Mar 24, 2011

on the writing front

I have decided to dedicate less time to blogging constantly, and instead set aside a day each week to write a new entry, and a couple days each week to check on friends and family and other blogs of interest.

Anyway, it's been a while, I know. I miss all of you physically and also cyberly.

I'm going to dedicate this entry to the stuff that has happened with me and writing, because it's been a lot, all of a sudden, like a gear that starts speeding up as it gets going. In short, things have been overwhelming! But in a good way.

So, as far as novel writing goes, I finished my historical fiction novel about a month ago, including rewrites and revisions. The first 100 pages were picked to pieces by my Orem critique group. It was the first critique group that I'd ever attended. The experience made me see that writers are similarly eccentric people. Even if they look normal, they're weird like me. It's so interesting. I just click with them, you know? Word nerds, who live inside their heads most of the time, who people-watch but aren't usually all that social....

Yes, it was a great experience, feeling like I've found my tribe, through the medium of meeting with those who share my interest. And I got a lot of important feedback. I've realized that it takes two things to improve substantially as a writer:

1) show your work to an impartial group of people who will be kind but also honest, and
2) do it. Every day.

I have started doing my writing in the mornings, before I do anything else, so that I can just get it done and not have it last all morning or afternoon, interrupted by the hundred little tasks I perform for my kids once I venture out of my room in the mornings. My goal is always 1100 words... I don't stop until I've done at least that much, and then I force myself to stop, even if I"m really excited, because then I'm excited all day about my writing, and I wake up excited and it's easy to get going again. I also almost always make sure that when I stop, I am excited, or at least, I have a place to go for the next writing session.

So.... news.

Well, I got a poem published on Wilderness Interface Zone; a blog that supports the community of LDS nature writers and artists. It's a very, very friendly environment to publish in, and so if you're interested in getting your work out there and getting your name out there in the LDS artistic community, it's a good way to start. If you've got poetry or creative non-fiction that is literary and has a theme of nature, you're welcome to submit there. Right now they have the "spring runoff" poetry competition going on. You can submit any poem that has spring as a theme.

I will have two more published on this site in the next while. I'll link here to them when they appear on the site.

I also won Segullah Magazine's short fiction contest, with the first chapter of the historical fiction novel that I just sent off to Deseret (cross your fingers that they'll actually look it over!! I have more hope this time.) I also happened to get an honorable mention in the Segullah spring contests for another of my poems, as well.

Dialogue has asked to republish the poem I already had on Wilderness Interface Zone, in their summer issue which is devoted to themes of nature.

In addition, I was contacted by an editor of an upcoming anthology of LDS poetry, and asked to submit several of my poems. Five have been tentatively accepted and will appear in the anthology. I'm most excited about this one, because I will be appearing alongside a lot of great names (and much greater writing than my own), and there is anticipation that this might be a sort of groundbreaking thing in the LDS community.

So... all this is insane. The only thing that keeps me from feeling really, really inadequate and really, really worried that I might suddenly disappoint people is remembering that I love writing, no matter what, and will keep doing it, no matter what.

Plus I have a killer critique group right now. And a couple of them are award winning poets. Most of them in my group have already been published, and so there is a lot of wisdom in the room, and a lot of concise, accurate feedback which I so badly need right now. I'll have to write about them sometime; they're a really colorful, fun bunch, and we're all working on very different kinds of projects, so it always makes for an interesting Wednesday when I venture down to Ammon for the meetings (yes. A lot of gas money. But as I said last week to the guy who heads it up--worth it.)

So right now I'm just crossing my fingers that Deseret will like my novel, and that I might also do well in Irreantum's contest, where I have also submitted a few poems and another chapter of my novel. (By the way... the submissions window hasn't closed on this yet. If you're a writer, think of submitting something. It's a great way to have something to put in a query letter, and as I said before, gets your name out there.)

1 comment:

Putz said...