The first stop is into the past, to the beginning of this blog. And let me be frightfully honest, I began this blog for purely selfish reasons. There was nothing in my mind really about readers, it was merely to get my writing voice back… and yes, it was something I had lost and in many ways I thought might have been gone for good.
See, a few years ago I lost my literary agent (I wrote extensively about this experience in this editorial as well), and it devastated me since I knew, in losing that agent, I had lost time in my career. Like being forced to go back spaces in a board game; I was near the end of the game, and now I was back at the first square, wondering how I got there and do I really want to play so much of the game again?
No. My initial reaction was to walk away from the board and throw my token back in the box. I was over it.
I’ve been a writer since the age of 15. I know a lot of people say that, but I had my first agent at age 16 and since then I had been on the cusp of something, but what I can’t say. From meeting with producers about screenplays, to jumping from agent to agent, I was a “bridesmaid” for so many years. Yeah, I had done well in national competitions, and when people discover my work the reaction is positive. But again, I was close, never quite there.
This last agent was the closest I had gotten to my dream. I found them right after I got my masters in writing from the University of Southern California. Right then, I could have gone anywhere with my writing, but this agent promised me what I wanted more than movies and TV writing.
I wanted to be a novelist… and for five years with that agent I played that game. I wrote four books, but I was bumped from agent to agent within the agency (obviously, I was not first for anyone there in their personal lineups) and finally they dropped me. And after that occurred, in all of the mirrors I passed, all I saw was time.
I was now 32, no longer the young upstart, with a resume of missed opportunities… and frankly, more nothing than I could have ever imagined at the beginning of my career. Those five years waiting for my agent to line up that elusive sale were more than gone; it was now a smear on my resume, possibly tainting me as somehow outside the mainstream and maybe not worth the trouble.
Over the next few years, I had two books published out of a small indie press in Canada after winning a writing competition (You can find more info on My Problem With Doors and Megan on this page), but I was still not feeling it.
I definitely didn’t feel the high I once felt before the agency. Now when I sat down to write, I no longer was being lost in the time of creating (I used to lose hours writing, it was glorious); that creative voice was no longer alone in my head. Now there was another voice asking over and over again, “Why? Why? Why?”
I had no answer.
2011 was a struggle for me, like an injured victim relearning to walk in rehab. Green Spot Blue was sharing my novel A Jane Austen Daydream on their site (you can learn more about the work here) and there was something I realized I wanted to say to my young kids about life.
Because of my children, I began to work on a book (which I hope will be the first part of a trilogy for young adults) that would express something important, a philosophy for how to look at life without losing yourself in hope and faith. But writing was now hard, and it was never hard before. It was hard to turn on my voice and turn it off, no matter how much time I gave myself at the local coffee shop or how far I was away from the distractions of a busy house.
There was not enough time…. And while I had a good first draft of the first book; it wasn’t good enough for me. I could do better, I have done better.
And that is why I call this site a selfish creation. It is my practice, it my daily routine to get my voice back, build up my creative energy, and more importantly re-train that part of my brain to work faster, better, and smarter. And happily, looking at my entries over the time I feel better about myself.
This is why my entries are different from other blogs. That is not to say I dislike blog writing, there are quite a few I like. And the freedom of expression, the conversation and community-aspect are intriguing to me, but that is not what I am aiming for here. Again, I am selfishly writing what would be considered more personal editorials, with beginnings, middles, and endings. There is little conversation here, I am a speaker on a stage, not a member around a table.
Of course, none of this means I am any closer to an agent or a publisher for my books, but as a writer I am happier and that is a small victory, what happens next will be what it always is in the literary world–
Luck… Pure, magical luck.
My first entry was a list of resolutions. Looking back over it, I still agree with everything there. I grew on this site, always finding new things to write about, comment about. Over time, coming up with ideas became easier and easier.
I noticed, like many bloggers do, pop culture topics can bring in the readers in major ways, but it is more satisfying writing about your own personal life experience. It is grander than a diary or journal since you are forced to look at a moment of your life like a story. Somehow life and time feels richer when you have to think of your experience in that fashion… Of course, that might be just me.
So we have visited the past and the present, what about the future?
Well, I still hope to find an agent for A Jane Austen Daydream. If that doesn’t happen I plan to look into indie presses (and I will share this experience on the site).
As a writer, I hope to dive into that young adult book again and complete a second draft that builds on the world I am attempting to create. What can I say? After all this time, I still can’t escape that dream of being a writer. It defines me too much.
And what about this site? It will continue, because I can’t imagine right now not writing on it. It is far too satisfying. It makes me smile and really I never expected that. This, and your reading of my work, has been a wonderful surprise, and I look forward to seeing where this site goes in the future. Hopefully, you are interested as well.
Now I know, I know, for other more popular sites getting 10,000 views or so is not a big deal, they do it all the time. But for me, because of everything I wrote about above, it means something special. Very, very special.
To all of my followers, people that have read or commented, and anyone that has ever clicked the like button- thank you. You have no idea how inspirational your support has been to me during this process.
Thank you for sharing some of your time with me.
If you liked reading my article, why not check out some of my books? I had two novels published in the last few years, My Problem With Doors and Megan. You can find them via my amazon.com author page here. Thanks for reading!
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