14 Months

So today’s kind of a big day for me.

And that got me thinking about the past 14 months.

Actually, let me back up, because according to my Word files, MF has officially existed for almost two years. Two Thanksgivings ago, I was playing around with writing more than I had for a long time. I messed with some short stories and poetry, but this one idea kept needling through my mind & wouldn’t leave me alone. I wrote a short story, which became a first chapter. For the next nine months, I struggled through and finished writing a first draft. I showed it to my family. They *loved* it. I submitted the first draft to agents.

*blush* I got a lot of rejections. 🙂 One of those rejections took the time to mention what the agent didn’t love about the work. It wasn’t the idea so much as the writing. I sat on that for a while. I bought some fabulous books. The most important one being: Self-Editing For Fiction Writers. I LEARNED A LOT.

I stopped subbing, and started rewriting (14 months ago). Overthis period of time, I read more books, and messageboards, and continued to learn. I started this journal, met some wonderful people (*waves*) and continued to learn. Several times, I stopped what I was doing and wondered if it was a waste of time. Several more times, I decided it wasn’t, and pressed on.

My entire plot changed. My characters changed. Some of them got new names, others new personalities. Their relationships changed. They stopped breathing and coughing their sentences. But the basic idea I started with, the one that wouldn’t leave me alone, stayed the same.

I’m generally a self-motivated person, but I continued to learn a lot about discipline. I wrote myself sticky notes, and I’ve left them up over my desk to remind me to keep going:

"5,000 Words BY MONDAY!"

"NO Messageboards this AM! _____ got an agent! REVISE!!!"

"You got NOTHING done tonight because you procrastinated! Your four lines SUCK and you’re going to be fat!"

Honestly, I can’t look at them now without laughing. S reads them and says I’m mean to myself. It’s a weird thing, self-motivation.

So today is a big day, because I’m sending MF out again. Today feels so much weightier than the last time I sent queries. I’m not exactly sure what’s going to happen now, but I know I’ll understand everything that DOES happen in a way I didn’t 14 months ago.

I guess we’ll see… 🙂

12 thoughts on “14 Months

  1. That’s quite a journey you’ve had so far. I’m currently in the “My entire plot changed, but the basic idea stayed the same” stage with mine. I’m on year 5 1/2 and hope to be finished soon.

    Good luck with your queries!

    1. Good for you for not letting a great idea go! Who knows, I might look back on this entry several years from now, and several more drafts later and roll my eyes. Only one way to find out. Thanks for the well-wishes!

      1. I always tell folks to “date” their CPs. That’s how I found my two incredible cps — I told people we had a no commitment look, traded the first 50 of our mss, critted them, and if we didn’t like their style of writing or critting, we could smile and wave bye, no questions asked.

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