Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sunday Inspiration

I hope everyone's holidays were merry. The royal court made out like, well, royalty. Now I'm ready for it to be over. :0) Which is different than I've been in years past. I have always kept decorations up until the 30th of Dec. Then it's clean it out and have the house ready for New Year's by the 31st and we stay up all night playing board games. (To keep the house clean-do you see my issue with new year and clean house here? It's a curse.)

This year...different story. I feel like ripping down the tree, packing up the decorations and kicking 2009 out of the door. I don't really know why. It was a rough year, but really nothing that I've seen so many other families go through. My children are sleeping safely in a warm bed with tons of toys surrounding them. They all avoided the H1N1 virus, we still have a roof over our heads. We have so much to be thankful for. But I'm ready to start fresh. Funny how the new year gives us that feeling of a clean slate, isn't it?

In writing, my year started with a course through the Institute of Children's Literature. They are a fabulous group. I joined their forum and dove into my assigments. I devoured writing prompts and would write short stories almost daily. I entered several contests. I queried. I submitted. I failed.

Writing picture books or stories for children in any form is a very difficult task. I assumed that because I was a mom that reads to her children....I could write that. Well........let me tell you. I can. But it ain't easy!! And..I found that I don't have a passion for that age group. I don't know if I just...grew up too much or what. It also seemed that no matter how much praise I received from other writer friends, either through critiques or just general interest, I did not like my work. How could I sell something I don't like?

So, I went on and started my first 'contemporary' novel we'll call Audra. I love Audra. I love her character and her world. But I learned a lot and after reading Audra I realized that I had created a book of conflict after another with no real growth, or change or reason for all the conflicts. Audra is lovingly stored on my flash drive. I decided it was time to find something else. I didn't feel like a failure, I felt like I just needed more practice.

I wrote and finished my first novel during the month of November for Nano. I thought it would be YA. I had one of those angsty teenage lives, surely, I could do this. It was hard, it was fun, and rewarding. I felt full of fire and energy. I started a new project, but abandoned it for the nano novel. I just couldn't wait to get it right.

Recently, I received a critique that made me sit down and re think this whole writing gig. Now, it's not that the critique was harsh. Please do not get me wrong. In fact, she mentioned that she loved my style and my voice. I feel like that alone is a great compliment! I was positive someone would tell me I needed to work on voice. (and she may as the book progresses) The questions involved the story...believability and setting it up right. Which is crucial. I'm so glad she brought it to my attention. But I first sat down and almost cried.

It made me wonder if I had the intelligence, the patience, the staying power, to learn the things I didn't know that she brought up. In my nano novel, Addiction, the government plays a role in that my MC works for Homeland Security. I've also set it in the future.

Honestly...I don't know why I did that. I'm not creative in a sci-fi sense AT ALL. I tried to keep it small potatoes because, well..I don't know a thing about politics, either. Seriously. Nothing. I get confused with all the talk and end up tuning it out. Irresponsible, I know, leave me to my little world. Government and Economics was the one class I failed in high school. Almost failed Economics in college.

I was about to humbly admit my defeat and notify all parties of my farewell to the writing dream when I read this post. Thank goodness for Heidi Willis. Not only was her debut novel one of the most amazing books I've read in a looong time(and no, I'm not doing this for a profit, I paid for the book, FTC)but her posts always offer me hope at the exact time I needed it. She reminded me that I have chosen to continue in the past and it's what I must continue to do in my future. She is my angel and my inspiration for this Sunday.


  1. Stick-to-it-tive-ness! That's the ticket! But, when things are frustrating or not progressing or stale, set them aside for a while and do something completely different. Drain the bathtub that is your mind and refill it with fresh water......

  2. Anything you put your whole heart and soul into is going to reward you with a roller coaster of emotions. You gotta ride out those lows and the scary parts - the joys and the fun stuff will definitely win out! Keep at it :)

  3. Thank you so much for the encouragement, ladies! I appreciate it more than you know!! :0)

    Have a great week!

  4. You DO! Here's the thing...writing is like working out. You have to tear the muscle down for it to grow back stronger. That's what these critiques do, I think. We all have doubts sometimes, but you have the voice and talent so you HAVE to keep going.

  5. Kristi! You know I'm gonna be really pissed if you just up and quit! It's okay to be upset by a critique (even the good ones) for a little bit. You can even wallow if you want, but you must square your shoulders and jump back into the game. You can do it. It's okay to discover what's wrong with your book. I just wrote about that on my blog and I might have had a moment of, oh no, she didn't love it and think it's perfect, which, hello, I wasn't expecting, but that thought still seems to rise to the surface. You should head over to He's doing a whole series on goals and motivation. I think you would like it.

  6. Stephanie: That is a good analogy! Thank you so much.

    Angelia: Thank always you have such wise advice and a great way of making me feel needed in the world of writing. ;) I'll definitely check out the website, thank you!

  7. Hang in there, girl. I know where you are! The writers that stick with it are the ones who succeed. You ARE a writer. Your blog is proof of that! Your voice is special and God has a plan. Don't you dare throw in the towel. It's three steps forward, two steps back. The longer you're in it, the more you learn. I can't wait to meet ya in February!

  8. Kristi, I know how you feel! I've been stuck for like three weeks now in the middle of my WIP:( Can't figure out where to go next, which has made me question why I'm even trying to write in the first place. But I'm trying. Have faith...we're in the best company of writers out there, so we can do it!

  9. This writing journey has so many ups and downs! I've had critiques that totally frustrated me, but I've still managed to find some value in every critique I've received. Good luck!


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