A Brief Overview of My Growth as a Writer Through Manuscripts: Part 1

I’d like to take a moment here to give a little telling of my experience with writing. Specifically, my experience with writing once I realized that in order to become a published romance author, I would actually need to develop a little discipline.

You see, it took about seven years struggling over a single manuscript to come to the understanding that it simply wasn’t gonna be enough to write only when I felt “good enough.”  I would have to commit to writing every day. No matter what. Whether I felt inspired, energized and full of luscious ideas. Or empty, dark and certain I was hack.

I had to write.

Every day (or reasonably close to it).

No matter what.

That first finished manuscript (the seven-year one) taught me more than discipline.  It also taught me about the submission process.

I was not yet a member of RWA… silly me, I thought I wasn’t ready for such an esteemed organization. Little did I know then all that RWA had to offer the aspiring and clueless writer.

Anyway… I scoured the internet for info on how to submit a manuscript. I learned the difference between agents and editors (is it terrible to admit I wasn’t sure which did what?!). I discovered new words to add to my vocabulary… Query. Synospis.  And I studied their make-up and tried to understand what differentiated the good from the bad and the totally trashable. I learned about formatting and preference. I sucked up tid-bits about etiquette and expectations.

I submitted that seven-year manuscript and I learned about rejection. Many times over. I actually rejoiced at those early responses that said “thanks, but no thanks.” Getting those rejections meant I was in the process. I had gotten this far and I was not turning back.

That first manuscript is tucked safely away in my closet, no telling if it will ever again see the light of day.

In the meantime, I started and finished my second manuscript. This one took six months to complete, including revisions. It flowed from lucid dreams like strange exotic honey. I thought, “I can totally DO this!” I wrote for a couple hours every day, usually in the early morning. I thought about my story as I fell asleep and jotted down notes throughout my day.  I was full of inspiration and confidence. The process was frighteningly easy.

I love that story. I love the characters, the setting, everything. It was The Love of a Pirate, blurped on My Writing page. It was the “story of my heart” and it showed me that I was capable of MORE.

She was submitted. And was rejected. I found it harder to rejoice that time.

I am able to look at that manuscript now and acknowledge it as another important stepping stone. I can see where I need to make it deeper, richer and clearer. I use it as my gauge to see what I’ve learned since then. But trust me… Pirate will see the light of my computer screen again someday. When I am ready, I will incorporate what I’ve been learning into that beloved manuscript and will send her back out into the world for another chance.

My third manuscript…? Well, that experience was another about-face in my path to developing my writing process, and is perhaps better left for my next post.

Until next time…

Hello world!

Okay, so here I am…

An historical romance writer starting a blog/website to promote myself as an aspiring novelist.

In our constantly advancing technological age, almost everything we do or aspire to do has some connection to electronic media. This is especially true for writers. If we want to be known, if we want our name and our work to be at the forefront of awareness, we must have a web presence. We must be savvy, smart and selective in how we put ourselves out there for the world to see. We must represent the best of our work and hopefully snag the interest of fellow writers, potential readers, and agents and editors in the business.

It’s a lot to think about (and stress over) when you are a natural introvert, as most writers are, somewhat self-critical, as I am, and determined not to let too many distractions blur your vision of the true goal; WRITING.

My intention for this site is very plainly to write about writing. The craft, the community. The thrilling rises, staggering potholes and personal little demons encountered on the path to publication. This will likely at times include comments about my adorable, sensitive and often fearless children and their father, a construction worker turned full-time student.

I am an optimist and an idealist who believes in the power of positive thinking and I try to live by the law that says what you focus on with your energy and intention is what you create.

Here, my attention will be devoted to creating a universe for myself as a Writer… and everything that goes into making it a brilliant and lovely place to be.