draft

How to kill the muse

Wow - so much for my intentions of writing a blog post a month.......

I have spent a good deal of the time I was MIA writing, well, really revising. I think I don't mind the revision process. It was not as arduous as I thought it would be. But that thinking makes me nervous - like maybe I didn't do it right because I didn't find it difficult or awful. Or maybe it was because my revisions were based on developmental editing feedback and not copy editing? Argh! Maybe I should not have such an 'easy peasy' attitude about the editing process yet. 

I suppose I will have another opportunity to explore the editing phase of writing since I decided to have the manuscript go through another developmental editing review. I reached out to the same editor and we worked out a deadline for me to complete the changes and get the piece back into her hands. 

I also made some progress, or rather, attempts at expanding my experiences in writing. I wrote and submitted a mini-essay for an online magazine. The piece was not accepted but I was encouraged to try again.

I applied and was accepted into a content mill type of blogging website. Honestly, I've been on the fence for a mighty long time about tossing my hat into that ring. But for a very particular reason (which I'll get to in a second) I made the effort. The first blog I wrote didn't get picked up which didn't bother me as much as I thought it might. Unfortunately, I got so busy with revising my draft that I had to set the content mill gig aside. 

Besides revising my draft, the other big thing that has taken up much time is all the stuff one has to do when they decide to sell their house! Yup, my husband and I have chosen to pull up our roots and re-plant them about 800 miles away.....and because the way we like to roll is to make things as complicated as possible, we are building our new home.....let me point out again this is 800 miles away.

We have had to de-clutter our home to make it more appealing to potential buyers. For years my husband has talked about how we need more 'artwork' to hang on our walls. I asked him if he still felt this way as we bubble wrapped and packed what had to be 60 pieces of wall hangings - family pictures, kids artwork that we framed, and various other pieces. And we have had to grow thick skins pretty quickly when we read the feedback from people who have come to look at our house. Not to mention having to run around, stashing kids toys under beds and couches, shoving papers laying on the counters into kitchen drawers, collecting all the electronics and taking them, our dog and ourselves out of the house whenever we've had a showing. There has GOT TO BE a better way. 

So, getting back to the content mill blogging, I thought it would be a good time for me to start to generate a bit of income. Even if it is just enough to pay for groceries. Or the cost of hiring an editor ;)

Amid all of this, we celebrated my baby's 5th birthday. I am so grateful for his presence in my life and I am loving this time of his childhood. He is bright, curious, funny and a chatterbox! He has been my constant companion and I already mourn the time I will lose with him when he starts kindergarten in the Fall. 

Is it wrong that I encouraged people to give him gift cards so I wouldn't have to pack up yet another truck/train/jet? 

I have not had any creativity zipping through my head since we started what has to be the biggest project hubby and I have undertaken in our marriage, outside of having children and raising them. 

How my 2016 goal inspires my 2017 goals

2016 is almost history. On Facebook I've seen many people post how they can't wait for the year to be over. I haven't reflected too much about what kind of year this has been. Mostly because I've been so stinking busy. But today I started to think about it.

I don't normally make goals or resolutions as part of my new year celebration. Mostly because I know they will be something I won't follow through on. For me, the start of a new year does not equal a time to make a change. That has always come from my internal clock, based on when I have been ready be it emotionally, financially or the space has become available in my life. So it was early in 2016 when I put a screensaver message on my laptop. Know what it said? "This is my year." After thinking over where I was in my life, where my family as a whole was, I choose to be very determined that I was going to make something in my writing life happen. I wasn't sure what it was going to be - freelancing or writing a novel. 

Then in the Spring, as I mentioned in an earlier post, I had a set a goal for myself - that I was going to finish the first draft of my manuscript. WHICH I DID. I had set a goal to have it completed by the end of September but I didn't make that deadline. I pushed it out two more months which meant the end of November. It came down to the wire but I got it done! I passed it on to my writing coach, asking her to do developmental editing. I knew sending it to her that there are flaws. But now that I'm just a couple of days away from receiving it back from her with her comments I'm getting nervous. How far off the mark am I? Will I have to do heavy editing or a complete re-write? 

While she has had the draft I worked on creating a list of 100 agents who may be interested in the piece. I know there are hundreds more out there but I stopped at 100. I was also going to draft a query letter. I started reading up on how to write one which led me to read about how you query a non-fiction book. Book proposal, book summary, outline, author bio. And agents often want you to have marketing and online platforms. What? 

So now I find myself feeling like I did when I decided to pursue writing the draft. Overwhelmed. Unsure. Not feeling smart enough. How do I know if these supplemental documents I need to write are any good? I don't want to look like the novice I really am. Should I pay to have these pieces reviewed too? Screw this, it's too much. There is a pile of books I want to read. Organizing the house to tackle. This year's uncompleted Christmas presents to make for next Christmas.

But I won't. I will figure out how to write these pieces. I will query. This is, in part, my 2017 goal (along with those Christmas presents!) I also plan on joining a critique group and attending a writer's conference. Oh, and writing. I'm moving on to fiction; I have three story ideas circling around inside my head. They have been patiently waiting their turn. 

I think it's kind of cool that my 2016 goal spurs on my 2017 goal. I've never had that happen before.