Thursday, May 18, 2017

Whispering Into the Void

...Hello?



It finally happened.  So much life was unfolding in my lap that something had to seriously give.  And "something" apparently equals "blog".

All is well.  I was simply...doing life.

I'm fresh off a glorious 2-week visit with my parents, who hadn't traveled to see us in almost 2 years. To say that our time together was blessed is an understatement.  They timed their visit to coincide with a ridiculous amount of family gatherings and celebrations, as well as a performance by our city's symphony orchestra in which Mr. A and I sang with the chorus.

(I won't even go into how incredible it was to look across the hall and into the balcony, and to see my parents sitting there.  Yes, my dad really did stand up and wave his arms.  He has always been my biggest fan.)

At any rate, their visit also happened just as I was set to dig into a round of post-submission revisions on my current manuscript.  And despite my initial intention to get some writing in whenever I could, it proved impossible.

Which is fine.  I dug in again yesterday, and this afternoon is slated for all things writerly.

But I've got to admit something.

After so many years of writing--so many years of being agented without a sale--I found that I didn't miss it at all during the past couple of weeks.  And now that I'm jumping in again (as always!), I find I'm simply doing it because IT'S WHAT I DO.

I'm not particularly excited.

I'm not particularly optimistic.

I'm not particularly feeling my groove.

Honestly?  Doing this because "it's what I do" is okay.  I really believe this.  No emotions, no dreams, no effort to stay connected to the YA writing world the way I used to.  Just doing my work, and doing it to the best of my ability.  Working hard.  Carefully considering editorial notes.  Making my story into the best possible thing it can be.

So many of you have stayed with me throughout my journey, from wherever your point of entry may have been.  I could list dozens of names (mostly nicknames!) that really mean something to me when I see them in a comment box or on Twitter or Facebook or in my inbox.  If I tried to create that list, I'd fall short, because I'd inadvertently leave people out.  So I'm not going to try.

But to all of you -- THANK YOU!

I'm here.  I'm writing.  I've got THE MOST AMAZING AND TALENTED AGENT A GAL COULD HOPE FOR.  I've also got a husband who's behind me 100 percent, a gaggle of beta readers and critique partners who are truly life-givers, and a brain that just doesn't want to stop telling stories.  (I sprouted a brand new story idea just yesterday--at the worst possible time, naturally.)

I've also got this blog thing, and I'm working on some summer offerings for you.  So start polishing your first pages!  I promise to get things rolling again soon.

Also?  I'd love for you to say hello today.  Maybe even let me know where you are in your own journey, so I can come up alongside you the way you've come up alongside me.

Muchos abrazos!  And more to come.

29 comments:

  1. Hello! Good to see you back! I've also fallen out of the loop lately, but I'm all ready to start drafting a new YA next week while I wait for my agent to see if my current YA is ready to go on sub. Fingers crossed for both of us that something pans out soon!

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    1. Hey, there! Best of luck on your current project -- and happy drafting! :)

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  2. Hello! I think I'm in a similar place to you right now, where I write because it's what I do. I can't stop. I don't want to stop, even though the writing doesn't give me a lot of pleasure right now. I've been agented, been on submission, even been published, but I don't feel like this writing thing has taken me anywhere close to where I hoped it would. So I'm trying something new and ghostwriting an autobiography. Hopefully a change of genre and style, and telling a story that isn't coming 100% from my head might refresh my writing mojo… Good luck with rediscovering your own joy in the work.

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    1. I hear you, Kate. May you rediscover everything that's been wonderful about your writing in the past. This journey isn't an easy one! xoxo

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  3. I had a similar experience after having to take a break from writing/publishing over the winter. I did not miss it. Not the way I thought I would. Of course I was happy to start writing again -- just writing for myself -- but publishing? *shrug* It's a hard business to stay in love with, especially when our hearts are in the words on the page, and less so the everything else that comes after that. And this is coming from someone who has 12 titles released in the world, from small press, to traditional press, to self-pub. I LOVE to write. It's everything else that I can live without. :P

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    1. It's sad that the industry itself has the power to suck the life from our writing souls. I'm glad to know that your LOVE of writing is firmly established! Thanks for sharing.

