I am Writing An Entire Novel in One Month.

It has been a very long time since I got excited about writing fiction. For a while it became like such a chore and just the thought of it made me anxious. I have had no desire  to write for more than a year now.

Then I started playing with the idea of doing National Novel Writing Month.

Am I crazy?

I had not even written a single word in forever and now I’m signing up to write an entire novel in one month?

Yes, clearly I’m nuts. But I had this story tugging at my heart, my fingers were aching to type and tell the story. So I decided, why not? I have a peaceful corner in my house that I created, dedicated for writing and reading. Might as well put it to use.

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I have had this hate and love relationship with writing the past year. I have been doubting myself and my talent, thinking that maybe I’m just not cut out to be a real “writer.” Maybe people just don’t want to tell me the truth, you know? But every time I doubt myself, someone somehow ends up encouraging me or praising me for something I wrote that they recently read.

Okay. Maybe I’m not so bad after all. I decided to go for it.

Write, Deb. You were born to tell stories!

Now that it is November 4th, how am I really doing with #nanowrimo?  It started off a bit rocky. Matter of fact, I did not start writing until day three (yesterday). I finally sat down to WRITE, and boy, did I write. It was as if all I needed was to sit down and just write. Words, characters, and ideas just came flying out. I couldn’t stop. I was excited and thinking non stop about the book and the characters. I still am.

I am writing an entire novel in one month.

no more excuses.

but really, my excuse was that I’ve been too busy reading instead. And at first, I started with a story that just wasn’t it. It felt like I was forcing it. It wasn’t the story I should write.

my heart wanted to tell a different story.

so here I am, writing.

let’s hit those 3k words. Daily.

 

 

Do You Still Write?

There are moments that I cherish with all my heart. Nap time. Quiet time. Me time. Mommy time. However you choose to call it–it’s that moment I get to be myself to write and read. Yesterday, everyone was taking a nap and it was a beautiful moment of silence. Just me, typing on my keyboard after a long, stressful week.  I like to escape in different corners of the house, and yesterday’s choice was the dining room.

I have been job hunting (again) and it has been so draining and stressful. I applied to a minimum of fifty jobs  in my field and have been getting interviews, but so far I am still hoping and praying for a job offer. Long story short, I’m done being an adjunct. I will write another blog post detailing the struggles of #AdjunctLife next time.

Back to the subject at hand, I have not been living what I preach. You know? The whole write everyday thing that I preach to my creative writing students? Guilty.

Do You Still Write?

I get this question often. And the truth is, the past few weeks have been challenging, writing/career wise, but I’m taking it one day at a time. Trying to make time for the things you love can sometimes seem impossible but every time I sit down to write, I remember why I write.  No, I do not write fiction as much, but I do enjoy journaling a lot more. Moral of the story is:

You may fall out of love with a passion because you don’t do it enough, but once you reconnect, things will fall into place.

img_20181022_205012_3902143437309.jpgSo today it’s a late night writing. Matter of fact, I started with some fiction and here I am now writing a blog post after almost two months.  I  am preparing  for National Novel Writing Month. I haven’t done this challenge in seven years, so this shall be fun! I think. Writers, who else is doing #NaNoWriMo with me?

What are you writing this year?

A Writer’s Dream

How exciting and unreal is it to see my book on a bookshelf at a bookstore!?

I go from overly excited to overly scared– fearing the what ifs about my upcoming book signing this month. But, what if no one shows up except my hubby? What if no one likes my book? What if I’m not good enough? What if…what if…what if…

I am extremely gateful for my support system for reminding me that God gave me a gift, so I need to proceed until the end, no matter what.

What would be the point of life if we never took risks?

The entire process has been quite a ride, and I’m excited to be having a book signing.

So September 23rd at 7pm will be my book signing for Chasing Freedom at Changing Hands Bookstore in Phoenix, AZ. If you’re in the valley, I hope to see you there, so we can drink coffee and chat about this amazing novel of mine!

 

Am I Not Good Enough?

Like almost every writer’s dream, I  was signed by a literary agent two years ago for not only one book, but my writing career overall. Writing is a very competitive field. Finding a literary agent to manage your writing career, and one who actually believes in you is just as difficult as people say.

