Something interesting happened this month. I wrote a second book! Well, almost. I wrote about 57,000 words of a young adult novel that I hope to be about 60,000-65,000 words by the time it’s completely finished. This was an amazing accomplishment for me for several reasons.
I have a toddler now, and I managed to write a book. I had been afraid until now to try starting a big project because I didn’t think I’d be able to find time to do it between working full-time and being a mom. This month blew that assumption completely out of the water. I guess it’s really true that if you’re looking for an excuse, you will find one, but if you’re looking for a way, you will find it.
Another reason why I’m really excited is that I now have two books under my belt. Two! I mean, writing a book is great, but I had this inner fear that perhaps the first book had been a fluke and maybe I wouldn’t remember how to write when it came time to do the next one. These thoughts sound really silly now, but I think it’s something we probably always struggle with as artists. We shrug at our past accomplishments, looking our good efforts in the face and say, “Sure, I did it once, but I’ve surely lost all my capabilities for some completely irrational reason, right??”
This book was also different because I used extensive planning this time, with an outline, instead of “pantsing” (writing the plot as you go). I think that I found my preferred work style, because the outline really helped me fly through things and I finished writing my 50,000 words in 18 days.
I just wanted to give anyone following an update on my Nanowrimo journey. I’m very proud of my effort and also extremely exhausted. I need a break! And a maid. Oh, gee, my house is wreck.
This is early, but I’m thinking about Thanksgiving, and it is crazy to me to think about how much my life has changed just in the past few months. We moved to a new home, and then shortly after, my son started daycare when my parents went through major health struggles and could no longer provide childcare. This was a huge adjustment at first, because I never imagined him being in daycare, and I had to deal with my own feelings of guilt and sadness over that, but the care he receives is wonderful and I can see him benefit greatly from it.
Daycare turned out to be a huge blessing for our family and not only reduced our commute time by almost an hour every day but gave my son additional opportunities to grow and gave us back more time in the evening as a family. Really, the only thing that is difficult is the fact that it puts a strain on our finances to afford it at times. But even so, we were fortunate to be able to have a wonderful, quality, safe daycare that we could afford.
I also started my second-ever novel for nanowrimo, and I’m now just a few thousand words shy of getting to the 50k-word goal. In fact, I had to raise the bar to actually go OVER 50k for this month, which would have only been a dream to me in previous years.
Thanksgiving is a good time for me to reflect on the fact that although things have been difficult at times, there are just as many wonderful things to be grateful for, and I can choose which I want to focus on.
This is going to be short, but I just wanted to share a new writing tool with you that I’m really enjoying. It’s called ApolloPad, and it’s completely free (for now)! ApolloPad is a word processor and novel/story management software that is completely online, and they even back up your data. Because it’s all online, you can access your stories from any device. It has many feature similarities to Scrivener, which is an excellent product also, but is not free. I have purchased Scrivener but never really adopted it into my writing process because of its complexity. The main advantage I see for ApolloPad, aside from the fact that it’s all online, is that it felt much, much simpler to use and less overwhelming. Maybe you should give it a try! That’s all for now.
I’m currently seeking agent representation for my 169,000-word science fiction. My hopes are high and I’m ready for this next big step.
I have ideas for 2-3 other novels at the moment, and I’m excited to get some time to start working on those in the future, as well as a few dozen short stories that have popped into my head over the last few months! It’s been an exciting journey so far with this first book and I know that it’s only the beginning. I’m enjoying writing, and the writing community, so much.
This is the verdict after writing and editing my first novel: I want more! I want to do this more, and on and on, for the rest of my life. I want to improve, learn, and meet other writers. I want to fill up with reading and life and the company of writing colleagues, and then I want to pour it all out into writing. Wash, rinse, repeat.
If you know of any agents (or if you are an agent visiting), feel free to send me any leads.
The Midwest has been experiencing our share of winter weather, and I hope all of you have been staying safe!
I wanted to share a poem by Shekhar Aiyar published by Able Muse called Crash, Trance, Winter. I hope you take a few moments to read it, because it’s only eight lines long! Even though it’s a poem about something incredibly stressful and unpleasant (a car crash), the author manages to make it sound beautiful.