It’s been twenty years since I first began writing stories. Doing so was sort of a mental vacation from my everyday life where I could make up stories that fit my particular mood. I would come home feeling completely frustrated with my job and write a scene where the character tells off her boss and ends up running the company in the end. Other times, I’d feel reckless and villainous and write a scene about getting even with a nemesis or maybe I’d be in a romantic mood and write a scene of that first meeting with someone that turns into a hot, steamy romance. It was my therapy and I had a lot of sessions over the years and each time I’d write, I’d feel a sense of triumph, accomplishment and yes satisfaction.
Recently, I’ve decided to take my writing more seriously to see what I could do with it by taking one of my ideas and developing it into a full-fledged novel. I’ve got my first draft done and although it’s far from finished, it feels great to have made it this far. This for me has to be the easiest part of it all. Now the real hard work begins and I can’t say it’s the best time of my life but I love the challenge.
I had no idea what was truly involved in writing a novel until now. As I wrote my first draft I’d take breaks from my story and read articles about self-publishing, blogging, building platforms, the importance of a good cover for my ebook and the list just goes on and on. It’s been truly overwhelming but not enough to dissuade me from continuing on with my decision to become a serious writer.
It is a full time job on top of the full time job I have. My advice if you’re in the beginning stages as I am is to read as much as you can from what everyone in the business have written. They are there to help you not discourage you. In order to be successful you need to be realistic and continually work hard to improve your writing. Take classes, signup for webinars, do writing exercises and read, read and read some more. Take advice seriously from people who have been there and are still there as successful agents, publishers, authors and teachers. It’s time well spent.
I’ve decided I’m going to launch my first book as an indie writer. Do I have confidence in my writing skills? Yes I do and I’ll pursue publishers as well; however, publishing my work on my own will give me a sense of what people like, what they don’t which will only help me better my writing skills. It’s a test I’ve given myself in the hopes that readers will love what I’ve written and want to see me write more books. While working on my second draft, I’ve also entered two contests for a short story of 4,000 words and a short short story of 1,500 words. These were by far more difficult than a full length novel. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I place in both or at least one of these contests and will know the results in December.
Now that I’m working on my second draft, I’ll take some of the advice I’ve been given through articles that I’ve read and show you how a scene reads when I first wrote it versus how it reads after applying some of that advice. This will be done in my next blog post.