It's been a while since I last posted, partly thanks to the Christmas and New Year's holidays but also due to the fact I recently hit an emotional slump. Little things in my daily life snowballed, and minor comments and unintentional actions which I would normally have no problem shrugging off built up too fast for me to ignore. I was left feeling as though my voice doesn't matter and that the people in my life are undermining my personal goals. This perception of the world around me makes it difficult to find motivation to do much of anything, because gaining even a modicum of consideration from friends and family turns into a struggle.
Most people who celebrate the winter holidays here in the US will probably agree that sending and receiving greeting cards has decreased during the past decade or so. While I was growing up, my parents would hang the Christmas cards people sent us along the base of the railing around our stairwell. Nowadays, they receive only a handful of cards, barely enough to frame a quarter of the stairs. We also send out far fewer. I used to send cards out to the friends I met at summer camp, but with the creation of social media platforms, such as Facebook, many of us no longer exchange mailing addresses and convert our correspondence to digital formats.
I don't know what to write this week. At this point in the holiday season, I become frustrated and irritable as time grows short for me to complete preparations for various events and celebrations. My schedule is restricted by too much to do and not enough time for myself.
Although I often blog about writing, today is the first time I will share a snippet of my original fiction on this site. Below are the opening paragraphs of Chapter One of the novel manuscript I have spent the past few months polishing. As you may have understood from last week's post, I am not completely satisfied with my writing. I have lost confidence. But I do want to share my writing with others. I will never attain my personal goals of publication and inspiring others if I fail to share what I have written with an audience.
I'm coming to the end of editing before trying to pitch and/or query my fantasy novel manuscript. It's been a long road. I finished writing the story several years ago, started edits and rewrites, and then set it aside for over a year. I love the characters and settings I developed in this work, but I was a afraid no one would like the story. And so I let no one else see it despite wanting to get it published someday.
Again, my weekend was not as productive as I had hoped it would be. After fighting with sinus headaches for most of Saturday and Sunday, I ran into a scene during my editing sessions which reads clunky and rough compared to previous scenes. I know this is the type of writing I produce when following the advice of "just get it written and fix it later," and now I am stuck in a position I hate when it comes to writing. I find myself asking if the current text is worth salvaging or if I should simply start over from scratch. Which will be easier? Which will be more time efficient? Which will get me to a point of being happy with the quality of the scene? This dilemma is why I prefer to address quality during my drafting process. Why write something I know will never make the final cut?
It's about one-third of the way through November, and I've already had a busy month thus far. Every year I know once Halloween has passed, my winter holiday preparations will begin and there will never be enough hours in the day to accomplish everything I wish to do. This is why I am disappointed in myself today. Instead of working on any of my many projects, I spent a lazy day in front of the TV and laptop and did quite a bit of pleasure reading too.
Over the past four days, I had a hectically wonderful weekend in Washington D.C. attending another Supernatural convention, and for the first time I felt like a true veteran of this fandom. If you've read my early blog posts, you'll know I was a late-comer to the show, but I've been attending conventions for three years now. My previous SPN cons with this company had all been solo excursions, but this time around was different. This time I had friends whom I had met online and from a previous convention. This time I had my own SPN Family.
October is winding down and that means National Novel Writing Month is peeking around the corner. November can be a great month to be a writer, but preparing for the month-long writing marathon can be a bit daunting. Personally, I never attempt to achieve the goal of writing 50,000 words during November, not with Thanksgiving celebrations and prep-work for Christmas shrinking my free time during the month. But I do enjoy being able to connect with other active writers who chase that difficult goal. NaNoWriMo is a great time to discuss writing strategies, conquering writer's block, planning vs pantsing, and a wide range of plotting, setting, and character topics.
I made quite a bit of progress on my working vacation, and now that I'm home again, I want to keep my momentum going. I cut in half the amount of chapters I have left to edit on my current WIP. Once I finish the last few chapters, I plan to do a final read-through before prepping for querying and pitching in December. I still have my doubts about this manuscript's quality, but then I do admit to having a perfectionist streak in me and needing to get over the fact I can't please everyone.