It's been five years almost to the day since I was sitting in the condo at Viable Paradise, writing in my journal and expressing a lot of doubts. Oh, there were doubts. After the first full day I wrote about whether I was really cut out to be a writer. I wasn't sure what the heck I was doing there, in Martha's Vineyard that rainy October, trying to be one, when everyone else I met seemed to be fitting in a lot better than I felt like I was. Perhaps they were more comfortable in their writerly skins; perhaps my view was just skewed.
This attitude reversed somewhat after I spent time with my awesome roomie Gwen and a couple other students and of course instructors like Teresa and Steven and Laura, and I felt like maybe I wasn't quite so big of a social failure and that maybe there was hope for me after all. But in a lot of ways that me of five years back was pretty on-target. I had a LONG way to go.
So now it's 2015 and I've written two and a half novels and a dozen or so short stories, and, barring distractions like dogs and puppies and surgery and concussions and Crohn's disease, I've not lost sight of the gold ring. I feel like my writerly muscles have grown, and honestly for the first time I feel (despite still having a problem with passive beginnings--I HATE YOU PASSIVE BEGINNINGS) like I can actually set out to write some of the stories in my head and do them justice. Combine that with a wake-up call on a drive back from the hospital (which I may blog about later) and I have been busting my ass this month in order to get at least three stories out on submission before NaNo hits.
It's the countdown to NaNoWriMo, of course, and as Brandon Sanderson talks about doing in his awesome NaNoWriMo Pep Talk of 2011, I'm going in this time planning to use NaNo for less-than-conventional purposes. Because once NaNo is here, it is ON and East of the Sun is getting a complete re-write (sorry November, this year you're NaNoEditMo). I'm hoping to have it ready for my first reader(s) by the new year. So I won't have time for those shorts, and they need to get on the page now.
Much to my amazement, this is getting accomplished. I have a story out on submission, another finished and getting an edit before sending out, and yet another almost complete. And an idea for a fourth that I think I can finish by the end of the month. Madness! Hopefully I'm right and my muscles have really gotten strong enough to put these out there the way I'd like them to be. Crossing fingers...send up some good writerly thoughts for me, won't you?
See you on the far side of November, unless I'm driven to escape from Editing Hell through blogging!