Here is the story of how I Found My Literary Agent here.

As some of you may know, I have been working on a particular novel for what seems like a lifetime now. So, at first, I was so thrilled. My dream had come true. My book would be published by a major publisher in no time! (Ha).

My agent and I went through rounds of editing to get the book ready. Once we felt it was in good shape, my agent  started pitching  several editors  and publishers .  Some requested the full copy but in the end, rejections kept  coming.  I started doubting myself and my novel . After she had pitched almost everyone on her list, my book had not been sold. No book deal.

I lost hope… I had given up on publishing  this novel and started writing  something entirely different, but my character’s voice kept calling out to me. Why was I giving up ? 

I considered  self- publishing . Clearly those publishers and editors didn’t want diversity. It  was their loss. But I  had self-published a different book  in the past because I was impatient and it did not work out so well.

I truly believe that this  book would be better off in a major publishing house rather than self-publishing because of its complex, intriguing subject  matter and  ability to reach a diverse audience.  I decided to talk with my agent about my  concerns.  (If you are not aware, my novel deals with a very dark theme about a raped Congolese victim from D.R Congo who finds herself in a religious cult in Texas.)

Am I not good enough?

Sometimes it helps  when people believe in you just as much as you believe in yourself.

I  decided that my novel needed more work  and hired a professional editor who has worked in the publishing  industry. She did a magnificent job  with the development and pace of the story. I was amazed. After  starting the revising process again,  I took another long break from the novel . I was burnt out. I hated it now and just the thought of reading  it again made me sick to my stomach.  I’m talking months here.
During that time, I gave birth to a second baby, moved to a new house, went back to work full-time  and started focusing  on writing articles instead. Writing fiction was the last thing on my mind, in fact, reading  other authors was mostly what I did.

I really needed that  break.

The great thing about being a writer is that you are always re-creating yourself.

-Martin Cruz Smith

There’s something about putting a manuscript away and coming back to it months later. When I picked up the manuscript again, I found myself at awe with my ability to create. Those words. I wrote that? And to think that I was ready to give up and toss this book forever.

I finished up revising and (update) have since then decided to break my contract with my agent and look for a different one  who will be a better fit for my book and writing career!

So now, we wait again.

Words have carried me through the happiest and saddest moments of my life– in times where all I could do was pick up a pen and paper to express myself in order to empty my mind, my heart, and my soul.

So, every time I think about giving up on this novel, I remember all the countless sleepless nights, the research, the interviews, the tears, and most of all, the voices inside my head. The cries of those women wanting to be heard–wanting their story told. I’m their voice. I may go through a dozen more rounds of revising, but I won’t give in and “settle”. Because this story deserves to be told right.

When Is Your  Book Coming Out?

So to answer this question, I don’t know when my book is coming out, but my prayer is that this novel will finally  find a (publishing) home soon.  In the meantime, you can keep reading my words  on my blog and pray I get a book deal soon!

Sincerely ,

An aspiring  novelist

What makes a good writer?

Someone asked me, “What makes a good writer? ”
Answers vary,  but in my opinion:

Being a good writer is not about how many big words you use or how intelligent you may sound but it’s about creating a world for your readers. A world your readers can escape into.

As a writer,  I try to make sure that I am that type of writer. I’m also a book nerd, so I love when other writers create that world for me!

Happy Saturday!

Why Do You Write?

The thing with writing is that you must find your voice and reveal who you are.

Who are you and why are you writing?
What are you trying to tell the world?
Why should we read anything you write?
What is your purpose?
Are you writing to entertain, inspire, or simply to inform?
Are you holding back?
Don’t just write. Write with a purpose.
We want to get to know you, the real writer hiding deep within. Real writing includes one leaving his or her soul on paper. Real writers expose their real thoughts and imagination. They are not afraid. A lot of writers are afraid to reveal who they really are. They don’t want people to discover their real thoughts and imagination. They are somewhat shy and protective about it all. But that comes with writing–exposing yourself. Your thoughts become naked.
When you made the decision to become a writer, you decided to expose your imagination.
Write like you. The real you. Stop holding yourself back, and let us discover the true writer within you!