Sunday, March 5, 2017

Obligatory Introduction Post

Why hello there, new reader. Welcome to my blog.

So I'm sure the big question is: If I'm an unpublished writer, why should you bother reading my blog?

Well, first of all:



Yes, I know that seems a bit trite, but if there's anything I've learned in the last year and a half, it's that persistence is the name of the game when it comes to being a published writer. It's been almost two years since I decided to start taking my dream of being a writer more seriously and actually investing in myself.

This meant taking creative writing classes (which I had never done before), joining various writing organizations, going to conventions and conferences, and, most dreaded of all for me and my fellow introverts...networking.

How successful have I been? Well, I'm in the middle of revisions for draft 2.5 and got tired of banging my head against the desk in frustration, so I decided to start this blog as a way to keep the writing flowing while still maintaining my sanity.

One of the things keeping me going is the idea of "potential." I love the premise of my story, and I'm having so much fun writing my protagonist that I feel the need to see this through to the end. I've entered the first few chapters in a couple of contests and have actually won: the first one was a scholarship from the Mystery Writers of America (an awesome organization that I'm part of), and the second one is a grant that I can't talk about just yet, but will definitely blog about in the future ^_~

As for networking...that's a work-in-progress. I'm definitely much better than I was a year ago, when I'd attend events and meetings with the MWA, hang around awkwardly in the hopes that someone would come talk to me, and then leave when they wouldn't. As time went on, the more outgoing members did eventually introduce themselves to me and I've met some amazing people.

As a book-lover, the fact that I have access to so many authors is kind of mind-blowing. I still get fangirlishly awkward when I get to meet an author that I love. Case in point, this amazing picture with me and Sara Paretsky at Bouchercon 2016:

I think she likes me
One of my favorite things about starting down this path is how helpful and encouraging everyone has been. Mystery writers have got to be some of the nicest and coolest people in the world. Recently, I met Libby Fischer Hellman at a Chicago Writers' Association panel and introduced myself, saying that I was pursuing a career in mystery writing and that we were both members of the MWA. She graciously offered to read the first 10 pages of my WIP, which I thought was just her being polite, but she actually sent me a ton of helpful corrections and comments. Today, she spent over 20 minutes on the phone with me going over all these points and giving me further advice for the rest of the story. Yes, her comments will lead to me re-writing almost all of the first few chapters (hence the comment about bashing my head against the desk earlier), but I can already tell I'm making them that much stronger.

Also, I've gotten to meet lots of people who are on the same path as me: passionate, unpublished writers who are fun and funny and delightfully noncompetitive; there's never been a sense of, "Well, I can't tell X about this opportunity/resource/whatever because that's just more competition for me." Not to get all sappy on you, but the people I've met have been amazingly supportive. Which, for me, is absolutely necessary in a profession that is plagued by self-doubt. These people (along with my amazing husband, who is pursuing a career in screenwriting) are what keep me going.

So why should you follow my blog? Maybe you're a writer who's just starting out, and my trials and tribulations make you feel less alone in the process. Maybe you're a writer who's already made it and can chuckle along with my efforts, remembering what it was like for you and offering some advice and encouragement to those who need it. Or maybe you just like reading about food and geek stuff, which there will be plenty of in the future.

Either way, welcome to my world ^^


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