Last year I promised myself that I would get published. I didn’t specify as to what or even how I would reach this goal, but I did, in fact, get published. Being unclear, this endeavor didn’t pan out as much as I had hoped. I published, and received payment for some articles through Associated Content. It wasn’t the big payoff I wanted, nor did the experience lead to ‘making it big’ but I found publishing articles to the public, receiving feedback, and moving forward helped boost my fragile ego as a writer.
I also finished the National Novel Writing Contest of 2007, all 50,000 words of it. Considering less than half (less than a third, in fact) of participant complete their goals places me in a select few. At least, I’d like to think so. The experience showed me I can write with a deadline, I can stick with one thing at a time, and I can crank out 1700 words a day if need be. The NaNoWriMo also revealed to me that forcing myself to write when I’m not even remotely inspired also cranks out garbage, but the words are there, waiting to be edited and formed into something akin to prose.
I completed a 150,000 fanfiction in the Elderscrolls world. This started as writing practice and touched on appealing to readers. Mind you, I had no idea at the time the piece was 150,000 so that in itself was an accomplish for me. I also received some great feedback and a number of requests to work on more stories. The first chapter also started as a short story, and somehow transformed into the 150,000 word story. And yes, a number of other stories soon followed.
Unfortunately, fanfiction cannot be published. It wasn’t a loss to me, but another lesson in improving writing, and finding differences of the types of writing out there. The difference, I found, between fanfiction and writing in the hopes of getting published, consists of enjoyment versus stress, writing for fun versus writing for ‘work’. Hoping to get published leaves one worrying about grammar, spelling, character realism, and all the nuances that have to be perfected should you submit to an agent. Feedback between the two also tends to reflect quality.
I also started a writer’s group, which has helped me tremendously on my quest towards publication. The members share their own writing, swapping critique, experiences, and dreams of becoming a published writer. Some are content enough to hone their craft for the time being.
Often they say the meetings provide them inspiration as well as information to improve their technique. I’m glad for this, for their enthusiasm and feedback is vital to my own writing as well.
I want to be able to write more for Associated Content, but to also publish for ‘real’ (offline) periodicals, as well as publish a book. In order to do this, I need to write, get it done, edit, rewrite, and send. No more excuses.
I recognize I’m my biggest obstacle right now, and will need to persevere beyond that and take up the mantle of ‘author’, not ‘would-be’ author. No more excuses.
http://www.frootbat31.netfirms.com is also my personal sites with links to fiction work I’ve done.