Why Do I Blog?

Why does an individual like me keep a blog? I have been asked this on a few occasions, and at times it makes me stop and think, and even reassess what my intention is.

As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts and on my About Me page, the origin of this journal came to me as a way to create consistently, in the form of a poem, a musing, or a small gallery of my personal photography. Usually the subject of these posts focused on something or someone I love, a topic I feel strongly about, or a place I have visited and wanted to share through pictures.

I also reported from time to time on my work in progress, a coming of age novel, Calmer Girls. (This is my working title and may or may not be the ultimate one.) My hope was by mentioning it in my blog and simply putting it out there, I would become more accountable and motivated to see it through to its completion.

I can say, without a doubt, my plan has been effective. This is not to say my blog is wonderful or the novel is going to be commercially successful. But what I can say, is that I took on a challenge, didn’t quit, and tried my best. Yes, due to the very nature of life and all it entails, there have been some weeks where I have found it difficult to produce anything, but thankfully those weeks have been in the minority. To a large extent I am pleased with my efforts, and the direction my blog and my new novel have taken.

I am expecting the novel will be ready for its first critique by the end of January. And I have no intentions of ending my blogging life any time soon! This is due in large part to the pleasure I derive from keeping it going each week, and connecting with so many other bloggers and readers all over the world. A number of my followers have been a Godsend, checking in and commenting regularly on my posts and encouraging me all along the way. You know who you are. 🙂 In the very near future I am planning to highlight my most faithful and prolific commenters and give their wonderful blogs the shout-outs they deserve. They are the ones that help make blogging for me so rewarding.

This joy of discovery is real, and it is one of our rewards. So too is the approval of our work by our peers. ~ Henry Taube

What’s money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do. ~ Bob Dylan

Keep on being good to one another!

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Completing My First Draft: Three Things I’ve Learned

 

Two weeks ago today, I had a fabulous evening.

Late on that Friday afternoon, I typed the last word of the last sentence of the last chapter of my Work In Progress. It felt wonderful! What a sense of satisfaction filled me as I raised my glass of Cabernet and toasted to my awesomeness. What an accomplishment! I spent the rest of the evening, and well into the night, celebrating, mentally patting myself on the back and grinning like an idiot.

My euphoria lasted about as long as the hangover. Over the next couple of days as planned, I reviewed a few of the writing tips and tricks I had bookmarked for my upcoming revision and editing process, and I crashed back to sober reality. I realized there was still plenty of work ahead, and instinctively I know certain areas have to be improved, rearranged, and completely rewritten, and then there’s my iPad with an app full of collected notes, jockeying to make it into the finished product as well.

But that’s okay. Every writer knows the first rough draft is exactly that: a first run, a rough copy, and yes, some of it is just plain shit. But in among the steaming heaps that stank, I knew there were jewels just waiting to be polished, the little jewels that make it all worthwhile.

Here are three chief concepts I believe every writer, who truly wants to be a writer, needs to remember.

1. No one wants to read about a Goody Two Shoes. If I expect readers to keep turning the pages, my characters have to be flawed. Whether that makes you like them, or love to hate them, depends on the types of flaws they embody – and maybe it depends on the sort of person you are, and what types of characters you are drawn to and like to read about. As important as plot may be, really, it’s all about the characters.

2. If you aren’t having any fun while you write, I don’t know how you will ever make it as a writer. A writer writes because she wants to, she has to, regardless of recognition or book sales. The fulfilment is in the process. And it’s a hard process. The best piece of advice I read about writer’s block was to put the manuscript aside and try penning a poem, or exploring another creative endeavor.

3. You have to want to write another book as soon as you’re finished the one you are now writing, The sweet possibility of a sequel keeps whispering in my ear, and that excites me. If I do write a sequel, however, it doesn’t mean the first one will depend on it. The novel I’m writing now will be able to stand alone in its own right. Then there are the flashes of inspiration for other book ideas that come during my writing, to which I can refer and develop when needed.

I’m waiting another couple of weeks to give myself more objectivity, before I start revisions. In the meantime there are plenty of good books and other reading material that beg for my attention.

Then on to the Second Draft!

Please share your thoughts with me about your Work in Progress. 🙂

 

The Creation of a Novel: a Progress Report