Nothing's gonna stop us now

Greetings and Happy Holidays! It has been a while since I have posted anything. Sad isn’t it? Honestly, I don’t know what my problem is. I was doing so well, and then wham…I can go weeks for a time without thinking about posting something. Maybe I need to pay someone to remind me to post.

So now it is again the end of the year. As the year comes to a close I look back on all of the ambitious goals that I set for myself last January. Did I accomplish any of them? Nope. Not one. Well. I’m still alive and healthy, and I do have a job, but other than that no. I’m still working on the same God forsaken novel. True I have made a lot of progress, tightened the story, gained some focus, gotten outside perspectives…but it’s still not done. Not even a full draft. But after chucking out 75,000 words of what will probably be a 100,000 to 120,000 word novel….well you can see why it isn’t done.

Some people will point out, that if I hadn’t started revising the novel I would have a completed albeit terribly flawed draft. It would have been something no other eyes would see, something that would be burned as soon as I sold the rights to the novel so that it couldn’t come back to haunt me in the future. But it would have been done. And for some reason that holds a lot of weight for me. To be able to hold up a stack of papers, and say, “here it is my manuscript” it is a big decision…and part of me feels like only then in my heart can I claim to be a writer.

I know, I know…we’ve had this argument before. What makes a writer? Do you have to be published…do you have to share your work…do you have to be successful…It’s one of those things that you can’t define and one of those things that will vary from person to person. So somewhere along the line I got it stuck in my head that I cannot really call myself a writer until I have a completed draft of a novel. Some would say that that would be like an athlete saying they can’t call themselves a runner until they have participated in a marathon.

How did we get on this? This is not what I wanted to talk about. Backs away quickly and steers the conversation in another direction.

Why fret over everything that didn’t get done this year. A lot did get done. It was unplanned and perhaps those are some of the best accomplishments ever. Now I am setting goals for the next year and I am a little more realistic about what I can get done. I also know that because I want to have a pretty substantial and somewhat clean draft when I am finished that it is going to take me a lot longer to get through this novel. For example, write now I have critiqued the first chapter with two different groups and am going to push together the first two chapters with changes to another third group. This I think will give me the opportunity to see if I have corrected the problems I had with the earlier drafts. More importantly, I have found that doing it this way allows me to feed off of the energy and momentum I get from others reviewing my work. I get this high from talking about my stories, and hearing other people’s suggestions. For the creative process it is great to have someone else to bounce ideas off of. Personally I don’t think I could do this any other way. I think that is why my first unfinished attempt was so awful. I need the continual review to keep me fresh and on track. I don’t have the creative stamina to do it all on my own in isolation.

So my goal is to get a draft of this stupid book done, to start setting up the next novel…and somewhere in there to sell a short story. Lol. Just one. It also promises to be the premiere year for WriteNOW, my love child. We are going to hold free workshops for teens in the Columbus area. I am really trying to be responsive to the needs of young writers so I am trying hard not to firmly set up programs etc.

So see you in the New Year. Bright Eyed and Bushy Tailed. Ask me if I submitted chapter 1&2 for review yet. I need to do that before the New Year. Oh wait that doesn’t give me much time. Guess I better get crankin.