feet was out of the question. I still remember the neighbors popping their heads out, asking if they should call the fire department.

Did I mention we lived a little way out in the middle of no where?

Anyway, I guess the fun part really is the memories that we carried away with us. Hopefully the house still a few special ones to give to the next family.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

When information overload strikes the writer

Sometimes things seem so much simpler with a fluffy pen...

People always say that knowledge is power. But when is the threat of too much knowledge damaging to your creative vision?

Personally, I have a love/hate relationship with the internet. Some days are amazing: I find just the right blog posts to fit my current mood and I learn so many wonderful new trends and ideas that I feel like I'm floating on a cloud of inspiration. The days I am not so fond of are the ones that during my surfing, I find that one thing that's been gnawing at me in the back of my mind. Writers probably know what I'm referring to. That fear that your book is too long or too short, or your genre is on its way out, or that agent you've been hoping to pitch to said something on twitter revealing they don't like your topic.

Or maybe you find a brilliant writer the same age as you, who writes the same genre, who comes from the same background. Maybe you beat yourself up, asking why she's where she is and you are where you are.

When that moment happens, it all seems to come in a dizzying wave. Your initial panic leads to more keyword searches like "when is a novel too long," or "contemporary romance on its way out." At times like this, I think we all tend to jump to the worst conclusions.

"I'm finished writing."

"My work is crap. I have to rewrite."

"No one will ever read my stuff."

When those days come, it's time to turn off the computer and take a big, deep breath. It's kind of like having an argument with your significant other. Remember that this wave will soon pass. Think of all the reasons you fell in love with writing in the first place. Reconnect with what inspired your story. Do something to make yourself feel good.

Then get back to work.

@MarieForleo said something I often repeat to myself: "Comparison is creative kryptonite. Stay in your own game."

There are so many opinions on the internet, so many people telling you what to do and what not to do. Ultimately it comes down to one question.

Whose opinion do you trust? Who would you rewrite for? Knowledge and information are wonderful, but I think it takes a true talent to know when to step back and trust your instincts, trust yourself, and know when to unplug.