Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Road Trip Wednesday--My Writing Journey

Oh boy. Oh boy oh boy oh boy. This week, YA Highway wants to know:

What has your writing road trip looked like so far? Excitement? Traffic jams and detours? Where are you going next?

Eek. I'm still a little squeamish talking about my writer-self. I'm way good with my reader-self and my teacher-self, but my writer-self has been dormant for so long, wth only brief outings. I do have the beginning of a WIP...insert standard author excuse-making here, I guess, but since I don't let my students indulge in those, I really can't get away with it either.

I started this novel last NaNoWriMo, with my 6th grade writing class. I am proud/chagrined to say that two of my 6th graders beat my word by quite a bit (I came nowhere near meeting my goal, but it was more writing than I had done for myself since elementary school.) Since I was writing alongside 6th graders, I decided to try a realistic MG novel. Currently it stands around 7,500 words, and for the time being, I'm leaving it be in order to focus on the demands of the new school year. I think I may give it another go during this year's NaNoWriMo--which I know is against the "rules", but it will be more of an inspiration to start writing daily--even 500 words or so--and that can't hurt. The title right now is Minnow. It has an outline, a playlist, and blobby first chapters. And I think that's all I have to say about that.

I also wrote and submitted a short story to a writing contest this summer, something I had never done before and had never really even considered. But the Machine of Death contest called out to me, and I had some free time over the summer, and so it went. I didn't agonize over it; I didn't tell myself that secretly, the editors meant that the contest was open to anyone but me (as I often do); I simply wrote, revised, and submitted. It was a whole new thing.

And of course, I'm writing this blog now. I'm committed to at least RTW every week, plus following my students once they get their own blogs up and running, and keeping up with a number of the other RTW participants. Actually, I have a question for the many more experienced bloggers who might click over to this--I tend to follow blogs in my Google Reader. Is there a preferred/better way? What's the current thinking/technology on following people?


  1. The rules of NaNoWriMo are okay to break, I think. The goal is to get us writing, so if you need to break a rule to get there, so be it. :-)

    I use Google Reader, too. I organize the blogs I read into folders by subject matter. It's really helpful!

  2. It was a big step for me when I "came out" as a writer. By that, I mean when I started telling people that I've written a novel, when I gave my work to other people to read and critique, when I posted my query letter for others to pick apart, and then when I started querying. It was a big step because it stopped being my side project and became a lot more real. It was me embracing this fact of my life that I had buried or denied for so long. And then creating my blog, where anyone--church friends, family, work associates, as well as other writers could read about me as a writer.

    One of the most interesting and sensible pieces of career advice I ever heard was this: "Don't dress for the position you're in, but for the position you want to have." In other words, if you're a secretary with executive ambitions, dress like an executive, and (within reason) act like an executive. The idea is, sooner or later, people will start treating you like an executive, and you will be a natural choice for promotion. I think this has application elsewhere other than business, but especially with writing. If you want to *be* a writer, don't pretend you're not a writer. Be a writer. Talk about your novel. Blog about writing. Advertise yourself as a writer. Even if you do something else for a living. No-one will believe you're a writer until *you* believe it. And there's no better way to convince yourself than to actually be a writer!

    Be encouraged! If writing is your passion, stick with it. There are tons of people out here that know what you're going through and are right there with you. All the best with NaNoWriMo! :)

  3. Hey, if you need to break a rule or two to get yourself back into writing regularly, then I say go for it. I'm excited for you to start getting back in the groove of writing and hope that you get bitten by the "OMG I have to finish this book right now or I will die" bug. It's infectious. :-)

    Best of luck to you!

  4. I agree with Jess and Cindy. Who really cares if you break the NaNo rules? All that matters is that you find the motivation to work and get the words on paper. And welcome to the blogging community and RTW, officially. I look forward to reading many more of your posts. :)

  5. Be a rebel! Break the rules! I'm using NaNo this year to edit my story.

    Good luck!


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