Friday, April 24, 2009

Baby Steps Through the Pages...

I have to keep reminding myself where I am on my writing journey.

I've always wanted to be a writer.

Kindergarten: I wrote a small, bound (and illustrated...LOL) book about the day a dinosaur (from the pictures, it appeared to be a brontosaurus) appeared on my front step for a playdate.
2nd Grade: I handed in my natural science report on robins as written from the bird's perspective.
5th Grade: I decorated spelling tests with flash fiction scribbled on the back using one vocab word in every sentence.
10th Grade: I slammed through my history report, presenting it as written by a member of an archeological dig's team. Complete with photos and "ancient scrolls". Oh yeah.

I've always been a writer.

My brain frequently dabbles between short fiction, flash fiction, poetry, song lyrics, and random exercises in creative prancing. In 2006, I attempted my first novel, a complicated piece that was more self-challenge than thoughtful prose - something different. Sick, stressed, and distracted due to school, doctor visits, and work, I set it aside.

But I didn't stop scribbling.

The merry band of heroes and requisite universe of StarStones have been clanging in my head since 2002. I'd done dozens of short stories from their points of view, mini-adventures, before finally chronicling a more epic adventure - this time starring their younger selves - in 2007. Having finished the book, my very first wholly-complete deeply-flawed novel, I moved into edits and dragged it to a writing conference for some critique. By September of 2008, I had deleted and rewritten the ending.

In November of 2008, I completed my second full novel, set in a new place, in an unfamiliar genre. Yay!

By December of 2008, I had deleted the ending of StarStones again. Boo!

And somewhere in there, in the midst of life and living, I decided I could never NOT be a writer. Editing REbegan in earnest. Fellow Tri Mus accepted me into the ranks. Goals were hashed out, mashed out, and then made realistic. Research began on submission deadlines and formats, publishers, agents, editors, query letters -- all things publishing. Another writing conference was scheduled. StarStones now has yet another ending. And there are many, many more edits to follow. Many, many mistakes to make. Support from the hubby: immeasurable. I determined I could indeed write, write, write forever. Good or bad - it didn't matter.

Where I am on my journey is just past the starting blocks: Committed to my writing path. No longer close enough to home to run back and grab those few things I forgot on the desk before starting off again, but still tentative in uncharted territory. I shouldn't feel like I'm behind, rushed. I don't have an external deadline (save the tantalizing open submission dates for some spiffy short story anthologies).

These are the days for making amateur mistakes, taking small steps, shaking off doubts. These are the days for soaking up all the education I can on the writing process and publishing world. And these are the days to vow (in application!) never to stop learning, never to stop listening, never to stop watching, never to stop writing. This - THIS! - is the beginning.

1 comment:

haricot vert said...


that was a fabulous post.