Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Jumping Hurdles & Rambling Thoughts

I made some good strides yesterday with my revisions. Can I say that I'm proud of myself? LOL

I got more than halfway through my novel and corrected some mistakes and took a better look at some of the historic elements and corrected some of them as well. I even upped my word count just a smidge when I found a spot here and there that I felt needed a little more explanation or definition. A couple of weeks break from my novel seems to be helping me with revisions. Cleared my head a bit to help me see things clearer.

When I found a good stopping point last night before I headed off to bed, my vision was blurry and I felt a minor headache coming on from eye strain, but I felt more accomplished than I had in almost 2 weeks.

I feel refreshed and pleased with this turn of events.

I also got my books yesterday that I ordered to read up on information about history on Norfolk, Virginia. My characters live near there, not necessarily right IN Norfolk, but close enough and finding information on it has been a difficult task. Most books are about the general info in regard to population and such, and doesn't really give you an indepth look at how people dressed or things like that, especially when trying to find stuff that is for a specific year (late 1780's).

As I've said before, I'm not great at research and I'm not really all that fond of it, but I am finding a developing interest in the time period and the history of Virginia's coast. So I guess in a way I have started educating myself, without realizing I was doing so. I may develop a new hobby or interest in the process, who knows!

This year has been full of surprises for me, that's for sure. I would never have guessed I'd have spent so much time working on this novel or researching for it.

I would like to get this one done though, so I can move on to the next one. I'm not sure which one I'm going to work on though yet. I have a lot, but not sure which one will feel closest to my heart next. Right now this one is filling my heart so much to get it polished and done that I haven't really thought much about the others for a while. Plus, I still need to go back through my other two and do revisions and polishing on them as well. And I may just do that, rather than setting myself another WIP goal just yet.

I am also looking forward to National Novel Writing Month in November too. 30 days to write 50,000 words. I plan to participate in that again. I really enjoyed the fast pace and the looming deadline to get a novel pumped out.

Which makes me wonder if I will enjoy having deadlines in the future...LOL

Before last year's NaNo, I was absolutely certain that it would take me YEARS to write a novel, based on my singular experience with my first novel, that took me ten years of blood, sweat, and tears to finish. I had to literally DRAG the words out through most of it and some of the scenes were hard to write. I did a lot of deleting and rewrites over the years. There was a lot of emotion packed into it and some was a little too close for comfort.

But I never imagined I could write a novel in a month. That was Greek to me, a foreign idea I wasn't sure I could comprehend. But after my participation in NaNo last year, and having finished a 80K word novel in less than 30 crazy days, it gave me a different perspective of myself as a writer. I enjoyed the personal challenge and it gave me hope that I can actually complete something when I put my mind to it and in short order at that.

I'm stronger and more determined than I have ever given myself credit for. In my youth I didn't always follow through with my plans to do things, no matter how much I wanted to do them.

In my early 20's I did a novel writing workshop through the mail. I didn't finish it. Why? you might ask. Because I took the instructor's critques to heart and wore them like a badge of failure. I was young and stubborn and aggravated.

I thought her critques were a huge neon flag blowing in the breeze, showing every one of my faults and all my shining ignorance, for all the world to see. I took it mentally and emotionally hard and it didn't help matters that the man I was engaged to at the time basically told me he didn't support my dream of becoming a published writer (or believe it would ever happen) and he couldn't love me unless I had a "real" job.

Needless to say, he and I broke up and I quit my workshop and never looked back. I believed that I didn't deserve to be a writer or even dream about it. But it kept coming back to haunt me. Novel ideas would pop into my head at odd sporatic times and I would sigh and think how great it would be if I could be a writer, but still doubted I had any business thinking about it because I just wasn't good enough, no matter how that writing desire burned my insides up.

I've grown a lot in the past decade though and I've jumped a lot of hurdles emotionally and mentally to get me to the here and now. It took me this long to realize that if I want my dream to come true, if I start believing in me, and surround myself with good supportive friends and family, I can accomplish it.

That former self-doubting belief system I had relied on for so long is history. I can't live my life that way. My writing flame is stronger than that and has been burning inside me for far too long for me to let it snuff out without so much as a second thought. It won't let me. It's the driving force that keeps me thinking, desiring, wanting and needing to write.

It's an eternal flame that can't be put out. It's my heart and soul.

No comments: