Today’s the Day!

todaays the dayToday’s the day!

“Good lord! What’s happening today?” you may ask.

You don’t know? It’s the Great and Powerful Theme Reveal for those participating in the A to Z Challenge.

final-a-to-z-theme-revealThe A to Z Challenge  is the brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out. The challenge is to publish a post inspired by a letter of the alphabet (in alphabetical order) every day in April except Sundays. Participants can write about any topic. Your posts can be random and unrelated or you can choose a theme to blog about for the entire month.

I’ve chosen a theme. It’ll probably come as no surprise to learn what it is given the title of my blog and the fact that I already divulged it in the post Blogging from A to Z. The theme for my A to Z posts is….

Drum roll, please.

WRITING!

“Well, who are you to give advice on writing? Are you an author? Have you published anything?”

Uh no, and thanks for that reminder, by the way. No, I’m not a published author, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t learned a thing or two on this sometimes maddening roller-coaster ride to become an author. It reminds me a little of Marlin’s ride on the EAC with Dory and Crush.  Remember this?

Nemo tumblr_me36chqpyy1qeafupo1_500Yeah, that one. So which one am I? Dory? Marlin? Crush? All three, actually.

Yeah, I’ve been blissfully ignorant. Or maybe that’s ignorantly blissful?

Dori NaturalBlueWhere was I? Oh yeah. A year ago, I had just finished my first book and had queried half a dozen agents. I’m going to be a published author!

Heh. Heh. Poor thing. I was so naïve, but I didn’t know what I didn’t know, you know?

crush tumblr_l8vbhdSAc41qaaleqo1_500Six fairly quick rejections were the wake-up call I needed. I thought I had done my homework, reading about a dozen books on the craft of writing, but I realized I had so much more to learn. I didn’t have anyone else read my book, except my husband, and let’s face it, friends and family members don’t make the best critics. That’s right. No beta readers, no critique partners, no editors. I can’t believe I just admitted that, but this is the image that came to mind when I thought of letting someone else critique my book.

nemo sharksYou can stop laughing now. It’s a little embarrassing.

Yeah, I’ve been uncertain.

Of course, the thing I’m most passionate about is probably one of the most difficult things to become successful at. That’s why so many of us end up alcoholics. What are you thinking? Seriously. You want to be a writer? Have you seen the talent out there? Plus, what are the odds? And, what if they don’t like you? {GASP!}

Dory like meAnd I’ve been terrified, clutching my laptop as I go screaming down the vortex of terror.

What if I don’t make it as an author? I can’t go back to the corporate world…the crushing weight of bureaucracy, the endless meetings, the office politics, and the limitations on personal creativity…Let me stop there, before the nightmares return. This is where it’s time to say…

Dory relax

But mostly, I’ve been exhilarated.

I’ve said that writing gives me a euphoric feeling no drug could possibly replicate. It’s true. I love the process of building worlds and creating characters. I love it when a character wakes me up at night and won’t let me sleep until I write his or her scene. I love the feeling I get when I read something I’ve written and stare at it wondering where it could have originated. Has someone taken over my body? I love the many serendipitous moments that have occurred while writing my current WIP. They seem to be signs encouraging me to keep at it. Don’t give up. Never give up. You are meant to be a writer.

So grab shell, dude as we go swirling down the vortex of terror known as the writer’s journey. C’mon, I know you want to. Writers have serious thrill issues, dude.

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24 thoughts on “Today’s the Day!”

  1. Your shark picture gave me a big chuckle. Having an editor critique and edit your work should not invoke fear. As an editor, I feel my job is to point out what I see should be changed along with a reason. The author makes the final decision to change it or leave it. It shouldn’t be scary at all and it becomes a lot less intimidating if you use the same editor for multiple projects. You learn to know what to expect from each other 🙂

    1. Now that I can associate your friendly face with that of an editor, maybe it won’t be so frightening. I suppose it’s just one more reason I should’ve started blogging before writing a book 🙂

  2. Wonderful post! And I know exactly what you mean when you say you stare at your words sometimes and wonder “Where did that come from?!” It’s addictive, isn’t it?
    I could tell stories about critiques too, and it’s scary indeed, but worth it. Instead I’ll just stay tuned for the A-Z challenge, and probably after that too. 🙂

  3. As a “writer-in-the-making” which is how I refer to myself (and always will…), I think we all have something valuable to bring to the table… we can all learn from one another…
    Looking forward to your contribution Melissa!
    See you around on the A to Z circuit!
    Writer In Transit

  4. Your April posts are going to be amazing. I’m going to make sure to read every single one. I have no doubt that I’ll learn plenty from you. Good luck Melissa. Hugs. Lily

    1. Thanks for stopping by and commenting Kristin! Glad to have found you too! It seems we have more in common than just writing. I also love all things creative including interior decorating and party planning. Let me guess, your friends jokingly refer to you as Martha Stewart, right? I also owned a scrapbook store for a few years, and while I love all of that, nothing gets me as energized as writing. I’m excited to read your A to Z posts and check out the rest of your blog 🙂

  5. Oh my gosh. Can we be friends? I’ll be a shark (the nice ones – Fish are friends!). I work in corporate and feel like I am dying a painfully slow, mind numbing death. I am a paper pusher – you know what it’s like to push all of that paper and not be able to write what you want on any of it.

    I haven’t even written a novel, a short story, nada. I’ve only been blogging for less than a year, but I’ve always written. Always for as long as I can remember. And now that I want to make a go of it, I feel like it’s too late? I have too many responsibilities with family and —–> the talent. WHOO WHEE! There, I got that out. Looking forward to your posts in April (so I’m following ya!)

    Cristina

    1. Hi Cristina! I’d love to be friends! I totally get where you are right now. I’ve used almost those exact words to describe my time working in the corporate world. It’s as if you can really feel yourself dying when you’re a creative type who is so smothered by bureaucracy and everything else that comes with that environment.

      It’s never too late to start following your dreams! I’m actually planning a post on that topic (but not for A to Z) because I sometimes get that nagging voice too. It’s good to be reminded that many people accomplished their most meaningful work later in life. So go for it and don’t let doubt hold you back! It’s a far great oppressor to creativity than the environment you currently work in.

  6. I absolutely adore your theme post:) With two little girls, this fishy-film has made more than a dozen showings in our living room. I particularly love your parting line, “Writers have serious thrill issues, dude.” Yes. Yes we do. We’re creative masochists who dive head first into a sea of sharks and hope to resurface only marginally mauled. Which is why I wear a life-jacket filled with coffee and wine:)
    WriterlySam
    Resident Bartender for the A to Z Theme Reveal Party!

    1. Treading shark infested waters sounds about right. I think I could benefit from one of those caffeinated life jackets. Got a spare? 🙂 Thanks for the comment and the follow!

  7. I just read a comment in an online writers’ discussion group on how writers should not blog about writing (to which I submitted my argument against the strange opinion), and I’m with you. Painters write about painting because they love sharing their ideas. Writers should write about what they love to do, too. I’m also writing about writing for the challenge, though only about a small part of it.
    See you around the A-Z turf! 🙂
    Deb@ http://debioneille.blogspot.com

    1. That is strange. Why shouldn’t writers blog about writing? I’m curious about their arguments against it, not that it will change my mind, though. I’ll be sure to check out your posts! Good luck with A-Z and thanks for the comment and the follow!

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