Sunday, March 01, 2015

I am writing, really.

Sorry for being gone so long but I have actually been writing just not here...blah blah blah.

I am writing. Really. I'm nearly half-way finished with a novel. A book for kids. A book for my kid, to be specific. I'm being selfish and writing a book for her, one that I think she and her friends would enjoy. I have the whole thing mapped out in my head, but I'll be damned if it takes f*cking forever to get the words down on the page. Writing, it turns out, is hard.

I've been hanging out on different writing sites and following writing pages on Facebook and the tweets of favorite authors and cool trends like #mswl which agents use to share what they're looking for right now. That one blew me away, because I started writing this book while simultaneously wondering if anyone would at all be interested in it. And it turns out that there are least a dozen agents who are looking for exactly what I am writing. Huh. So, in their words, I am writing this: a middle grade novel with a strong female protagonist who excels in a STEM field. Boom. Also, my book has the President of the United States, and she's a GIRL.

I won't say any more about it because it might actually suck and no one would ever pick it up and it will languish in a computer file until I die and someone (probably my kid) finally clears my Dropbox account and then it will go into oblivion.

But at least I am writing something.

Anyway, before I started writing the book I was hanging out on the writing sites and pages and Twitter feeds and reading about how important it is for a writer to have a community because writing is hard (see above) and lonely. When I'm writing, it's just me and the blank page. I can't have anyone around because it's too distracting. Which, you know, makes it hard for a working mother and wife and daughter and etc. to find time to actually write. Which is another common complaint among writers.

I'm also reading a variety of books about writing. They are insightful and encouraging and give good tips to motivate yourself to write. Because sometimes, even though you long for quiet time to write, when that quiet time presents itself the last thing you want to do is want to nap. Anyway, all of these books have paragraphs, some even whole chapters, on how to overcome opposition from loved ones and friends to your writing.

I am baffled by this. It appears that many, many writers have to deal with people who don't want them to write. I am fortunate in that I have not experienced this in the slightest. In fact, my experience has been nothing short of wonderful. My husband and my daughter both encourage me to write. (We did have a little scuffle regarding interruptions that involved my asking - nay, demanding - to convert M's storage shed into a cute little writer's shed and him saying where will I go with all my stuff and me saying you have plenty of room elsewhere and you're giving up Christmas anyway so sell everything and put in a hardwood floor and insulation and curtains and a desk and a comfy chair and him saying but we built you an office why can't you write in there and me saying because you two find me in there and ask me where are your keys and shoes and Chapstick and sunglasses and Hootie and dinner and the like and I can't write when that is happening and he said okay we'll just not interrupt you when you're in your office and they haven't and so I no longer demand a writing shed even though it'd be really cool to have.)

My parents (all six of them) said things like "How wonderful!" and "You deserve it!" and "I'm not surprised; you've always been a good writer!" when I won the St. Louis Writers Guild short story contest. They call came to my reading, too, so I had my own little fan club and virtually tripled the attendance just by having them there.

And my friends. I have no earthly idea how I amassed such an amazing group of people around me. I'm not paying them, really. Well, not overtly. I did give some of them homemade peanut brittle around the holidays. Two of my friends send me text messages that tell me how awesome I am on a regular basis, and they include enough f-bombs to make even me blush. My Colorado girls surprised me on the second night of our girls weekend with a champagne toast, celebrating my first literary win. I was moved to tears, and laughter upon discovering that one of them lost the wire cage that tops the cork in the toilet of the bathroom where she was trying to open the bottle secretly so they could be all "CHEERS!" before I even knew what was happening. One of the moms in Zoe's class has insisted on arranging a little happy hour with our closest friends to celebrate the short story contest, in between gushing about how incredible she thinks it is that I am a writer and that I've been recognized and that we're just like the girls in Sex and the City and when I sell my book and they make a movie about it she's going to California with me to meet with Matthew McConaughy.

So this writing thing...yeah. I'm totally loving it. It's hard, hard work, but it makes me so happy.

Also, I cut off all my hair this weekend. This makes me so happy, too. Less time styling my hair = more time writing.


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