Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Quiet Time

Thoughts and prayers with the family of L.A. Banks. :(

Also, huge apologies for the complete lack of updates that happened to follow for two months after this. I'd say it'll never happen again but that's like saying I'll never type blog posts at 3am again.

I will, however, be working very hard over the next few weeks to make this extremely unlikely to happen again.

Monday, August 1, 2011

My Writing Timeline

I got involved in a really intriguing conversation over at Absolute Write, mostly about at what stage a manuscript is done. It got me thinking about the writing journey -- how far I've got to go, but also how far I've been.

I've just been through a year and a half of editing a story I felt sure was done. Heck, I had a partial and two full requests. But full requests are not my goal. A commercially published novel is my goal. I haven't queried anyone in over a year (and it's been maddening, let me tell you), because I don't have what I'm offering in the query -- a manuscript that's as perfect and polished as I have the ability to make it.

This is pretty much all I've been thinking about, writing-wise. But, on the other hand, I've done a lot to even get this far. Here's my "writing timeline":

I wrote my first novel* 18 years ago.
I decided I wanted to get published 13 years ago.
I decided I was serious about that 4 years ago.

And the past four years is where I've seen the massive improvement. Because as much as I've loved making up stories for the past 18 years, I didn't read much, I didn't write anything that challenged me, and I put zero effort into learning how the publishing industry worked. (Anyone who knows what a query is can call themselves way ahead of where I was.)

And now, with a little reversal of my usual pattern, here's what I learned about parenting: It's going to a be a journey. This time last year it was all anticipation and morning sickness. This time next year, I have no clue. But I'm looking forward to the journey.

*More like a novella, really. But it was a novel to me then.