Monday, January 31, 2011

Becoming Reacquainted

I opened my MS for the first time in 4 weeks yesterday. I know 4 weeks isn't that much time, but it felt like YEARS to me.

I was so scared and ridiculously nervous, unsure of what to expect.

It was weird, comforting, awkward and familiar all at once, if that makes sense.
Kind of like meeting up with your best friend after years of not talking. Knowing what's there (or what used to be there) at the core, but not sure in what other ways you may have changed.

Would we still like each other?

Would things be the same as before?

What needs to change NOW in order for us to get along?

My biggest fear though? Not liking it anymore. Because that's always my biggest fear. I don't want it to all be for nothing.

I was worried I would open it, read the first couple of pages, and wonder what the heck I was thinking. I only got about six pages in, and I am still undecided because my nerves haven't quite settled as yet.

I guess the thing is--just like with great friends--you don't let go that easily. You put in the extra effort to make it work. You hang on for dear life and try to make it better, even when it attempts to slip away.

Ultimately... YOU DON'T GIVE UP... even when it seems too hard. Even when it seems like it can't be fixed, make sure you put up a good fight - especially when it's to save something you believe in.

Because you know what? It's never all for nothing. You always learn. You always take away.

And you keep moving forward.

Have you guys ever felt this way after coming back to your MS after a long time? What did you do?

Monday, January 24, 2011


Happy Monday everyone! :)

I spent this entire past weekend working on the first draft of my query. And I do mean the entire weekend. I actually finished it, and fully rewrote it 9 times.

I'm definitely going to re-write it at least 20 more times before it's ready. And the thing is... this is just ONE page... what am I going to do at the end of this week when I reopen my MS and discover I need to edit and rewrite 368 pages???

You know... it's a nerve wracking thought, but regardless, I'm still looking forward to it.

Because it's moving me closer to one of my major goals... not the one of being published (although that is at the top of the list).

No, it's being able to stand back, and take a good look at what I've created and say... I DID IT.

And it won't be the first time I've been able to claim those words... I've done it at each milestone along the way... to remind myself of how far I've come, and how worthwhile the journey has been.

To remind myself that THIS is why I keep going even when it seems like there's no end in sight.

Each step in this process, as scary as they may seem, they're all taking us somewhere.

No matter which one you're at, whether it's finishing your novel or your query, opening that word document and writing that first page, emailing that agent for the first or hundredth time, DECIDING you want to be writer--even though you've never even written a short story... these are significant accomplishments, and we should be proud :)

Which step of this wonderful process are you currently at? What's next? When have you recently said, "Wow... I DID IT"?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My Name is WritingNut, and I am an Addict

Okay. I finally admit it.

But I know I'm not the only one.

We're all addicted to something.

I'm addicted to several things.

Everything that encompasses the Blogosphere
My computer
My blackberry

I can't live without any of them--at the very least--once per week (well, the sushi and chocolate, but the other four - every single day).

You know how some addictions can be a hindrance on day to day life? Well, it's the opposite for me. These things actually keep me going. I feel like I'm lost without them.

Once I forgot my blackberry at home, got all the way to the train station, missed my train, and drove back to get it... because I knew my day would be ruined if it wasn't with me.

Yeah... okay, maybe I'm a little crazy, but hey, we all have our quirks ;)

What are your addictions?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Let the Challenge Begin!

Hey Everyone!

I hope you all had a fabulous weekend :)

So Theresa inspired me a couple of weeks ago to sign up for the 2011 100+ Book Challenge. I'm not sure what I was thinking, but I clicked on over, became extremely excited, and the next thing I knew, I was a participant.

I know it's hard to find enough time to read these days, so I'm actually pretty psyched to do this. I think I read maaaaybe 30 books all of last year, so this is a huge undertaking for me, but hopefully I will be encouraged enough to succeed.

I'm a little behind so far... I've only read 2.5 books to date, but I plan to catch up soon! :)

1. Love Happens - Elizabeth Chandler
2. Matched - Ally Condie
3. The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins (currently reading)

Next on the agenda are the following two books of the trilogy.

If anyone is interested in joining, you can sign up HERE and review the rules.

I wanted to challenge myself with something different this year, and this is it.

What about you guys? Have you signed up for this particular challenge or something similar for 2011?

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Waiting Game - Round 1

So this whole week has been all about finishing the first draft of your first novel. Today I would like to talk about what you do after.

