Thursday, December 31, 2009

My "Writing" Year in Review

As the day comes to an end, I wanted to take a minute and reflect on the past year. Most people I know are doing the same. I can honestly say it has been a busy, productive year. So much has happened, and because of it all I can say I have grown as a person.
The year started off on a sullen note. I lost my mother right before Christmas and I was still struggling with it. That sadness, combined with a need to express myself creatively pushed me into writing. Writing helped me grieve, helped me deal with a loss that caused me so much pain. I suffered without my spouse at home, again deployed overseas.
My first chapter of my first novel original dealt with a loss and a funeral scene. I look back at it now and know that was my way of mentally dealing with it all. After the novel was completed, and revised, I chose to to remove that chapter completely and tuck it safely away for no one to ever see. It was for me.
But something happened to me, something great. I fell in love with writing stories. My pent up creativity flowed, and I dove into it. My first novel was completed at 104,000 words in three months. Then while I edited my first, I began writing my second. Taking me longer than the first, but it too was completed this past year. Then came more...a third book exploded out of me, and continues to be a work in progress at about 23,000 words.
Then came dreams, more ideas that kept coming to me. Still as I write the third, I am holding onto two more ideas for stories. If there was only more time in the day to write and get them on paper.
I look back now and think of when I finally let others read my stories. A hard thing that was to do. I worried what they would think of me, how they would feel. Would they think I was strange? Would they think I was stupid? It was very difficult to let someone read something I had worked so hard on. But when the reviews came back good and readers were eager for more, a thrill ran through me. I loved that people enjoyed my stories.
Then came the engrossing studying of the publishing world....yikes! I couldn't help but feel that this was impossible. How could I even think that I could venture out and try to get something published! But even though I struggled, and still struggle with self doubt, I am determined to at least try. (Something I hold as a goal for next year.)
I am thankful for agent blogs, twitter accounts, and other writers blogs as well. They have helped me learn, and to remember that others struggle the same as I do.
Overall, writing has been a release, a learning process, and something fun to do. Something I can say I originally did for myself. Perhaps someday I can get these stories out there, and hopefully others will enjoy them too.
Best of luck to everyone in the same place I am! I only hope that 2010 brings success and happiness to everyone out there!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Working on Queries

I have been putting so much thought in how I want to write my query....maybe too much thought. I have reworked my query a few times and I am still trying to decide which sounds better. I search through the queries I can find online and in books. I try to follow the examples, only to find myself constantly questioning what I put down on paper.
I search through agent blogs, reading proper query 'protocol' and find myself with an understanding of what is expected, but I'm still struck with a feeling of uncertainty with my own working query. I HATE DOUBT! It drives me mad. It only makes me more determined to get it perfect, but I am afraid that perfect for me may never exist.
I worry that it is too short. It is very basic, puts a basic description of plot and character. I hope it is not too short. So, I try and make it a little longer. Then I worry about it being too long!
I need to send in the query for my first story, while I continue to work on the others. At least try to put some out there and see what happens. If I don't do it soon, I will have three completed MS and not one attempt at finding representation! UGGG!
Anyways, I hope to do it soon. I must get over this self-doubt, the fright that comes with putting yourself out there, and just try it all ready!