Writing Conundrum

It seems fitting that my blog should usher out the old and welcome the new. 

Not only was yesterday the last day of the month, but it was the last day of my favorite month.  Alas, midnight saw the end of  NaNoWriMo.  For those just joining me, that is the 30 days when writers of all ilks try their hand at penning a 50,000word novel. 

This morning I sat at the counter with my steaming mug of vanilla hazlenut and grinned like a coffee addict in Starbucks.  I had accomplished two great things: finishing my novel–complete with the words “the end”–and surpassing the the 50k word minimum.  At night’s end, I clocked in at just over 60,000words. 

Dear Hubby provided the appropriate praise, then asked, “So now what are you going to do with your time?”

Out with the old, in with the new.

In terms of writing, I will go back to the manuscripts I have edited to a thin inch.  They have sat in their dark manila envelopes waiting for the moment to wow me again.  After the rush of NaNo, I should be able to look at them with a fresh perspective. 

In terms of my life, I shall work on giving my house a much-needed facelift.  My NaNoBuddies laugh at me because my closets are always in need of a good reorganization.  We have confirmation coming up in a few months and I shall be prepared.  Okay, I might be lying about that, as I seem to thrive on procrastination and last-minute deadlines, but a girl can always dream…

Professionally, I have some tough choices to make.  Lately the discussion around the house has been, “So, what does a writer make?”  “So, what types of things can you do as a writer?”

Juvenile fiction will be my reigning triumph as a writer.  However, there is still a solid market out there for freelance writing.  Columns, articles, projects, etc….  If one is hungry enough. 

I’m beginning to feel the pangs. 

I love writing.  All kinds of writing.  So why do I have such a narrow focus on reaching my goals?  Does freelancing diminish my dreams of writing juvenile fiction, or will it enhance them?  The question definitely deserves serious consideration.

In a recent article I read by an editor, but didn’t retain pertinent info in my gray matter for a proper quote, said something like this: don’t dismiss outside markets as a way to break in. 

In the world of technology our words can be found everywhere.  Blogs, comments, chats, tweets, ezines, websites….  The list is endless.  The opportunities are limitless. 

I am thrilled to have finished another manuscript–my first totally completed, very rough draft of a Young Adult novel.   It can join the stable of manuscripts in various stages of polishing while I work on my game plan. 

From now on, my literary year shall begin on December 1st.  Finishing a major writing project seems like the perfect time to start anew.


13 responses to “Writing Conundrum

  1. I understand. Sometimes, it would be nice to make a little money now with writing. Sometimes it kind of stresses me out, to be honest.

    • Jean, me too.

      It’s such a hard business regarding finances and family. The reward comes looooooong after the work.

      Even if we would get repped today and contracted tomorrow with no revisions, we are still looking at anywhere between 9 and 36 months before the book hits the shelves. Depending on publisher, type of book, etc… And that doesn’t count the year it took to polish it and the seventeen months of submission.

      The grim reality makes it hard to “decide” to write full time or work at the laundry mat shelling out quarters in the mean time. LOL. But since we’re still in the game, it means we have something going for us. Whether it’s perseverence, talent or outright stupidity.

      That said, I’m optomistic about our AQ’ers and their chances at breaking in. There is raw talent there.

  2. Hi Cat! I found your blog. Just wanted to say congrats on finishing your first YA novel and starting a new blog and a new writerly year. Sounds like a great idea.

    Your question about whether or not other types of writing would help you in your novel writing is an interesting one. From my perspective, I think I never had more creative fiction-writing juices flowing than when I was in the thick of writing a dry political science dissertation – and if those aren’t two completely different types of writing, I don’t know what are. I think the “break” from one that you get by immersing yourself in the other for a time really helps with both. If that made sense.

    Anyway, my 2 cents. Good luck and see you around!

    • It makes perfect sense, Joanie.

      I love my contract work because I get the opportunity to write with the wrong side of my brain. It’s a nice break sometimes and, like you said, can get the creative juices flowing in a different way.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and congrats on your NaNo win. You rock my socks off. We still have to get together sometime. It’s ridiculous with us being so close…

      • Yeah, this NaNo win feels better even than the other one. I think i worked harder, LOL! And I’d love to get together – maybe at some writing function sometime….

      • Glad this win feels better. Mine does to. For the first time, I think I walked away from NaNo with a manuscript that can truly go somewhere. If I get those plot holes filled in…

  3. jmartinlibrarian

    A YA book? Awesome. Congrats on finishing a first draft! Hope I get to read it someday. Keep on truckin…

    • Jenny, it is my first complete YA. I have two others in the works–one mostly finished and another about 1/3 done–but there is something about writing “the end” that felt really good this time around.

      Keep your eyes open on AQ, as I will be posting from it in the first mentions now that it’s done.

  4. Cate – how did I miss the blog eating episode??? Sorry I’ve missed so much the last few weeks 😦

    Great post. I wish I had more time because the other forms of writing would be fun to try. Some of them require far too much research time & I just don’t have it.

    Congrats on the nano win 🙂 Feels good!

    • Jemi,

      Don’t worry about it–I missed it too! About two weeks ago, my blog disappeared. Actually, the whole server did, so I had to start over. Obviously I waited until NaNo was over to get going again.

      Sending my congrats back at you. You rocked the house, too. How did the steampunky novel turn out? Was it as hard to write as you thought it would be, or was there enough creative license because of the genre that made it easier? I am so interested in steampunk as a whole, but virtually know nothing about it except what Calista has shared with us.

      On that end, short stories are also another form of writing and since the market is booming in that area, you might be good to go if you ever found a spare moment!

  5. Hooray for the NaNo win! And I hear you on that conundrum; it is one I am facing right now too.

  6. Nice job.

    Glad you’re back online.

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