Tuesday, May 14, 2013

W is for Write

So in April, I participated in the A-Z Blog Challenge. It was an absolute flurry of blog crazy. I was worried at the outset that I wouldn't make it; given that it's only been in 2013 that I've managed to get the discipline of blogging every Tuesday, and also that April for me means end-of-term grading plus hunting for summer internships and jobs.  Well, actually that last stuff turned out to be the first week of May, which is why this post is going up on the Tuesday after I intended it to! But I'm pleased to say I turned in my grades Monday morning at 2:30 AM, ahead of the 8AM deadline, and that I also got an email offering me a great summer internship. So, yay! One week blog break...worth it. 

But despite all my busy, I did the A-Z, and I'm glad.

I was going to make a reflection about all the great lessons I learned from doing it—and there were many!—but really, there was only one main one I found myself coming back to, again and again and again and that was this:

It's not hard.

Sometimes I despair when I see people who are blogging day in and day out, at the fresh, breezy tone of their posts, and the way it seems to be effortless. In the past, I've felt like I needed to have Something To Say™ before I blogged. And I needed to think about how it sounded. And compare it. And worry about whether it was too long. Or too short. Or too unprofessional. Or too crazy-seeming.

A-Z forced me out of that. I had some things I was excited to talk about (cool things you can do to "hack" your writing experience), and a goal of talking about them every day, and the next thing I knew, I was blogging. Every day. In a breezy tone. Effortlessly. It wasn't hard. When I showed up, the words did, too.

So for that reason, A-Z was amazing. It reminded me of a very important thing, which has lately been getting lost in the world of twitter, and blogging, and social media, and revisions. The lesson that,  that to write, you simply...


And that's a reminder that we could all use from time to time.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Voiceless..but Friendly

So a year ago, I tried really hard to get into a contest called The Writer's Voice, hosted by Brenda Drake, Krista Van Dolzer, Moni BW, and Cupid's Literary connection.

The widget hated my guts, and both times I failed to make it into the hopper.

But that was also post- me knowing that ISAAC IN THE MIDDLE needed some major work.

So this year, I found out with about two weeks' notice that TWV was going to happen again.

When I'm sitting here with a novel that is barely underway on its rewrite.

Now, the rewrite is pretty stellar, if I do say so myself. And I'm excited for it, and excited for how it speeds up all the necessary stuff, and excited for what the results may be when it's finished. (And I'll be excited when it's finished to send it off again!)

I'm no saint. It definitely occurred to me that given the structure of TWV, I could enter, put up my query and first 250, and frantically finish the rewrite over the next 23 days. The bones of the book are there, and it could be done.

But in the end, I decided it'd be foolish.

So instead, I'm sitting on the sideline, cheering. I've commented on what feels like  bazillion queries this morning (but what is probably only a dozen or so). The great thing about contests is that it's how you make friends, and I think (hope?) I can do that even if my manuscript isn't ready. 

I'm still going to try to have my rewrite done by May 24, though. The deadline is a good thing, and May is a great month for an academic...school's out, and summer research hasn't really gotten underway.

Good luck to all the TWV participants. You'll see me bouncing around the hashtag and commenting on your blogs. Let's be friends!

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