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  4. Hellooo Hellooo Heloooo. :) Breaks are good, awesome, important. I've not been writing due to life being a big fat stinker! Best of luck writing again!

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    1. I'm so sorry about the big fat stinker status! :( May the stink go away sooner than you expect, and may you rediscover your joy in writing--and in all things. xoxo

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  5. Taking time for yourself and your family is so important! If you don't live your life, what is there to write about?

    Good luck!

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    1. Thank you, Jill -- true words, indeed!

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  6. Good to hear that your writing practice and your love of writing ebbs and flows. I'm not even close to being a daily writer, but the fact that I'm still doing it proves something to me. It would be easier to call it quits, but I don't.

    I'm currently subbing my YA to agents, aiming for 50 before calling it quits. I'm drafting a MG, collaborating on a PB with two critique group members, and planning to launch a kidlit podcast (if we get back to recording). Kid drama and an increasingly time-consuming freelance job have been dragging me down, but must keep going!

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    1. Best of luck on your subs! Sounds like you have a great game plan--it's so important to have some sort of plan in place if we want to keep going.

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  7. So nice to hear you've been enjoying life, as you should! And so awesome about singing with the symphony! I, too, have been on a break, but my breaks still have to do with health (sigh), because writing takes energy, and energy is what I'm lacking. My ND now has me on an intensive treatment program, one that hopefully by the end of the year will cure me of all (or most of) my ills, although it's been a tough ride so far. But I still dream up stories, write character sketches and plots and work on my log-lines; it gives me something positive to do and to look forward to, like I'm planning my future!

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    1. Oh, DJ, I'm sorry about your health. Speaking COMPLETE RESTORATION and REJUVINATION over you in the Name of Jesus. And yes, you ARE planning your future, and it's a wonderful thing to do.

      Cheers! Blessings! And thank you for the affirmation! xoxo

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  8. Writers have to live, too. I'm on a scenic byway, perhaps near yours. It's a quieter route than the one I traveled for a frenzied decade. I learned a lot, but didn't reach my goal. Now I'm quietly writing the best story I can, practicing art and craft, taking notes on real life, and getting ready for a query round. Thanks for all the energy you give to this community. Your work is a blessing.

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    1. Yes, Chris, it does sound like your scenic byway is near mine. We should stop and picnic together. :)

      All the very best on your continued writing journey. And thank you for your kind words. xoxo

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  9. I fully get where you're coming from. I'm also constantly pulled away from my inner world of writing by the outer world. I love writing, but I also love my friends, family life, adventures in food, wine, and site-seeing... plus watching a crappy movie (or five) with guilty pleasure and chocolate. The chocolate is particularly necessary. And then there's that whole, boring full-time job thing, which is sadly required to pay the bills.
    As long as you're here I will be too. I enjoy your blogs- whether they come once a day or once a month. I don't participate as much as I'd like, but that doesn't mean I don't care. I do. I care about each writer out there, still honing their storytelling chops, just like me. And even if I never get published, it doesn't take away from the excitement I feel every time I sit down in front of the computer and let my creativity take over. I am fulfilled. I'm glad to hear you are too ;)

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  10. Welcome back! A timely post which I needed to read. Thanks for all you do!

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  11. I rarely comment, but I always look forward to hearing about your writing journey -- and was happy to see a new post in my inbox. I can't remember when, but I think yours was the first critique contest I entered -- and the feedback was so helpful. The manuscript that the critiqued excerpt came from was published by a small Canadian publisher in 2015 (as the result of another contest) -- shortly before I connected with my agent (through yet a different contest). Now I'm drafting a new ms while editing another, but I'm taking days off, too. :D

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  12. I am glad you are back and your spirit renewed. Your site has helped my writing to soar to loftier heights and for that, I am grateful. 2016 was a rocky year, most notably a near death experience, but I am taking this second lease on life and livin' the dream. I've got a shiny new YA manuscript, and I'm sitting on top of some super exciting news!

