Writing feels like an ocean today. Currants forcing deep swells instead of the gentle spume of a slow tide. Long past are the beachy days of writing to my heart’s content, although I will vacation again, intentionality is now my emphasis. And that’s okay. It’s time for me to focus on the author realities I’ve been dreaming about.
I wrote a book. A story that wriggled its way from my mind to the page…when I’d never considered myself a writer before, found way to light. It was an enormous task. And when I finished the first time, soon after, diving into my rewrite, I had no idea how vast of an undertaking it was.
I remember reading the first drafts of my story, unwilling to cut or change any of its parts. What had come out was meant to be in my eyes (back then), and it felt as if I would cut my own limb to reject a line of my story.
It wasn’t long before I learned more about the process of writing. I realized it needed pruning to allow the beauty of its blooms to stand out, and I seized a pair of shears. This was medicinal for me. It forced me to make decisions for my characters and to hone the grit of their personas. And it forced me to grow. Although even today, crafting this book and identifying myself as a writer, I hadn’t anticipated being pulled so many emotional directions.
- I love my sweet little story about a teen and her encounter with the Dream World.
- But, how does it fit into the world of dream stories already out there?
- Have I gone a wrong direction?
- Should I have made my characters younger, gone for a middle-grade genre?
- Should I have been more poetic? Do my followers expect this from me since I am a poet first?
- Should I have gone more horror? More romance? More adventure? More…something other than what I’ve already done?
- Should I rewrite it again and/or will the critics out there trash this piece of me without care?
- How do I query this story in hopes an agent or publisher really sees the vision I’ve attempted to create? What if I was wrong and the vision is forever muddled?
- What if their vision is better? What if it’s not?
- What if I do sell this story and I hate the business-side-of-publishing outcome?
- What if self-publishing is a better choice for me? What if it’s a nightmare?
- How do I market myself when I’m just me…waiting for that next vacation to the beach where I can imagine and write to my heart’s content?
As stated above, writing at this place in my life feels like an ocean. It’s not a bad place to sail, only deeper. I wonder if the questions and doubts must be a part of the journey. Maybe I don’t need to understand it all right now. Perhaps I simply navigate as best I can.
Here’s my poetic process…my still-making-sense-of-it-all poem:
Questions surge and fall,
crest in my peripheral
vision, and I feel
lost at sea.
keeps me afloat,
straining to hear
the chanting, chanting…
“It’s part of the process…”
these storms at brew
in the ocean
curl and extend,
hold and rush,
pull and sway…yet
I find its breath.
I feel the rhythm
flow calmly until
I fit snug
within the folds;
flag raised, for
soon I’ll declare
tales to be told.
I suppose I will ride this wave and see where it takes me. A little adventure into deliberate focus isn’t so bad. Maybe I’ll find my way back to those beaches in no time!
Writing Advice: Find an audience!
I encourage you to find an audience to share your work. A writing critique group…some beta readers…a friend or loved one. Having someone else read my work has proven to be more than helpful. Other readers catch snags my eyes seem to miss. They can tell me if a situation is believable or not. And truly, it helps to have real people to talk out loud about the story that’s been floating around inside my mind.
Start small. My writing group exchanges a short “few-paged” scene each time we meet. It’s enough to get support and feedback to take back to my whole writing project. And the more scenes we share, the more we understand each other’s personalities and writing goals.
The best way I’ve found to find a critique group is to join a writing class. My group formed when the class ended. But if other readers have other ways to find trustworthy groups, please let us know in the comments below.
The aim is to find that spiral of giving and receiving feedback.
Happy Writing (because at least you’re writing),
Celaine Charles, September 22, 2019
https://literarytitan.com/beta-reader-service/ (beta readers)
Categories: Thoughts on writing...
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