I just got chastised by my webmaster (aka: teenage son) that my most recent, and only blog post is from a year ago. He has a point. What’s the point of having a blog if you don’t.. you know… blog.
But, rest assured, dear readers, I may not be writing in my blog, but I am writing. As my last post outlined, I caught the writing bug about a year and a half ago, after my excessive reading lead me to over think what I would do differently in most books I read, and I wondered if I could write That Story that had been brewing in my mind for some time. Eventually, I took the plunge and wrote That Story. It was a contemporary romance, slightly comedic, and focused on a 20-something woman of colour finding love.
I wrote fast, and had my first ever rough draft finished in about a month. And let me tell you readers, it was a piece of crap. And I knew that. But I still sent it out to a beta reader, who confirmed it was crap, but at least then I knew why it was crap. In the meantime, not one to give up on a new hobby, I started writing another one. So after That Story, I started That Other Story, then the Kinda Like That Story, before changing directions and working on Some Paranormal Story.
Some Paranormal Story went really well, and it became the second first-draft I finished. I sent it to beta readers, edited, revised, sent it more more beta readers, entered contests and stated querying agents.
All the while I kept writing. I started Another Paranormal Story, and Compelling Mystery Story, while the rejections for Some Paranormal Story started racking up. The book was good, but no where near good enough. I wasn’t there, and I started to think I would never get there.
I was feeling down. I wasn’t yet at the point of giving up, but was close. Compelling Mystery Story wasn’t going well, Some Paranormal Story was being rejected repeatedly and I seriously wondered if I should hang up the ol’ typewriter (read: iPad bluetooth keyboard) and take a break.
I wasn’t feeling well one day, and had to force myself to go to my monthly writer’s workshop. The topic was writing comedy, and at the workshop I wrote a premise for a Rom-Com so ridiculous that I couldn’t stop thinking about it. We’re talking completely bananas.
Predictably, that little plot bunny did not leave me alone. Equally predictably, that little illness I felt starting knocked me down for the count for two weeks. So for two weeks, I did nothing but write. And that’s how I hammered out the first draft for This Story.
It’s been a whirlwind. I wrote faster than I ever had. I laughed harder, cried more. I put my heart and soul into this little bananas book which ended up being the most personal thing I’d ever wrote. Maybe it was the fever, or the painkillers, but I learned not to censure myself. I leaned to just let the crazy stuff in my mind out. And not just the crazy stuff, but the real stuff, too. The angry stuff. The raw emotions about how fucked up the world is for a Muslim woman right now.
Beta readers, and editors, and contests happened in record speed, and eventually I started submitting This Story to literary agents. Stay tuned for my successes and failures in getting This Story out into the world.
I’ll keep you in the loop, this time.