No matter HOW busy you are, regardless of the fact that you suddenly have all this wonderful free time on your hands, you will ITCH to go back to it! You will lament every moment you have to spend apart.

At least I am.

It's taking every ounce of willpower I have not to open the thing. I'm determined to give it its four weeks of "space". I know it will make our editing relationship stronger in the long run ;)

What have I been up to in the meanwhile (yeah, you know you're going to get a list :D)?

1. Blogging and visiting! I love having the time to make it around to all of you :)

2. Researching agents and reading up on the querying process

3. Drafting the query letter (and let me tell you, it's MUCH harder than it seems, even with all the wonderful resources at our fingertips)

4. And I THINK I'm going to write a little short story over the next week or so... just for fun, but we'll see

5. Reading (I've recently started The Hunger Games)

What do you do while you're playing the waiting game? How do you keep yourself busy after months of having no time?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Finishing the First Draft of Your Novel: What to Expect

Okay.... I don't have children as yet, but finishing a draft of your novel (particularly the first one) is the closest I can imagine what giving birth must feel like.

Maybe I'm waaaaay off (and please feel free to correct me!), but here is why:

You carry this "child" around for months, maybe even years like me. You nurture it, feed it, wake up in the middle of the night with cravings (to write) related to it, research all about it because you need to make sure it arrives healthy and strong... And then all of a sudden, it's out and you need to care for it and raise it, and make it grow, turn it into something special that can one day stand on its own.

The range of emotions I've gone through in the past week and a half?

Here they are, IN ORDER:

1. Joy (it's done!)
2. Disbelief (it's done???)
3. Giddiness (I wrote an actual book... a WHOLE book...with chapters!)
4. Doubt (what if no one wants to read it? What if it sucks? Oh my God, it sucks!)
5. Motivation (No, I did this, I stuck with it this far... I can do ANYTHING!)
6. Stress (have you SEEN the querying process... there's NO way I can do this!)
7. Ambitious (I need to start on the sequel... like NOW)
8. Anxious (leave it alone... it has to rest... but it needs major editing! Major re-writing! No... MUST... LET...IT...REST!)
9. Sadness (what do I do now that's it's done... it's like a part of me is missing... I feel so alone...)
10. Overwhelmed (in both a good way AND bad - it IS done, now it's time to keep moving forward)

Um... yeah... so that's what my last few days have been like. One big roller coaster... can you imagine what the actual publishing process will be like (I know many of you are already there, and I'd love hear your stories)? I hope I get that far to find out!

Have you ever gone through this? With writing, finishing or starting your first drafts or anything else? Please share!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Guys... Guess What?

Happy Monday everyone... I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

Yes, today is the big reveal that I promised last Friday, although if you've spotted my sidebar, it may not be that much of a surprise... but here goes ;)

I've finished the first draft of my first novel!

Yes... two years of blood, sweat and tears, but I finally wrote the last 15k on Monday, January 3rd, 2011, after waking up in a panic after my bout with the flu during the holidays.

It's clocked in at 95,977 words, 367 pages double spaced.

Um... yeah... it's a little longer that I had originally anticipated (80k), and needs some major editing and lots of rewriting, but figuratively speaking, it's finished.

In early December, I thought I was only 4k away, but the novel needed a lot more than that to wrap it up.

And now it's sitting and marinating while I do some research. Yup, we've got a lot of stuff to talk about this week, I hope you'll join me on Wednesday and Friday.

How about you guys? Any news... writing or otherwise?

Friday, January 7, 2011

Welcoming 2011

Happy New Year everyone!!

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday, and has returned restful and ready for 2011 :)

I think this is our year guys, and we're going to take it by STORM!

I have to say, I think 2010 was one of the fastest years for me. It seriously just zoomed by.

Now, I love to make resolutions. I don't know why, because I never stick to them (except for one that I made last year -- which I won't tell you about until next Monday -- yes, I am just evil like that :D).

Despite the fact that I forget about them by mid January, I'm still hopeful, so I'm going to make some this year as well. I will keep them very short and sweet though.

2011 Resolutions:

1. Write more + Start querying
2. Become a better blogger
3. Start going regularly to the gym (3 years in a row people)

I think these are quite manageable (especially compared to the 6 I had last year).

I don't know if you noticed a very crucial one missing... but that's what you're waiting until Monday for :D

What were some of your resolutions or NON-resolutions for 2011? What are you excited for this year?