Writing in a zig-zag

I feel like I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster since early May, right before my wedding, and it’s just carried right on through. Lots of good mixed with lots of… challenges (I refuse to say “bad”).

Taken at Alton Towers last year, when I realised I might be entering the stage of life where I’m better off on the ground.

Admittedly, it’s hard to follow up a dream-come-true wedding and lush, relaxing “minimoon” with any act at all, so I’m not sure why this surprised me.

Nothing outrageously terrible has happened! So thank God for that. It’s just been a lot of stressful things, ranging from my visa application (which is in the hands of the imminently-striking UKBA and their work-to-rule summer, on top of a backlog spanning months, no idea when my passport might be returned to me) being the major one. Family stuff I can’t do anything about, due to the visa thing, and other kinda big “life” things. I’ve found it really hard to strike a balance between learning to rise to these challenges, and face my writing (and work) goals. So sadly not only is this post late as it should’ve been yesterday, but I’ve been missing out on commenting on my fellow writers’ blogs, encouraging and cheerleading, and beta/CP reading. I’m trying to get back on track, but sometimes the track moves and I’m hoping this is my chance to learn how to keep up.

My July #writemotivation goals:

1. Finish new round of edits to MS #1.  Done.

2. MS #1 x5. Done and then some.

3. Finish edits to WIP to Chapter 9. See 4.

4. Write 10k in WIP. Just before sending my first few chapters off to a CP, I had a few days of inspiration. I decided to change back from third to first (good grief), change my MC’s age form 17 to 19 (kinda major), and add an entirely new dimension to the possible genre-confusion that will happen with this story. But I’ve been making notes, plotting more than ever, and I feel like I’m finding my way to where this story was meant to go all along. It means killing a few chapters further on that I’d drafted and felt proud of, but I may save those for a future story. Or see if I can salvage. In any case, “finish edits” has become zig-zagging my way through a whole set of changes that I didn’t expect. I thought I had this story nailed down (at least, the first 9 chapters). But maybe that’s part of my training to become a Jedi warrior harness the power of the Deathly Hallows master carrying the Ring learn to keep up with the changing track.

To summarise, I’ve been investing in research material, researching, brainstorming, outlining, and writing future scenes. No idea of the equivalent word count of that though!

5. Balance job hunting with writing, CP/Beta work, and blogging. Be realistic! I read B’s ms and am working on M’s and also L’s. Loving reading others’ work and seeing their strengths and learning from them. Just wish I had about 15 more hours per day! Job hunting – I’m not slowing down, despite aforementioned identity paperwork issues. 

I’ve had a few breakdowns this week. One involved mouldy blueberries and coffee grounds. Another, an empty mailbox. But it’s going to be okay because no matter what, I have people who love me, near and far, I can rearrange plans and make even BETTER ones for later, and I’ve got my writing and passion for telling great (hopefully, someday, by golly) stories. 

Things rarely go the way we plan, but they’re never as bad as we imagine (and I don’t want to be giving any more time than I already have to imagining the bad). Sometimes much better. Perspective. Though these days, I know I sometimes need to have that perspective from the ground rather than way up in the sky where everything’s one big sleigh-ride into awesome.

I hope your July goals – if you have them – are going well, no matter whether you’re ticking them off or adjusting for change. Enjoy the weather (if you’re in the UK where we finally have sun and blue in the sky), and if you’re in the States I hope you get a big fat rainstorm! Thanks for reading.

P.S. An “up” from the past week: I queried two agencies that I already queried 2+ years ago (with an absolutely tragic query letter), and have since rewritten the entire manuscript of MS#1. I thought I’d take a chance, and both requested pages! One sent a very kind rejection (keep trying, it only takes one, etc.) and the other is in the air but kindly said she’s “looking for fresh voices”. That’s me! I’m fresh! 🙂

Even if … well, it’s been so encouraging to hear back from these kind people who’ve given me a second shot.

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