Sunday, January 4, 2015 4:19 PM

I love writing. I really, really do. And yet, I don’t make time for it in a significant way. Why is that? Do you have things you really enjoy doing that you don’t make time for? Maybe you have an overly taxing job or family life. Maybe you have an illness that deprives you of the energy you’d need to accomplish your aspirations. I don’t have any of those excuses. Well, my job is demanding but in a positive, challenging way; I enjoy it. More so over the past year than I have for some time. And my family life is no more taxing than the average person’s. I don’t have little children at home, though I do have a daughter who just graduated college (go Natalie!) And I have parents who have health issues and occasionally require a helping hand (like today, when their care giver didn’t show up). But truly, none of that prevents me from writing. 

Sometimes I pause and think, “How does a real writer deal with this?” Then I think, “What is a real writer?” Is it someone who’s published? Or does that make you an author versus a writer? I don’t know the answers to these questions. But when I come into my writing space, light a scented candle, sip a cup of tea, and crack open the laptop, I feel like a writer.

As you know, in November I participated in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I wrote 50,100 words in 30 days. And today I signed my “revision promise”, committing to revising/editing my novel. I really look forward to it. But in some ways, it’s like a diet. I look forward to the outcome, but not necessarily to the process. Though that’s not quite right. The process of editing intrigues me. I just don’t really know how to tackle it. Thankfully, I’m not alone. Our local library is hosting a class a week Monday called, “NaNoWriMo is Over…Now What?” The description reads, “So you drafted a novel during NaNoWriMo. Now what? Contact agents and publishers? Well, maybe not quite yet. Join Dr. Juliet Kincaid, novelist and long-time teacher of writing at Johnson County Community College, for guidance through the revision process that includes revising for content and structure, getting feedback from your peers, and editing.”

I’m super excited for the class. First of all, the instructor, Dr. Juliet Kincaid taught the class at Mysteryscape that I took just before starting the project. That was a two-hour session jam-packed with practical knowledge and suggestions. It really helped me move forward. So if this follow up session has even half the amount of advice as the first one, it will be worth the time (I can’t say “worth the price” as it’s free). Special thanks to friend Cathy B who reminded me about this class. I had heard about it at the session in October but hadn’t marked my calendar. She went to an event at Mysteryscape this weekend where she heard about it, and shared with me.

So…I don’t quite know what the next step is (in novel writing). But I know that I want to find out. I want to explore. I want to write. If you’re interested in the journey, I’ll continue to post here from time to time. Among all the many things I’m grateful for (time to write if I choose it, good health, etc.). I’m very grateful for a spouse who supports my efforts (thank you Tony Maden!) Who knows what tomorrow will bring. But for now, my cuppa is empty so until next time…

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