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  13. Just popping in to say 'Hi!' I've also been wrestling with the 'life getting in the way of writing' issue recently, and I know how hard it can be to find both the time and the energy. I'm afraid it's been a while since I've had time to participate in the critiques here as well, but I always appreciate seeing the activities you host on this blog and, most of all, reading your warm, encouraging posts. :)

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  14. Oh, loving the new picture. I'm glad you're back. I'm having a good stroll around before I choose which store I want to walk in :)

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  15. Whispering into the void. Very good description. So kudos and good for you. Enjoying our parents is something we sometimes fail to do. I'm visiting mine this summer and am totally looking forward to it. I am actually moving forward. I'm so excited as I was so stuck in rewriting when I haven't written The End.I am plugging along hoping to finally finish a first draft by the end of June. Yay me.

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  16. As I wrote to a critique partner today about our weekly goals: "We didn't accomplish all we set out to do, but we did do something." She now wants it on her tombstone.

    You are doing a wonderful amount of things, even if for right now it's filling the well. I predict that, in a blog post or two, we'll hear the excitement in your Authoress voice again--at a revision completed, or a shiny new idea throwing glitter in the air and waiting for you to join the party too.

    I tell myself everyday to write for joy. Publication is out of my hands.
    In the background, Miserere (Setting of Psalm 51)by Gregorio Allegri, sung by Voces 8, plays. I imagine your creativity surging through your singing, buoyed by your dancing, and soon to be engaged by your pen. <3

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  17. Hello! I write because stories burn through the veins if my brain. I can't shut it off and have no intention to. My day job is "what I do" to pay the bills. I'm good at it but I'm happiest writing.

    My last MS is with a fantastic CornerstonesUS editor, which I hired due to a revise/resubmit from an agent. I just finished my fourth manuscript which is my first high fantasy. I just entered it into it's first contest. Yay!

    As for your writing, I think you'll find your excitement again. You always do! Something will spark and you'll be flaming like a bonfire. And I don't think you're alone in that many authors feel the ups and downs, or the connection and disconnections from day to day. But the stories keep pulling us forward, and that my dear, makes us writer's from the heart.

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  18. Just want to say Hi and thank you for all the work you do for the writing community!

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  19. It's so great to have you back. It is good to get away and clear your mind. I know I obsess at times over my writing and a break from it is always a healthy thing.

    I hope you see as it such as well though I worry that you sounded sad about your current place. It seemed like you were in a similar state when you commented about giving up dancing back when. Though you're clearly not thinking about giving up writing but it just sounded similar.

    I wanted to offer some encouragement now as I tried to then. You always give so much encouragement and kind words to all of us.

    My number one passion in life used to be basketball and I chased it with everything I had. All the hard work and all of the negative feedback strained my determination. And even though I made it, I lost some of the love for it that I once had.

    But it seems you have such a wonderful support system between your family, CPs, beta-readers, and an agent. Us followers believe in you as well. And though I feel confident that you're just as determined as ever I hope you don't lose your passion the way that I did. Because it felt like a horrible break-up when I did. And my talents suffered a bit.

    You are 'fearless'. Anyone who endures in this journey of writing is. You don't keep getting up time and again if you're not fearless. Keep the passion no matter what.

    Sorry for the long post but I appreciate how generous you are for all of us and I wanted to try and return the favor.

    All the Best,

    Charlie

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  21. It's like whenever I need a boost, you are here saying EXACTLY what I need to hear. I am your co-pilot. I have watched my writer friends celebrate their new releases while I've racked up rejections. I've thought about quitting, and yet, can't make myself do it. I've taken breaks to clear my head, and always end up back at the keyboard. You are not the only one, and I want you to know how incredibly important it is for everyone to see they aren't either. Thank you, Authoress!

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