I know some people consider it a faux-pas to talk about your writing but this is my blog and I'll talk about it if I want to.
I've wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. When I was a little girl, I'd sit around the kitchen table with my dad and write stories. He always wanted to be a writer, too. In my late elementary years I wrote Baby-Sitters Club knock-off stories. I had notebooks filled with them.
I did grow up to be a writer, as I'd hoped. I write for a small weekly newspaper and have done so for the past 15 years. Still, I wasn't quite the kind of writer I had hoped to be.
So many people say they want to write a book. Until last year, I was one of them. That's because last year I actually did it. I got the idea almost exactly a year ago, while on a trip to the family lake cabin. I came home and started writing, and then didn't do anything with it for a few weeks. I started writing again in late September and kept writing all through the month of October until the story was finished. Or at least I thought it was.
I'd always heard about National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) but never thought I'd be able to do it. But since I had pretty much achieved the goal set for NaNoWriMo the previous month, I said, "Why not?" So in November I wrote a novel based on an idea I've had rolling around in my head for years. As I came to the end of that, I realized that what I'd just written would make the perfect back story for the novel I'd written in September/October. The problem with that was that I wrote the previous novel in third person and my NaNo novel was in first. I didn't let that stop me and in December started mashing the two together. A few more edits later and I decided I was ready to send out some query letters this spring. I got rejected, of course.
I've had a few friends and family members read my novel, and the overall reaction is good. However, I realize after taking a deeper look at it that it's not particularly original. Parts of it are, yes, and there is a chance that, with more work, I'll make it into something special. For now, I'm looking at it as a valuable learning experience. I know now how much work it takes to write a novel and I have great respect for anyone who completes one. It's really easy to say you want to and it's even easy to start one. To keep going and finish it, and then to go through the revision process is much more difficult.
I've got two works in progress right now. The first I worked on during the April Camp NaNoWriMo. It's like November NaNoWriMo except the rules are less strict and you're put into "cabins" with fellow writers. I still like the story idea but I'm not at all happy with what I ended up making of it that month. I plan to scrap most of it and start over. The good thing about Camp NaNo was that I met two great writer friends and have now met another through them. We're keeping in touch and encouraging one another to continue with our goals.
I did the July Camp NaNoWriMo as well. I'm much happier with what I wrote then, and am looking forward to finishing that. I think it's a good story.
I'm also planning to enter a short story contest next month. Often when I'm trying to write a novel I get a little panicky about not having enough material and I think it might be refreshing to write a short story for a change.