Road Trip Wednesday #100: Your Writing Journey

I haven’t participated in YA Highway’s Road Trip Wednesdays before, but since I’m a sucker for milestones and round numbers, I felt like this Road Trip Wednesday was made for me. 😀

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway’s contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question and answer it on our own blogs.

This week’s topic:

What has your writing road trip looked like so far? Excitement? Traffic jams and detours?

Where are you going next?

My blog is sort of an answer to this question, since I keep it as an accountability tool for myself. Ever since my first posts, (“Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” “Prioritizing My Life” and “Music, Fitness, and My Muse“) (I just noticed they were posted on Star Wars Day, May 4, 2010…yes I’m a BIG nerd!), I have been focused on making the most of the time I have, and have challenged myself to finish a novel in a year.

After my declaration to pursue novel writing seriously, I have fumbled my way through my writing process, eventually participating in NaNoWriMo, and winning! My novel wasn’t complete at 50,000 words, but I eventually reached The End in December.

The satisfaction of reaching The End didn’t last since I knew my story was a Hot Mess. After a break in January, I tried to get back into the story and revise it. During that time, another story (Scrap Metal, aka WIP2) begged to be written. After scribbling down the first two chapters on post its and index cards at my pay the bills job, I dutifully ignored The Shiny so I could make my Hot Mess less messy.

I attended my very first writer conference, SCBWI. Though I enjoyed the experience of hearing from industry professionals, by far the best result from that conference was meeting local writers. (I’ve enjoyed many a business lunch with them since that conference. :D)

Then, I went to a John Green reading, and that was the aha moment that “gave me permission” to let go of my Hot Mess (for now) and start drafting WIP2.

With WIP2, I’ve learned the value of slowing down and delving into my scenes (“Stuck” “Stuck, Redux“), and that I can balance plotting and pantsing to design a story worth reading. (I’m still learning the rhythm that works best for me).

I’m currently in the Plotting portion to develop the Act 2 of WIP2. I participated in ROW 80 to keep me on track. My goal is to have a rough draft finished this month, and have a prettier draft by the end of this year.

I know that I have so much to learn about my process, but the best thing is knowing that when I’m creating stories, I am truly happy. All throughout my life, schooling, jobs, relationships, etc, everything seemed to come easily for me. I’m grateful for that, but when I look back at my life, the road seems kind of fuzzy; like, it’s all been one big dream. And then, I come to the point in my path when I committed to finishing a novel. The path from that point on sticks out in high relief. With that decision, I became aware. When I decided to follow my dream of writing stories, I awakened to the rest of my life.

I know I talk about writing in almost transcendent terms, but honestly, I don’t know how else to describe it other than an epiphany. A mindset altering, life changing decision. With writing, I have found my purpose in life. How can I treat it as less than a spiritual awakening?

*I couldn’t have gotten this far without my writing partners, alpha/beta readers, and cheerleaders. They keep me refreshed and motivated to keep pursuing my dream, and for that reason I’m ever so grateful for social media for helping me find my writing circle.

So, what has your writing road trip looked like so far? Where are you going next?


16 thoughts on “Road Trip Wednesday #100: Your Writing Journey

  1. Tahlia Newland says:

    True creativity is a transendent state, so talking about it in those terms tells me that you’re in the right space for something heartfelt to come out. I love the journey and like you feel that I’ve found my ‘write’ place. 🙂

  2. Carolina Valdez Miller says:

    “When I decided to follow my dream of writing stories, I awakened to the rest of my life.”

    Man, that’s profound. What a huge leap in your life. It’s not everyday where you have these kinds of moments. I’m so glad we met, and so thankful to know you. Can’t wait to meet up again.

    • Liza Kane says:

      Yes, fun and frustrating would be a good description! Also, I love challenges so even the frustrations are fun. (I’m sick. I know this.)
      Thanks for stopping by, Jessica!

  3. Anonymous says:

    I do enjoy our *cough* business dinners, Liza. We will have many more. You are taking such a great approach. And you write for all the right reasons. You already know my writing journey, no need to bore you with that! You are already successful, my dear, and it will only grow from here!

  4. kate scott says:

    Welcome to the RTW craziness. It sounds like your journey has been a great ride so far. The path to publication is very long and winding, but if you’re enjoying yourself it’s definately worth it. Keep at it and know you are headed in the right direction.

  5. Jaime says:

    Great post! I understand that feeling of happiness that comes from writing. Oh, and I was truly bummed that I forgot about Star Wars day this year and forgot to tell everyone “May the 4th be with you” 😦

    • Liza Kane says:

      Aw, well, don’t let the date stop you: “May the Fourth be with you!” 😀

      Thanks for stopping by Jaime! It’s lovely to meet others who “get” the happy writing (and ridiculous nerdiness) thing 😉

  6. stephanie says:

    Great post, and I definitely relate to finding meaning, on an deeper level, through writing and having a purpose. It bleeds into every part of life, for sure. Good luck with your journey!

  7. Colin says:

    Thanks for sharing, Liza! I’m sure many writers can identify with the feeling that life came into focus when they started taking writing seriously. I wish you all the best with WIP2!

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