Sunday, March 4, 2012

A Novel Beginning, Weeks 16 & 17

During weeks 16 and 17, I found some good blocks of time to write and felt very good about what I was able to accomplish while experiencing some breakthroughs in my story as I neared the conclusion of my book.  Even with the good times comes the bad, as these two weeks also brought about days of absence from my writing due to other distractions, which caused me to make a major life change I knew would make managing time to write somewhat difficult.
Week 16

I took four days off and it’s killing me but it was for a good reason…my son’s 14th birthday and activities planned all weekend.  It was an enjoyable weekend but I was itching to get back to writing.  I felt like I really had to write…or else!  I just finished about three hours of writing and I am so excited I can barely contain myself.  I had hit a bump in the road of my story, not sure how I was going to tie in a relevant piece of evidence to the murderer without making it too obvious.  Again, writing just to write really does work for me.  I had no plan but I wrote out the scenes leading up to a certain angle and then before I knew it…BAM!  It hit me.  I had no idea until that time what I was going to write but now the scene is set and I can move on with the outcome.  There are still a few areas I need to work on but the key piece of evidence has been planted in the appropriate place so that the story can move along fluidly.  I am very, very pleased with what I have accomplished today and even though I had to take time off, I feel I very much made up for it.

I’m so close!  Almost to 300 pages and I thought I would make it today but I kept getting interrupted by the boys.  They know I’m busy and shouldn’t interrupt but things just come up.  I’m sure the boys are annoyed when I get lost in my story while completely ignoring them but I know they’ll get over it.  I have to pinch myself when I think about the fact that I have done something many feel is impossible.  It’s not impossible; anyone can write, whether it’s a journal entry, a short story or a book, but many people just do not write…at all.  The whole concept of writing is just not their forte, even if they do like to read.  Although there are many authors out there, and many more writers who are not yet authors, it is still a small percentage of the population as a whole.  I have completed what is very likely the biggest project I have ever attempted.  Writing a book is a project, a process, a purposeful act with an unknown end.  I feel very proud that I have accomplished this huge task and I’m even more thankful that it was actually an enjoyable process, for the most part.  Whatever happens at the end, whether it gets published or not, wins a contest or not, gets picked up by an agent or not, I can actually say “I wrote a book” and I can feel good about that fact alone.

Today was a terrific day for writing.  I wrote about 25 pages and I was able to tie up a few loose ends that were running around in my head.  I even wrote a tense action scene I really hadn’t anticipated being able to complete.  It is strange, almost like I have a split personality.  One half of me might write a bit mediocre but when the other half of me writes…look out!  It’s not true; I don’t have a split personality.  However, there are days when I do write much better than other days and in such a way that I really surprise myself.  I find myself in awe of where these words came from.  Here’s hoping others feel the same way.  It would be a terrible thing to believe you can play with words in such a way as to entertain only to discover you only entertain yourself.  I am very close to the conclusion in my book so only time will tell whether what I have to offer is any good.  I have been reading up on gaining a following; an odd thought when I do not yet have anything for anyone to follow.  I understand the need to become known before you publish a book because it gives an agent or publisher more reason to want to sell your book.  I’ve ordered some more books that will help give me a better understanding about how to put together my platform.  What is your platform?  Not a question I can easily answer at this point.  It might be obvious but it’s all too overwhelming right now.  I will work on the platform building after I finish the first draft of my book, which I am so close to accomplishing.  While I edit the book I will also try to figure out how the heck an unknown gains a following.

Week 17

This has been a week of ups and downs.  I have been able to write but not in large blocks of time as I would like.  Part of that is due to my work schedule and time spent with family.  The really difficult part of the week involved receiving some bad news that caused my husband and I to seriously look at what was in store for us in the future.  Writing will sometimes take a back seat to what is happening around me but I hope to always remember how important it is to find time to write even when times are tough.  Writing helps me to relieve stress because I can bury myself in my book, my characters and what their lives involve.  To me, writing is like a form of therapy, which is necessary in order to manage any stress thrown your way.  Exercise, meditate, spend time with family, spend time with friends, read a good book; those are all ways to alleviate stress.  Writing is another one.  At least it is for me. 

I’ve had to share my writing time with a new distraction the past few days…I’ve been spending time preparing paperwork for some jobs I have decided to apply for.  Based on recent developments, I can already tell this next year will involve many, many changes.    My husband has voiced his concerns about how I will find the time to write if I go back to work at a day job in an office.  I’d be lying if I said I did not also have concerns.  I have to say, it is wonderful to have my own fan right here at home.  He would love it if I could just stay home and write.  However, that is not a possibility at this point.  If my writing takes off, it will be incredible but until then, I need a regular paycheck and benefits.  I will have to change my schedule and become a lunch time/nighttime/weekend writer.  If I truly wish to become a published writer, I will make the time and I will take the time.

Although I did apply for jobs before I was actually finished with my book, a job offer was not made until a month and a half later, giving me the additional time necessary to finish writing my book, begin editing, begin working on my platform, and also take care of work associated with my private investigating business.  If you have followed my Blog, you know that I just started my new job two weeks ago and I have been adjusting to the new schedule.  I feel fortunate I was able to complete the first draft of my book and begin the editing process before I started the new job.   It is a change, it is a challenge but these experiences are valuable.  Now, when people ask me what I do, I say I am a legal assistant, I am a licensed private investigator and…I am a writer.

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