Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Road Trip Wednesday: Your Writing Journey

It's time for another Road Trip Wednesday, a blog carnival hosted by the lovely ladies of YA Highway.
This week's question:

We've reached the 100th mile marker. How has your writing journey gone so far?

I touched on this a little in yesterday's post. It's been almost three years now since I first sat down to try to write a novel. It has NOT been three straight years of writing. I didn't take it very seriously at first, and it's only been in the past year and a half or so that I have been really serious about making this A Thing. 

Since then I have...

Tossed this whole project out the door twice and started over again. I've also written countless drafts, and completely shelved it once, only to pull it back off the shelf less than a month later for an *urgent* finish that I am still *urgently* working on six months later

Attended two local SCBWI retreats, two national SCBWI conferences, and one Big Sur Writing Workshop. I've also taken two semesters of a novel writing workshop at my local community college

Applied to, and then been rejected from, an MFA program

Started a book review blog, helped grow that book review blog into something big and fun and awesome, and then closed down that book review blog in favor of this blog, which is slowly growing into something else big and fun and awesome

Made some amazing writing friends...the fabulous ladies of my writing group as well as all of the people I have met through SCBWI and blogging

Realized I am most definitely a plotter and an outliner, and not at all a pantser

and the most important thing...

I have done something that many people always talk about but few ever do. I started a novel and I wrote a novel and I finished a novel*. I'm really, really proud of myself. Regardless of what ever happens with it, if I get an agent or sell it or don't get an agent or don't sell it or never write another word again, I have done this really, really awesome thing. 

How has your writing journey gone?

*It's in its final stages of revision right now. It's not DONE done, but it's done for the most part. It can just be done a little better.


  1. Such a beautiful way of looking at it. I think it is easy to lose track of the progress on this journey, you know. Hugs!

  2. Love reading other's journey! And YES to the "wrote a novel"-->be VERY proud of that!

    I'm participating in this Road Trip Wednesday too! I LOVE milestones and round numbers :)

    Happy Writing/Revisioning! ^_^

  3. You're absolutely right: finishing a novel is something many talk about, some even start, but few see through to the end. I wish you all the best with the revisions, and I hope you find an agent that loves your work as much as you do!

  4. I love reading about what you realized about yourself as a writer--that seems much more important than some of the more typical "achievements," such as getting published. (Which we all want, too!)

  5. "I have done something that many people always talk about but few ever do. I started a novel and I wrote a novel and I finished a novel." AMEN! I always remind myself, whenever I feel like I'm not headed in the right direction, that I've done that. Finishing a novel is a huge accomplishment and probably what I'm most proud of.
    Thanks for sharing!

  6. I totally agree with Rebecca. When I think about finishing a book and getting it ready to query, I have to make myself sit back and think, "WOW. You actually did it, you wrote an entire book." It's an amazing achievement for all of us!

    And you've learned and done some really, really important stuff in the last few years! Congrats on every one of those things :)

  7. Yay for plotters and outliners (I'm not a pantser either)! Can't wait for that feeling of accomplishment at finishing my WIP. Congrats on yours! Thanks for sharing :)

  8. Love your blog's design! Good luck putting the final touches on your novel :)

  9. Thanks for sharing your 100th mile with us. You can do it! :)

  10. I'm not a pantser either. I plot until OCD kicks in.

  11. Yay, outliners FTW!

    And writing a book is so much harder than people think--you're right, we should all be so proud of having accomplished such an enormous feat.

  12. "The most important thing...I have done something that many people always talk about but few ever do."

    YES! It's so important to keep that in mind, though it's easy to lose track of. Great post!

  13. I have done something that many people always talk about but few ever do.

    Amen. When I get frustrated during query time, I remind myself of that too.

  14. This is really great to read--as is evident in my RTW post, I'm really not making the room for writing that I could be. At this particular moment, my WIP is not my top priority. But it is A priority--unlike other ideas I've jotted down and stopped and started, this one is something that hangs out in my head a lot, and I'm going to try to take baby steps so that maybe in two or three years, I'll be able to write a post more like yours. Thanks for the inspiration and reassurance!

  15. I'm jumping on the Rebecca/Sarah/Tracey bandwagon... just writing a complete novel is a huge accomplishment, and something not many have done. We ALL deserve pats on the back (or cold beers!) for that. I can't wait to see where your journey takes you, Jess. I have complete faith that you will find success, and I can't wait to hear about all of it!

  16. On the same bandwagon - congratulations! Best of luck as you continue on your journey.

  17. All of these accomplishments are something to be proud of. You WROTE A NOVEL! That's huge. Thanks for sharing your journey with us :)

  18. Thank you! I think we ALL need this reminder now and again. For most of us, it's a reaallly long road to publication, and if that's the only benchmark we use all we'll ever see is failure. Every page written is part of the journey and every page written is something to celebrate. As for finishing a whole book? That's worth a huge party! Congrats :)

  19. I love how you wrote how proud of yourself you are. That's such a great reminder- that no matter what, I've written a book and that's a pretty awesome thing :)

    The Warm Fuzzies Blogfest is coming up. I'm hoping I'll see you there!