In Writing, Attitude IS Everything.
I expect to publish my first work of fiction very soon. It didn’t happen overnight and I had a lot of help. But I believe that attitude played a big role as well. I have to say thanks to the members of the writing groups I belong to. They have a lot to do with where I’m at with my writing.
I took part in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in 2010. Thankfully, I was allowed to work on my story at work during down time (thanks Boss). Manually of course, in a hardcover notebook, transcribing everything to my computer at night. “Double the work” was my only complaint but someone said to me:
“… this need to transcribe may not be a bad thing. Sometimes this second writing allows you to take a step back and revisit the structural issues before they become too emotionally imbedded. In any case, I congratulate you on this push and forward momentum, particularly in the face of your outside pressures.”
Thanks Davis. You made a good point and certainly got my attention.
I pressed on instead of complaining and for 30 days, I wrote, on the spur of the moment whatever idea came to mind without ever looking back. On March 30, I finished with 50,363 words. Of course, it wasn’t edited, but full of grammatical errors, and the whole 9 yards.
Once the story was finished, I set it aside, ready to start another. I’d never given much thought to publishing. I simply wrote because I loved it. So the manuscript ended up in a drawer until, a month later, I heard about a publishing contest. That too got my attention. I recruited the help of 2 proofreader-friends and after many corrections and re-writes too numerous to count (I still have the copy with corrections in red pen… thanks Pat and Cheryl), I finally sent it in, 2 days before the deadline. Then, the waiting began. And while I waited, I began working on another story.
In September, they announced the winners. I wasn’t one of them. But hey, that’s okay. Because even though my book didn’t get published, I strongly felt I came out a winner.
– First, because it was a great experience;
– Second, I had so much fun writing it;
– Third, I met awesome authors, aspired and published, in person and online. And I became part of different writing groups, some online and one at the community college in town.
Now that the story was done (and back in the drawer), it kept “calling back” to me. I loved that story, and I wanted to do something with it. Sure it needed work, but I was willing to put effort into it, and I wondered what would happen.
I re-edited the story, again. Then I asked one of the online writing groups if anyone was willing to proofread this last version I had edited for the umpteenth time. Someone offered to read and critique it. Thanks Stella.
Another suggested self-publishing. I had no idea how that worked but since was willing to look into it. Thanks Norah.
I was also given the name of someone to design the cover for me. She is, as Norah would put it, a gem. Tuesday night, I got the first ‘sketch’ for my book cover. And what a feeling that was. Thanks Delle.
To everyone in the WJLTW (private group) and WIN groups as well as everyone who has helped in any way: thanks for being there; for your encouragement and everything you’ve done.
Now, all I have left to do is wait for the critique, do the final editing, and format the manuscript according to the guidelines.
Publishing is a lot of hard work, but one must have the right attitude. And with that attitude, it’s possible. Hard maybe, but still possible.
Delle said to me: This book will be the first building block. Each book you add leads back to it, as it will lead to others. I’m building on that foundation one brick (book) at a time.
Remember Attitude IS Everything.