October 12, 2011

The Chains That Bind You

Writing is a solitary job. We sit alone and craft our stories and sometimes the only people we talk to are those in our heads. I’m good at talking to the people in my head. They generally don’t hurt me in the way real people have. But to be a writer you also have to open yourself up to the outside world or you have no solution when the people in your head want an answer to a problem they’re facing. So I did something drastic (for me). I joined RWA and found a local chapter where I could meet other writers.

The first time I walked into an MCRW meeting I was terrified. I’m not a social person so joining any group would have given me a nervous breakdown. But I knew that if I really wanted to get serious about my writing I needed to study the craft and find out how other writers worked. And I had to find a way to make sure the chains I had placed around my own shoulders were broken.

That first meeting taught me that my heart still beat when it was in my throat. I was welcomed as if I were already a part of the group and I’ve learned more than I thought possible from this awesome group of women. The first link fell away

Over the past three years I’ve attended almost every meeting and workshop and I volunteered last year as editor of Love Notes. I even made myself go to a retreat and play Little Red Riding Hood for “mystery night”. These things were a big deal for me because I’m not a joiner. I’m a sit-on-the-sidelines-and-pretend-to-cheer kind of girl. But I made myself step up and I’ve had a wonderful time. Now I know that I don’t have to pretend to cheer. I can shake my pom poms like anyone else. Another link broken..

But joining isn’t the only step I’ve taken. I also write. Not every day, but I do write. And I’ve finally done something I never would have done if not for joining this group. I finished my very first first draft. It’s taken three long years of rattling my chains but I did it. I think that one broke away at least two links. And layering in all the things I didn’t know I needed when I started the draft might just get me two or three more links.

Since I started this journey I’ve slowly lightened the load that held me back. I’m still sawing the links and sometimes a blade dulls and I have to stop and hone the edges. But because I took that first step I know that I can break free. And I intend to keep cutting away until I’ve done just that.

If you’re struggling to break your own chains, don’t let the fear of the unknown stop you. Pick up a saw and start cutting. Take that first step. You’ll be glad you did.

October 10, 2011


The two sweetest words in the English language & I just typed them. And I'm so stinking excited about it I could pop!


I finished the first draft of my very first manuscript. Oh, I've written little stories just for me and I've written poems for years, but there's something about finishing a first draft on a novel that is just pure bliss.

It's mostly dialogue so I need to go back & layer in Setting/Description, expand on the conflict and add more Action. And I didn't write in a love scene because that will take some planning. But at least now I have something to work with & I'm not writing blind.

And I know there's tons of work still to be done. I'm sure I'll write a fourth or even fifth draft before I call it completely finished, but for now I'm in heaven.


October 05, 2011

I Lost It

I had it, I loved it, and I lost it.

I wrote the most perfect story, finished it, sold it, the whole works. In a dream I had last night. And now the perfect story is gone. I can't remember for the life of me what it was about. Usually when I have a dream like this I get up the next morning, rush to my pen & paper and write down everything I remember.

But not this time.

This time it's gone. And I can't seem to get it back. It's driving me nuts. I really loved that story. I was so proud of that story. And now I've lost it.

Guess it's time to move on to another story. Perhaps I'll find one in my waking life that will be just as wonderful. One can dream, right?