The Chronicles Of A Children’s Book Writer was always about going to be a combination of my reading and my writing life. Aside from blogging, I hadn’t really kept my word. But, I feel this year is going to be different.
I met with a friend last month and he suggested we start a writers group- just the two of us. The idea appealed to me because I needed some accountability- I would just keep making excuses as to why I wasn’t writing!- and that there would be no pressure having to worry about having to prove myself to others. So, we decided we’ll send each other a short story (or a chapter) in three weeks and meet up to discuss it a week later.
(If you haven’t done anything for awhile, you begin to doubt yourself. This happened to me even with bookselling. Working primarily online for three years, I didn’t think I’d be able to have successful interactions with people face to face. But, being a bookseller has been so rewarding and I feel like I found my spark again!)
I was even nervous just setting down to write one night. I was afraid of the blank pages that stared before me. But the writing process is as wonderful as it mysterious.
I had a story idea I was carrying around me for awhile. It was going to be a children’s picture book. I even had a rough outline of what was going to happen. But when I actually started writing down the scenes, I was surprised at the directions it was heading into. Things happened I didn’t expect. Characters introduced themselves I didn’t realize I was going to meet. The picture book became a short story instead. After two hours of dedicated writing, I had a draft of a finished story- at least, one with a beginning, middle, and end.
While I’m still not ready to share the story (yet- or ever), it was just something I needed to write. One of my problems had always been my inability to see things through. I would get hang up on some detail. Or, I would start to question everything very early on and just give up. It felt good to have been able to send something.
The next obstacle was going to be the feedback. Would my friend just hate it and suggest I consider being a barista instead- something other than being a writer? Would he not want to hurt my feelings and just say nice things even if they weren’t true?
We met earlier today and we’re still friends so that’s good! All kidding aside, he provided some real constructive criticism. I’m excited to incorporate his suggestions into my revision. (The fact that I have something to revise is awesome!) I’m also looking forward to work on a new story!