Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Dusting Off

Are You There Blog? It's Me...yeah, that line is overdone.

But my poor blog was on hiatus much longer than I planned. Just like with my writing, everything always came together well enough until I tried to put words to computer. And then it all went blank and I felt like I was in a rut.

I attended another writer's conference back in June that I found a combo of being encouraging, discouraging, fun, exciting, nerve wracking, and probably more of an eye opener than any other conference I've attended. I think the reality that I'm really going to pursue this (I've come this far, I can't turn back now), and that the rejection is out there, how long will it take, will I be good enough, if I get published will my book sell so few copies it gets turned to paper pulp, what if my stories on Mekayla and her friends are good enough for an agent but not a publisher, ...yeah, I had a lot of those questions posed at this conference and again, some of the answers were discouraging. Something else that a few of the authors on the panel said was that blogging had gone the way of the dinosaurs, but right now it's what I know best so I'll stick with it. Who knows, maybe I'll get good at it to get a cult following. But back to the conference/publishing world, it's the reality, and I'd rather hear the bad instead of everything being sugar coated. My little manuscript that's still very much a work in progress had a critique done by an agent (one I considered querying) and I wasn't happy to find I wasn't as far along with my story as I thought. Of course, she only critiqued the first 10 pages, but I did receive the feedback I was hoping for to at least put me in the right direction. It wasn't all good, but that's what I needed, and now I know what's working and what needs work. Hard to hear, especially since I was struggling with an opening and finally found one I liked, but she shot it down.

On the plus side, much like the editor who critiqued this same story for me at a previous conference, she loved my main character and liked the spotlight I put on my characters being diverse. With the recent call for books needing diverse characters from all backgrounds, I'm feeling encouraged that maybe this is all a sign, and that I just need to get my head in there and focus. Right now my life is going through positive changes, so maybe that's another sign that this will all work out. My writing had to take a backseat to the summer, mainly due to the busy time of the industry I'm in. But I figured I'd take the advice I've seen out there on numerous other blogs, interviews with those in the industry, and sites devoted to first time writers like me and put what I was working on on the shelf for awhile and forget about it. I think it did do me some good to not be over thinking the story of Mekayla and her UFO find, so I really wasn't sure where else to go with that story. I didn't take a complete break from writing, however. Another manuscript I'm working on, told from the perspective of Mekayla's friend Lindsey on the upcoming wedding of her two moms, is almost finished, and I'm brainstorming other adventures for Mekayla and her friends to take. In addition, I've thought up some very early ideas for other stories, aimed more at the YA market, that don't involve Mekayla & Co. But for now, I'm sticking with what I've been devoting the last two years to, so back to editing and re-writing the UFO story (working title is The Great UFO Hunt, but I've been told to come up with something more exciting). I didn't intend on keeping that the name anyway, but it gives me one more thing to think about.

Until next time...

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