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Wednesday, July 4, 2018

All I've Got- IWSG July 2018


It's IWSG Day.  The goal of this blog hop is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds. IWSG is the brainchild of Alex Cavanaugh, our brilliant ninja leader. Co-Hosts: Nicki Elson, Juneta Key, Tamara Narayan, and Patricia Lynne! To read posts from other IWSG members, click here. 

This month, the OPTIONAL IWSG Day question is: 

What are your ultimate writing goals, and how have they changed over time (if at all)? 

I feel like I’ve written this post before, but here goes. My ultimate goal is to publish my novels via a traditional publishing process. 

Eight or nine years ago, The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron changed my life. Recently unemployed, I’d determined that writing HAD to be a part of my new incarnation but wasn’t sure how that requirement would take shape. I’d blogged like mad for a while and my essays here on Middle Passages helped me to shape my writing and find my voice. Then I freelanced, writing magazine articles (fun) and resumes (a skill learned during my former employment and not so fun) until I began to wonder what was next. Perhaps like many folks, I thought (naively), it would be “neat” or “cool” to write a book, not actually thinking I could, until an acquaintance suggested I complete The Artist’s Way course. Essentially, the daily and weekly exercises therein help participants eliminate real or imagined barriers that stifle creativity. In other words, The Artist’s Way dared me to try.

I met that challenge by managing to complete one rough novel and one I will call “better,” after which I amplified my goal to improve my writing and complete a publishable novel. The jury is out on that folks, as I query my third novel and approach the point on a fourth where I'll share it with critical readers.

This much I know now. Writing the best book I can, one that will attract an agent, one that will sell, is so much more than “neat” or “cool,” that it’s hard to put it into words. The process is as energizing and enriching as it is grueling. Sometimes words like daunting and discouraging and even soul-sucking apply. At the same time, I’m as much in love with my stories as I am sick to death of them. They’re my babies. My loves. They’ve given me almost as much joy and angst as my flesh and blood child. And yet, while I’ll be forever proud at what I’ve accomplished to date, my current road is such a tough one, I wonder I’ll ever achieve publication.
But if we’re open to them, there are messages in the universe to encourage us to carry on. Today, I read the following:

You have three choices in life. Give up. Give in, or, give it all you've got. 

Lord help me, I’m pretty sure there’s only one choice there.

What has it taken for you to meet your writing goals? 

Wishing all my American readers a Happy Independence Day!