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.

20181104_20413278913964.jpg

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.

 

 

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

Image

You Make Motherhood Look So Easy!

Is motherhood as scary as it sounds?

For the past couple of weeks, since giving birth to my second baby, I’ve gotten comments such as, “You Make Motherhood Look So Easy!”

My first thought was, “What the heck does that even mean?”

I received this comment from a mom and from a friend who doesn’t have children yet.

I was so confused, so I asked my husband if I should be offended or flattered.Then I decided to ask for clarification from one of the persons who told me this—the one without children yet.  She further explained that as someone without kids yet, I made motherhood look like it wasn’t so bad and as scary as it sounds. I made it look easy. Maybe she could do it too after all. You know? Be a young mom and have a life too.

Then it hit me. Many women simply do not have kids yet because they are afraid of:

1) losing their freedom. 2) losing themselves along the way. 3) not having a life.

Often times, without realizing it, moms do scare women who don’t have any kids yet. All they hear when we talk about our children is all the scary stories about breastfeeding and crying babies or how toddlers will make you want to pull your hair out.

It is true that motherhood is not easy, but at the same time, it is the most rewarding journey any women can experience.  You will cry, laugh, possibly get depressed, but most importantly, your heart will explode—with love you never knew you could feel.

Spaces (1)Do I make motherhood look easy? No. I simply share my daily life as a mother and a writer.

Why should I give up my dream and passion for writing because I’m a mother?

p1040819.jpg

The key is, don’t lose yourself because you had a baby. Instead, let motherhood bring out the best in you and bring out new interests you never even knew existed.

For example, before motherhood, I did write, but it was mostly fiction. But now that I am a mother, I have developed new interests and topics in writing, and more opportunities within the writing realm has presented itself that I didn’t have before I became a mother. I made the decision to not use my children or motherhood as an excuse for not following my dream. I want to be an example for my children so that when they grow up, they too will follow their dreams and live a life with passion. No matter what. Is it easy? Absolutely not!

Some days I don’t write. Actually, not some, but more like several days go by without me even typing a single word. And that’s life—that’s motherhood.

So whatever field you’re in, don’t let motherhood scare you from being successful. If it’s painting, paint on. If it’s music, sing on. If it’s writing, write on.

Continue to grow as an artist and let the journey of motherhood be your inspiration. Embrace motherhood and its challenges and allow them to strengthen you, mamas!

 

 

Write Your Life Away!

Before you close your eyes tonight, write whatever is on your mind. Write whatever you’re feeling. Let it all out and watch yourself feel relieved. That’s what writing does to me, it relieves me. Look at writing as your friend–one who always listens. And as you type your life away, always remember the gift of writing within you. Use it, don’t waste it!

Happy Writing!