Tuesday, June 24, 2014

My Writing Life, otherwise known as my second job

I remember thinking how hard it was to find time for writing, even when I was doing it for fun. I would write in the small crevices I could carve out of my work day. It was just write, write, write. Now, writing is a second job. 

Once I decided I was going to try and publish my novel, I went from hobbyist to author. I can no longer just sit idle and plop out some words on a keyboard and hope that Word catches all my spelling errors. Of course, it wasn't until I started going to critique group that I learned how truly atrocious my grammar actually was. Now I have so much more.

The day the first draft ended is the day the real work began. That was the day the revising began. Ah yes, the slow, painful process of revising. But then I didn't really know what that meant, so it led me to internet research. So I read a bunch of articles about how to revise a novel, and then I set out to apply them.

but wait there's more - but wait there's more  Billy Mays

 You're also supposed to find a critique group. My in depth internet searching led me to some online critique groups. I started critting, but then I found an actual, real, live, in-person group. And I met them and they are awesome. Two things came out of this group: 1. my technique sucks and 2. this was going to take a long time. The critique group only reviews 3 people per week and 1 chapter/3000 words per person. So it was going to take a while to get through the critiquing portion.
Grammar time!

It hasn't turned out so bad though because I was about halfway through revisions when I got my first real critique back and realized that I had a lot more work to do. So I started from the beginning and worked my way through again. I read more, I critiqued more, and I learned more. In a way, it is just as fun to me as the first draft was, in other ways it is more frustrating because the work keeps piling up.

 Now all through this process I have been researching the publishing world. Researching agents, what they are looking for, how do you get one; in general, what makes this whole process work. And then I found out about this dreaded query letter. And oh, what a dread it is. First, I read through so much Query Shark I thought I might go blind. Then I put it all in the back of my head and got back to revising. After giving it some pause, I wrote one out myself. I have been through countless revisions myself before I decided to put it out there and get feedback. After some wonderful critique there, I re-wrote it, again. Needless to say, it still needs a lot of work. And this is just more time away from the revisions.
Sherlock Frustrated

There are so many other little nuances of the writing world that you can’t overlook either. You have to build a platform, write a blog, get on the tweeter, be a literary steward, and other stuff I’m sure I’m forgetting about. The point is, they’re all there for a reason. Because being an author isn’t just about throwing some words down on a page and calling it a masterpiece. It’s about turning your piece of crap into a masterpiece with time. 

Each little step gets me a little bit closer to my goal. And at the end, I want to put something out there that I'm proud of, not just some crap that I finished up really quick. So I guess this is my long-winded way of saying, do the work, it's worth it.

Author's Note: I forgot the most important one. READ READ READ


  1. Great post! Revision is really where it's at, isn't it? I have to keep reminding myself as I'm working on my WIP that I'm just getting words on the page, because you can't revise nothing! =)

    1. Absolutely! Writing is only half the battle.