Is there anything more awkward than the first post of a new blog? In some ways it’s exciting and full of potential. That’s the way I always feel when I get a new notebook or sketchbook. It represents all the directions I could go. Instead I usually fill the first 20 or 30 pages and forget about it for awhile before I give it up totally as a lost cause and buy a new notebook that hasn’t disappointed me and evokes that exciting “the sky’s the limit” feeling.
That’s also kinda how first post feels. You are taking a huge risk by starting this new adventure. Where will it take you? Will you lose interest or fail a few months in? I hope that doesn’t happen to me. In fact, that’s what starting this blog is supposed to do for me. I’m hoping that by writing regularly it makes me feel accountable. I’m starting a new project and I’m seriously hoping I can follow through and see it to completion.
First things first, I’m a 32 year old woman. I live with my boyfriend, my kids and our pets, a cat and a dog. I have 3 passions; writing, creating mixed media collage art, and playing video games. I usually do one at a time to the exclusion of the others. I don’t do moderation very well.
I wrote my first story in the 6th grade. It was about talking cats (both girls) named Alex and Andi. In middle and high school I took every creative writing class offered. I wrote sweeping high fantasy epics that spanned generations and filled several notebooks with long hand all through high school. And I read. Oh boy did I read.
I read everything I could lay hands on as a kid. I read classics, I read banned books, I read adult novels, I read smut. I’d lay in bed at night thinking about what I’d read that day and wonder what came next in the part that wasn’t written down. I think that’s the point when writing stories seemed like the logical conclusion. If you create a world and the characters in it, then you’ll always know what comes after the story ends.
I know that some people write fan fiction as a way to fill in the gaps with characters they already love and that’s ok. I know some authors loathe fanfic writers, I’ve read some pretty mean spirited posts on author blogs about it. My personal feeling about that would be if someday someone wanted to write fanfic based on something I’ve written, I’d be flattered more than anything, but I wouldn’t want to read it. It’s not my thing. I’ve never been interested. It doesn’t feel “real “ to me so it’s not at all engrossing. Of course, if someone were making a profit off my intellectual property, I’d be both offended and pissed off. It’s stealing and that’s never ok.
I’ve been downloading a lot of books for my Kindle app lately and I realized that a lot of books for Kindle aren’t associated with a publisher. Also, the prices on those books are really affordable. What gives? A little research later and I realized that writers are finding success by self publishing their novels in ebook format. Books that might never have seen an audience otherwise are being sold to the masses. As a girl who’s played with the idea of becoming a novelist for years, this is exciting news. You’re telling me that I can write a story and be guaranteed that it will see the light of day without having to jump through the hoops that the publishing industry throws at new writers left and right? I can keep more of the profits for my hard work and be in control of the process from the first step to the end product? Forget all my tired old excuses for never finishing a book in the past, sign me up!
On January 5th 2011, I decided to write a novel. I’ve played at it for years, but I’ve never finished. And, as if to drive this point home, here I am starting a blog rather than working on the project. I wonder how modern writers balance all the demands of marketing and using social media to promote their work with actually working? Well, if I’m successful, in a few months I’ll be able to answer that question.
I’m fleshing out an idea I had a couple of years ago for a YA paranormal romance. It’s a genre I’ve enjoyed since I was a teen so hopefully someone else will enjoy sharing this world with me. If all goes according to plan and I’m able to stick with my writing schedule, I should have a finished first draft by March. That’s my goal. I don’t know how long it takes to clean up a manuscript and I’ not even going to worry about that part right now. Step one is to write the damn thing and I want to share it with you, my hypothetical readers. We’ll go through the planning stages together and the part where we put words on paper and maybe, God willing, when it’s all done we can go through learning the process of publishing and marketing a new novel together. I’d really like that.