Friday, February 5, 2016

The Recap

So if you read my last post, you know that I was gone for about nine months. This is just a brief post that will recap some of the bigger things that happened in the last nine months. And it's going to be in list form, because it's one of those days :)

1. I graduated from my university in May. A year early. With honors. So there's that. And the last full month of school, I also started writing a very special book (see number 4). I still don't know how I exactly did that to be honest.

2. I started my gap year with the goal to write 50,000 words every month until next September, which sounded crazy when I first decided back in May, but save for July (when I was out of the country) I have met that goal every month and plan to do so until September 2016.

3. I decided to shelve THE LOY because it was a little too derivative compared to the current YA market. It was not an easy decision. And to be honest, it still stings when I think about it.

4. I decided to write and revise another novel that I absolutely love. Like seriously...this is "the book of my heart". I didn't even know what that phrase really meant until I wrote this book. There's just something about these characters and this world that makes heart.

5. That book of my heart has been through at least three sets of revisions and there's still more work to be done, but this is the first time I'm not sick of the story or the characters. All I want is for it to be the best book possible before I start querying.

6. I sent out my first every query for a feedback event hosted by the agent. It made me quickly realize maybe the book of my heart wasn't exactly ready. At least the first ten pages weren't good enough. But it's great motivation and only made me want to be published and pursue writing more seriously.

7. I met an awesome Critique Partner (CP) through Susan Dennard's CP Match-Up. I'm still working with her and I am so grateful to have her as a CP. She's critiqued THE LOY and she's critiqued the book of my heart and I couldn't be more grateful for her sticking with me. She's an amazing writer and I know I'll see her books in the stores one day and you can bet that I'm going to be first in line to buy them. I learn something new about writing and revising from her every time we talk and I really couldn't imagine going through this without her.

Those are the big things that's happened in terms of my writing journey with a little hint of my life :) Hopefully I won't write one of these for a long time because I'm going to at least blog about writing and my publishing journey once a month. But now that I look back on the last nine months, I can't say I really regret anything--not even leaving/forgetting about blogging because it's been a good nine months. I don't have anything to show for it other than my unagented self and the five manuscripts I've written, but it's made me happier than I've ever been, which really just goes to show: do what you love.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Return

I'm the worst. My last post was from April I am the absolute worst. Let me just say it's so easy to fall into the habit of not blogging. Skip it one day and then the next and before you know it's been nearly year.

Honestly, I was a little surprised at how long it's been, but I know the exact reason why I stopped blogging. Technically there were many reasons, but one of the main reasons is because I was trying to do too many things at once (I have tendency to do that). I was trying to make this blog a place for reviews and update it with my writing journey and soon enough it became a chore to even think about it. And the more I look back at my old posts, the more I realize it wasn't just a chore. It was a little like wearing a mask. Don't get me wrong, those posts are still written in my voice and I wouldn't (and won't) take any of them down, but it doesn't feel like me. Or maybe that's just a sign that I did a lot of growing and changing in the past nine months.

But now that I took a very long break, I'm coming back with one goal in mind. The first goal I had. This is going to be a place to document my writing journey and that means, I don't need to have a post every week--frankly there's not that much I can really talk about in terms of my writing and my journey. It's a lot of what you think it is: sitting in front of a computer and typing away. And it means I don't have to pressure myself to put up reviews for books unless I want to. This is a safe place for me to just talk about things that I want to share. It is not a place for me to fulfill a certain requirement/obligation.

Now this isn't a recap post (that's going to be on here in a few days). This is more of a promise to myself that I don't have to do it all. But the things I do choose to do, I need to love. I've spent a lot of time thinking these past few months, and the conclusion I've come to is the fact that I owe it to myself to do this. I have this space and I might as well use it. Because ten years from now, I want to be able to look back. I want to see how I processed things.

Writing and publishing is a long journey and I want to remember all the tiny steps.