My sign of Aries is famous for starting things and then getting distracted and leaving whatever unfinished. Looking back on the last several years of writing, I can see that for me, this is true. Distracted by teaching and wanting to establish a “real” career (the kind with a paycheck). Distracted by writing groups, reading groups, blogging, books, yoga, tarot, astrology.
I once had three blogs running at once. In addition to daily (!!) posts on A Writer’s Diary, I had a blog reviewing books I’d read (What I’m Reading) one about my health/weight loss issues (Losing It) one where I interviewed authors (Garage Band). Losing It morphed into “In the Pink” when my focus strayed from weight loss to spiritual lessons. I had a stint on a couple of other sites, doing weekly posts. That led to the BBC citizen journalist distraction.
For a long time I was seduced away from my goal of publishing novels by the quick feel-good fix of posting an entry or six on my various blog pages, by writing and publishing book reviews, articles, and interviews. I’m not exactly complaining. I learned a lot, made many friends, also some $$$. I even wrote a book for a class I still teach.
And then one day I woke up and thought, hmmmm. I’ve got seven novels in various stages of revision the closet. I need to focus on polishing and getting them out there.
My original plan was to put them all out myself, maybe PDF on my own website, or through Kindle or Lulu. Then I got distracted by sending a couple of finished novels to two editors and waiting for their replies. This was actually an excellent distraction as the editors are still, many months later, helping me shape my stories. (Turns out they weren’t as finished as I thought;-) I don’t know if either will actually buy a manuscript, but what I’m learning is priceless.
That’s kind of the way I view my life. Yes, I could probably have stuck with poetry and become a better poet or devoted myself to teaching and found full time work. But I didn’t and I’m okay with that. However, what I want to do now, at this point in my life, is put my energy into getting my novels published, one way or another, by 9/12 when AWD will be ten years old and I will put it to bed for good.
As this comes together, I’ll continue charting my course here, and in that spirit, today’s writing agenda: Get the revision proposal in shape for mailing this week.