My Writing/Editing Status
I started with this crazy wedding story idea back in April, during my writing class. Okay, in truth, it started more than five years ago when I was mailed an invite by Wedding Day Diamonds and Glamour Magazine. Why I got the invite, I will never know. Everyone was left scratching their heads at that one, but now I know it's part of something bigger. Anyway, I was invited to bring a couple girlfriends to try on rings and drink wine and champagne at the jewelry store. Cool, right? Ummm, yeah! So I went with my girls, Kimbra and Angela. We tried on some fabulous rocks. A nice guy behind the counter started a ring "wish list" for me.
"Oh, yes, my boyfriend will love this ring," I said, flashing off the rock, knowing very well there was no boyfriend. I was as single as they come.
Then, off to the side, was a drawing: "Win a Ring."
I'll just throw my name on a piece of paper and see what happens. Like I'll win.
I won a beautiful wedding ring. And I didn't have a fiance to show for it. Did I look stupid standing up in front of everyone, hugging people like I was their BFF? I'm sure. But I didn't care.
Was God watching down on me that night...? Of course he's not about material things, but was the concept all part of a greater plan? I mean, of course I had yet to fall in love before I'd ever think of writing a romance novel...
But...back to the story idea... I remember sending off my idea to a couple of my closest girlfriends. They liked it. My class thought it was clever, and I decided...maybe I'm on to something here. Maybe I was supposed to win that ring a few years back so I could share the experience but also tie in a lot of modern technology and trends.
Since then, the storyline grows and has developed into this really cool manuscript I'm proud of. I'm close - really close - to being done, as in fifty pages and THE END will be staring me in the face (again). I'm so close, as in, Karl (my husband) gets a full copy to review and maybe my friend Luke (if he's not too busy promoting his movie).
The whole process is a crazy story in itself...I sign up for a fiction writing class because writing a book was and is a dream of mine. I get a wild idea to write about a gal who wants a wedding so bad she puts her name in a drawing and wins a $75k dream wedding...without a boyfriend. She has eight weeks to find Mr. Right or the wedding is no longer an option. Is it possible? You tell me:).
Meanwhile, as I'm learning how to outline an entire ms, and writing a synopsis, drafting chapters, I come across five other hopeful women fiction writers, looking for 'critiquers'. I send my work to them...I get feedback and pages back slaughtered in red...and then I get frustrated. Real frustrated. Maybe I wasn't cut out to be a writer. Boo hiss.
Then Luke says, "Nothing of value comes easy, Christie." OK, so maybe he's right. The ring came easy...but I value writing and relationships so much more!! They mean something deeper.
I flip open my laptop and read every single critique with an open mind and learn. I develop a website. I start blogging for Star Tribune. More hopeful writers start finding me, asking me questions, offering up advice. A male writer (word to ya, Lyle) starts reviewing my stuff (and is actually okay with it!). I back out of fun plans, sacrifice working out and cooking my infamous healthy dinners (sorry Karl). I put my nose to my laptop and write/edit/revise/whine. I learn. I grow. And I read. Oh, boy...do I read: blogs, books, magazines, anything I can get my hands on.
Before I know it, I have a completed ms staring at me. But I'm not jumping around. I'm a little excited, but knowing it's not my best work dims any celebratory dance.
Finishing the ms was just the beginning. I wanted to throw up at the thought of picking apart 340 plus pages word by word, but realized the more time I gave 'nurturing' it, the story grew better...and better...and same with my confidence in writing.
Then one day I sort of "got" it. The light went off, and the joy of writing was back! It's all I want to do, and I take off work from my "real" job to write. Screw relaxing...that's what writing IS for me - a wonderful, exciting place. I couldn't be happier.
Soooo...Sunday it is - the day - where I get to see 'the end' (no pun intended). And will have a piece I'm proud to hand off to Karl to read. It may not be perfect. There will always be changes, but this time I'll soooo be dancing! Watch out world!
Duty makes us do things well, but love makes us do them beautifully
- Phillips Brooks