Saturday, August 14, 2010

Let the games begin!

It's off to the races! The revision races, that is. Editing is going well thus far. I have gotten to chapter 11, and although this is just the first pass through, it's working. I expanded some scenes and refined some others. Now my word count is at 50,500. This is actually good for me. My work tends to be spare in the word-count department. I guess I write in a short-and-sweet fashion. I really admire those lit-fic types who can bang out 90,000 without breaking a sweat. More power to you!

I'm also proud. When I take a moment to reflect on what I have accomplished over the past eight months, I am amazed. I wrote two books! And started a third. That is huge, especially considering everything else I have going on in my life.

I wonder if I would have been able to do this without the amazing motivation I had. You see, my husband was laid off from his job a year and four months ago, and my paycheck was really the only one that paid the bills. It was rough, to say the least. We tried everything we could think of to supplement our income, but times were still quite tough. I had always dabbled in writing, but I had never had the time, patience, or energy to complete anything. All of the other stuff I tried was terrible. I gave up on it soon after I started. But I had a burning desire to write, to tell a story that other people would like to hear. I also had a lot of encouragement from my wonderful college english teacher and my amazing husband. One day, I had an idea, and my husband gave me a deadline. We really thought that writing a book would be a great way to make money. And how cool would it be to be a published author?

So, I bought a netbook and started writing. I wrote and I wrote and I wrote. I drove my family nuts when they'd try to talk to me and I'd be lost in my story. And they drove me nuts when I was lost in the story and they'd try to interact with me. I can't tell you how many times I lost my train of thought! But it worked, and I actually wrote a book.

What surprised me after I wrote my book and started to look for an outlet for my writing was the competition out there. I always knew that there were many, many poor souls like me out there who thought for sure that they'd written the next big novel. But it wasn't until I joined Authonomy that I really came into contact with any of them. And the competition was fierce! There are so many talented authors out there, all with dreams of their own. Turns out, I'm not so different after all.

I met some terrific people and read some great writing. I learned to lean on my friends in the writing community and trust their advice. I got some praise and some criticism. And I wouldn't trade one minute of any of it.

I have learned so much. I have made some wonderful online friends. I am thankful for each and every person who took the time to look at my work and tell me their honest opinion. I am truly amazed by the generosity of practical strangers.

I have been deeply affected by my family's hardships. I have learned not to take anything for granted. I know now the depth of my love for my family and how much they all mean to me. We survived a long-term layoff together and we have rallied back, stronger than ever.

My husband now has his job back, and things will start to get better. But I'll continue to write. I have found something within myself that needs to keep writing. And after the first book, the first hurdle, it is getting easier. If I can keep going, who knows what I'll accomplish? My first-ever completed novel is scheduled to be published by Night Publishing in October. I'll be querying my second book as soon as my edits are done. My cup truly runneth over.

I am content, and I know now why my family has been tested. I have discovered within myself a propensity for the written word, and I don't think I would have been nearly as motivated without strife. They say that things happen for a reason. I believe it. And I am living proof that dreams,no matter how common or seemingly unreachable, actually can come true.

Jess

1 comment:

Melanie said...

I liked the last cover...but OMG JESSICA! Yes, I LOVE your new cover! Holding hands is very in for book covers, so you've already hit the trend. I love the colors, the pastel of it, and it's so...comfy. It feels so right. Congrats! I think this is winning cover.^.~