Progress update!

Just wanted to share a little update on my writing progress over the last couple of weeks… or, months, I guess haha…

So, as many of you know, my short story, The Last Human, was picked up to be published by Scout Media in an anthology entitled A Journey of Words later this summer.  Yay!  This is the first time something fictional I wrote was acknowledged as being decent lol.  But it was not the first time I wrote something fictional…

I started writing when I was in high school, mostly nonfiction or opinion pieces for the school or local student newspaper.  While I always wanted to write fiction, I was never really good at it in high school, so it wasn’t anything I pursued.  I went to college, and continued to write nonfiction research papers… about 400 pages of research papers over the last five years or so?  Oddly enough, as much as I hated writing research papers while I was in school, once I finished school it was the writing I missed the most.

About a year and a half ago I decided I was going to keep writing.  But what would I write?  I had been keeping a journal of dreams I had over the years… maybe I could write something with those?  Write what you know, they say… maybe I should write something about a stay at home mom?  None of these things appealed to me at the time.  Until one day it hit me… and I started writing down notes, and characters and plot ideas.  I downloaded Scrivener and started writing… Within the first week, I had written over 12,000 words.  I finished the first 24,000 words in less than two weeks.  Every Saturday, I spent numerous hours at the local library, pounding away new scenes on my laptop.

And then we moved across country.  And doubt, and writer’s block, and a major plot hole kept me from writing.  I wrote short stories (The Last Human was one) and tried to get my flow back.  I had another idea for another novel, but really felt like I needed to finish this first novel before moving on to anything else.

After The Last Human was selected, I started thinking seriously again about writing.  “If someone likes my work enough to put it in a book, I must be at least a halfway decent writer then!” I thought.  I started devouring everything I could about the craft… I joined numerous Facebook groups that aimed to help new writers, I signed up for Camp Nanowrimo for July, I listened to Stephen King’s On Writing on Audiobook, I purchased more notebooks and pens, I borrowed and gathered grammar books, and I set a goal – I would finish this novel, even if it killed me.

I also went to WonderCon, where I got to sit in on a bunch of awesome panels that featured a bunch of awesome writers!

I should say right now that I am not a morning person, at all.  I’m actually kind of a crab in the mornings, and it takes me forever to really wake up and figure out what’s going on.  But, the early mornings are the only times I really have any motivation and time to get anything done.  Sure, I could stay up at night and work on it after the kids go to bed, but by then I’m just tired and my brain is done for the day.  So I set a schedule — up every morning between 5 and 6 to write, take care of my other things during the days while the kids are awake, and then early to bed.  I’m happy to report that my body is adjusting to the early rising very nicely, and it’s become much easier to jump out of bed (most days) when my alarm goes off.

But even more importantly, I’ve gotten a LOT of progress plugged in to my novel.  I’ve come up with a name for the series finally (The Fischer Chronicles) and I know a little bit more about what I want to include in books two and three.  I have a much better outlook than before… I’m starring down the last five or six chapters of my first novel, I’m anxiously awaiting the print copy of my first published works to be available, and I couldn’t be happier.

The “To Do” and “No Status” chapters and scenes are all I have left!! 

Am I the best writer ever?  Heck no.  But am I better than I once was?  Absolutely.  Am I the best I’ll ever be?  No.  But I’m getting better every day.

I can’t wait to announce that I’ve finished my first draft in a couple of weeks.  I can’t wait to start my next novel a couple of days after that.  I can’t wait to go through rewrites and edits and beta readers.  But mostly, I’m just happy to be writing — really writing — and I can’t wait to see what this path brings next.

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