I need to make a point about my post below. People have commented that I'm being too hard on myself. (But thank you so much for the sentiment - I appreciate each and every person who takes the time to read my blog and/or post a comment!) But there's a reason I'm hard on myself.
When my daughter was born, I made a deal with my husband. If I could have a book contract in hand before my daughter entered kindergarten, I wouldn't have to get a full-time job. I had the unbelievable blessing of being able to stay home with my daughter after I gave birth. In fact, I didn't get a full-time job until two years ago. She will turn seven this month.
So what did I do with those five years?
I procrastinated. I thought I had loads of time to get this accomplished. I worked on the same darn novel year after year. I wasn't focused. I wasn't learning much about craft. I wrote a lot of short stories and went on a lot of message boards.
Yeah, I know. I had a baby to take care of. And two stepsons. And a husband that worked on the railroad that wasn't home very much. In 2002, I went to grad school. Then I graduated and got a degree.
Wow, you might think. You didn't have time to work on your novel and get a publishing contract.
Yeah, I did.
I watched too much t.v. I ate too much. I made too many excuses. I kept saying, "Some day I'll get really serious about this." After all, I had time, right? Five years is a LONG time.
In the two years since I've taken on a full-time job and really dedicated myself to my writing craft, I've finished the first novel, submitted it, had rejections and requests for fulls and partials. I finished a second novel - IN ONE YEAR, not FIVE like the last one took! Submitted it. Had rejections and requests for partials (two of which I'm still waiting to hear on). I've drafted two entirely new novels that I can't wait to get started on. I've dived into the business aspect of writing, I've read craft books, and I quit making excuses.
So there's a reason I'm hard on myself. I've wanted to be a writer since the sixth grade. It's all I've ever wanted to do. I've wanted a book publishing contract since the tender age of 12.
That's a long time to have a dream.
and this is a big but...
All of my life experiences have shaped me into the person - into the writer - I am today. I am a firm believer in God's path for my life and I can see how He wanted me to take this journey. He probably knew that I couldn't write what I needed to write to get that book publishing contract until I went through everything He wanted me to.
Now, I feel like I'm ready. Really ready.
So procrastination cannot be a part of this writing life. Yes, I will take breaks. Yes, I will have days where I'll give into the excuses. But they must be few and far in between.
If I sound a little hard on myself, that's ok - I need to be. I need to take the reigns of control and head myself off at the path before I fall into that trap again of thinking, "Oh, I've got plenty of time." There's no more time to think like that anymore. I want to live this writing life - now - and that means dedicating myself to it. It means learning the craft. Putting in the hours. Immersing myself in my story. Living the writing life.
I've got a new home on the web - stop by if you get a chance! www.melissamarsh.net
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