almost there

So, I finally got a real job

That is in an actual office. And I have to clock in and clock out. Even when I go out to lunch! And I have co-workers! 

This is obviously the norm for most people, but for the past two years, I had been working almost exclusively from home, freelancing and tutoring. It's definitely a change to be going into an office every day before the crack of dawn. Like, literally before the crack of dawn because I have to get up at 6AM to get there on time. It is dark and cold as I stumble out of bed and attempt to brush my teeth every morning. I also hate my life very much during those first several minutes. But then when I get to work (as a product describer/blogger for a fashion website), I forget all of that because my co-workers are awesome, and aspiring novelists/screenwriters like me, and we never run out of things to talk about. 

I think I can get used to this 9-to-5 gig (actually 7-to-3, but it doesn't have quite as nice a ring to it), but I don't want to jinx myself. I've only been going to work for two days, and I'm already exhausted. 

Look, ma, I'm in the real world! Ha, just kidding, I freaking hate that expression.

I feel stupid

My vocabulary is elementary. My ideas are unoriginal. My characters all sound alike. No matter how much I research I will never know what it's really like to be a teenager in Alaska. I use "just," "even," "totally," and "really," way too much. I use "much" too much. I don't know how to forward a plot; I just keep writing random scenes. I will never be able to write a beautiful, complex sentence.

I feel stupid.
almost there

Adventures in Revision

I'm still working on the third draft of TAINTED FROST (TF). I'm still excited about it, which I cannot believe at times, because I've been working on it for over two years now. There have been several novels in the past that I started working on and then gave up because I wasn't invested in the story enough. But with TF? I feel like it's a story that absolutely must be told, for whatever reason. I have a little dry-erase board on the wall by my bed and yesterday I wrote "Write the book you want to read." I don't know exactly where I heard or read that quote, but it definitely struck a chord. And I think TF is something I would want to read, especially once I'm done with this round of revisions. It's slowly becoming exactly what I imagined it would be.

Oh, by the way, a few days ago I stumbled up on yet another discouraging blog post about how hard it is (almost impossible) to get published and how hard it is to have success as a writer. I was bummed for about 24 hours, but then it went away. I think I still manage to remain optimistic because I've never queried a novel and, thus, never been rejected. (Although I've queried a short story and received about three rejections, but that's probably not enough to crush an aspiring writer's spirit.) I just hope this optimism holds once I start getting rejections that number into the hundreds. *fingers crossed*

Happy writing! And revising!

Trucking along...

I had to take a break from revising my novel to write for money, but now I'm back on track. I did have some time to read about half of my novel, and there are a lot of passages (and even entire chapters) that I want to keep. Which is reassuring, because I tend to hate almost everything I write. I have about two months to complete this revision before I send the manuscript off to my first-ever beta reader EVER!!! I'm so nervous! But also excited. But mostly nervous.

I think I will die from anxiety before the beta reader returns the manuscript to me with her comments. People have read my work before, but never an entire novel from start to finish without interruption. I've gotten mostly positive feedback (which is GREAT!), but I can never be sure if people are being 100% honest. This particular beta reader does not know me and is not a friend, so I hope they will give me lots of constructive feedback. I really want to query TAINTED FROST next year, which means that I might have to deal with some negative feedback if I want to make it the best it can be. *gnaws fingers* I think I can handle it though. I used to work at a magazine, and whenever the editor asked me to make some changes I always liked that better than when they said it was perfect. I think criticism can only make you a better writer as long as you don't let yourself take it TOO seriously.

Anyway, this whole journey has been so exciting, and I can't wait to see what happens the rest of the year.

Happy writing! 

ballet slippers


 I started revising TAINTED FROST a few weeks ago. It's so exciting! I can't believe how much I love revising. I always thought I would hate it because before I started writing novel-length fiction, revising seemed like a chore. Wouldn't it be great to write a perfect first draft that didn't need any more work? I mean, I guess that would be pretty great, but revising is just as fun because it really stirs the imagination. I've been coming up with so many new ideas, getting to know new things about my characters, and polishing my craft. Writing is hard, but, at the same time, it's exhilarating and fun, fun, fun. Every time I write another sentence or come up with a new detail, I get a little thrill. I hope it's always like this.

So far, I've come up with a new first chapter and reworked the first chapter from my second draft into the second chapter. I'm happy with the progress I've made (even though I'm sure I'll begin doubting myself soon enough like I always do), and I'm excited to see what comes next. It seems like a new idea pops into my head almost every day. 

I also had my manuscript bound by, and it looks so cool--just like a real book! Now I hope that I can read the whole thing without cringing at every sentence and then chucking the thing against the wall. It's always hard to go back and read my writing, because by the time I do, all I see are flaws. I don't know if that's a good thing or not. I mean, at some point I'm going to have to stop nitpicking and just release it out into the world by giving it to critique partners or beta-readers so that they can judge for me. I'm definitely a perfectionist, but, honestly, most of the time perfectionism seems like a hindrance. It holds you back so that you're never happy with anything that you do. Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever be done with this book. For now, I'm just glad that I haven't gotten bored with it. There's definitely something about this story that speaks to me. It's the first story I've started that I've also followed through to completion. Twice. Hopefully, the third time's the charm.

Goodbye Borders

 So, Borders is completely going out of business. All 399 stores will be closed and thousands of people will be out of work.

This makes me so sad. I know it's not the end of the publishing industry, but I feel like the infrastructure is slowly crumbling, and soon, it will be totally destroyed. It hurts me, because I think of it as my industry, even though I've never had a book published (though I've had articles published). 

I tried to get a job at Borders last year, and more recently, a job at B&N. Every time I hear about a store closing, it's like a punch in the face that sends me into a panic that I'll never be gainfully employed. Sometimes, I wish I wanted to be a lawyer or a doctor instead of a writer. Maybe life would be easier.

But, despite everything, I don't love writing any less. It's the most fulfilling thing I've ever done. 

Stick a fork in me

 I finished the second draft of my WIP, TAINTED FROST, yesterday at around 1 a.m. *dance dance dance*

I didn't know I would finish it yesterday, but then I wrote one of the final scenes and got this weird feeling in my belly that there was really nothing more to write (for this draft, obviously), and that I was officially DONE. And then I smiled and felt accomplished before freaking out that I still had A LOT of work to do on the third draft. But, for a moment, I was relieved and happy, and now I can't wait to really dive in and start revising.

I'm scared, but I'm ready. Yay!

What am I doing?

 I started working on the third draft of my work-in-progress, TAINTED FROST, even though I'm still not completely done with the second draft. I really want to finish the second draft no matter how crappy it is before I start on the third one. Maybe writing this blog post and telling the world about my failures will embarrass me into actually doing it. Sigh.

It's taking so long, and I wish I could write faster, but I think I will have to accept the fact that I will never be a fast writer. On the bright side, I do manage to write a little bit every day even if it's only 100 words or so. 

By the way, I am rewriting my first chapter AGAIN for the millionth time. I think I have rewritten it about 10 or more times already. What if I'm never happy with it? Then again, I still don't want to give up on this story.

I feel so lost. Sad face.