May the Fourth

It’s Star Wars Day, and in honor of it and #WIPWednesday, I thought to share my current writing diary.

(Fun fact, Star Wars Day is also my blog’s birthday–>I started blogging six years ago, and thought it would be kind of poetic to start again today.)

 

Isn’t this so cool?? It’s a limited edition Star Wars Moleskine notebook, with fun stickers and technical specs for the X-Wing Starfighter. ^_^

When I saw this in the store, I knew I had to have it. I’d even kept it in its wrapper forever waiting for just the right project to use with it.

Then a month ago, I thought: what was I waiting for? What better, more perfect book could there be to chronicle my WIP2 revisions? After all, didn’t I pitch WIP2 as “Star Wars meets DUNE with a teen-aged cyborg” once upon a time?? (To a couple of full manuscript requests, I might add, but I was too lame to actually send it off. A good thing, too, because it was NOT ready back then. Like, at all.)

So, after a years-long hiatus from this particularly project (because Reasons), I am happy to say that I’m finally hitting my revision-y stride and found the story that I wanted to tell years ago. I kinda had to go full-circle on it, and yeah, I suppose I lost a few years only to say the same story. This time, though, I like to think that I trust myself now and have confidence in the worthiness of my ideas. That I have the discipline, passion, and talent to keep throwing down words until I get just the right combination to fit this story. And, if all else fails, I surely have the ridiculous work ethic/drive to see this to a polished The End that I can finally (Finally!) be proud to send off to agent slush piles.

Anyway, it’s great to be back, hanging out in familiar worlds, chatting with my characters. It’s like a great reunion of friends–when you get together, you pick up your conversation exactly where you had left off years ago.

How about you? Whatcha been up to?

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?