HELLO ILCW -THIS IS THE JOURNEY OF MY WRITING CAREER IN SECTIONS. AT TIMES THE STORY FEELS UNREAL TO ME, EVEN NOW. TO CATCH UP:
PART 1 IS HERE
PART 2 IS HERE
PART 3 IS HERE
This is Part Four: The Finale
And that - my friends - is where the fairytale took a sharp right hand turn and slammed into a tree. Have you ever seen an enchanted carriage crippled by branches?? Not pretty.
There was work to be done - a lot of work, to the manuscript that had flowed out of me like sap on a warm day in March. The first 'noted' draft I received from my agent had more red slashed through it, virtual red - but same difference, than I had ever seen. And the 'necessary revisions' on the book proposal?? Too many to recall.
Sure, I hadn't aced every paper I'd ever written. I had seen some 'suggestions for improvement' and even some criticism in the past, but on the whole writing came easy and needed little revision. Heck - I was that gal who wrote unassigned reports...say on, oh - I don't know, canoeing - during her summer vacation ... just because.
I reeled. Staring at my manuscript hacked and slashed was a first. I guess the clock had struck midnight when I wasn't listening.
I am big enought to admit that I mourned my 'failure' for a few days. I moped, just a little - but enough to cause my husband to ask me, "what the heck is wrong?" Getting derailed like that was traumatic, to a degree, but then I snapped to and realized - No! What happened eight and half years ago was traumatic. That was devestating, life altering, and persona changing.
This? Well, it was just a roadblock. A potential for growth. An opportunity to learn something even more about myself and my style as a writer.
Once I picked up the remenance of the broken carriage and collected myself, it was obvious why many writers - and good ones - never get their stuff published. They refuse to budge from their 'best' stuff for anyone. They let their ego get in the way of finding something really spectacular within their minds and their words.
"I will not be one of those writers." I said to my husband those few days later, "I will write and re-write and edit and re-edit this until it truly is my best work." Only then will I go to bat for my story. I will know when I have reached that point.
And I did. But that's not all I did, for as often happens when someone is on the right path during the right time of their life - all forces converge to open lots of doors and make.good.stuff.happen!
Teaming with my agent was a good start - but it wasn't enough. I had to connect with the writing world, hence - writers; and furthermore - readers...
I started this blog, then another, then another...it was adicting, this writing thing - every day creating something that others might actually enjoy reading.
I happened upon a short blurb in the LFCA, announcing an idea for a infertility / loss magazine. That idea has become a tremendous reality - Exhale is thriving and I am so proud to have been one of the first to jump on board!
I talked my husband into starting a non-profit corporation to support other families who lived and will live the tragedy we did years ago. It has completed me in a way I never knew I needed completing.
And still - I wrote, for the book is what pulled me, challenged me to grow and recognize where my grief journey has taken me, and it is not to the side of the road picking up pieces of a wrecked carriage while wearing the same forlorn clothes and expression I did all those years ago.
I entitled this series -Versary, mostly because I didn't have a good prefice to put there. But it makes perfect sense to me now. For each section of this year, a quarterly accomplishment, if you will - signifies something magical for me.
Three Months...was my fairytale in action
Six Months...brought me to the blogworld, the world of magazines and support systems and life long friends based on words and shared experiences.
Nine Months ... taught me that growth isn't always pretty. In fact, it can be pretty ugly before its true beauty is revealed.
Today - a year later - as I pull some of that early work for a sentence here or a topic there, it's inadequacy is obvious. It was beginning work. A good beginning, but a novel start to be sure. Even here, in this blog - my space, I can go back to the start and see a shift in my style.
And the book? Oh has it shifted - but each re-write was a step I had to take. Each edit opened my eyes to new outlines and structures that seamlessly blend what I need to say with what the reader needs to hear.
And the proposal? It's been re-worked a few times too. But I truly believe that the propsal, as it exists now - is the product I have been working towards.
Every journey has it's potholes. They are there for a good reason. I am ready to step up to the plate - and swing - big.
CATCH UP FROM THE START!
TO READ MY STORY FROM THE BEGINNING CLICK HERE THEN READ THE 7 COUNTDOWN POSTS TO EMMA'S EIGHTH BIRTHDAY!