Why I started this blog.
A couple of years ago, while I was working on my memoir/MFA thesis, I decided to share my writing process with all of you in a series of video and written blogs. I successfully defended my memoir/thesis in May 2018, won an award for “Best Manuscript” at the Atlanta Writers Conference the same month for it, and then decided to put it away for a few years.
Yes, I still find myself writing essays for it, but I came to a point where I realized I needed more time and experience before finishing that memoir and trying to get it published. I just wasn’t ready. I will write more about this in my next blog… “Let it Simmer.”
What came next…
I graduated with my MFA in Writing in June 2018 and began working on my novel in August 2018. I was very excited to switch gears from memoir to novel. I now had the freedom to make up stuff. The embellishment gene runs strong in my family of storytellers. I had to give in. :)
I came up with a story based on real life experiences (“write what you know”), and sprinkled some humor, mysticism, and all types of cultural experiences to make it fun to write and, hopefully, to read. I’m not gonna talk about it now, but I will discuss more about the story and characters in a later blog post. Stay tuned.
Then, life got in the way.
I began crafting my characters and the gist of my story including a couple short drafts of the beginning chapters in August 2018. Then, in September 2018, life got in the way. This new project that I was so excited about, had to be put on hold. I went on a roller coaster ride of family issues for months. I had to put away several projects and deal with life. But, I didn’t give up.
I got off the ride (quite disoriented) in April 2019 and have been consistently chipping away at my novel ever since. Even moving to another country didn’t slow me down!
So here I am, in a brand new country, done with the research and character development phase of my book, working on putting together a solid outline before I get into writing more chapters, and I don’t feel bad that it has taken me a year and a half to get to this point. Why? Because life gets in the way sometimes and that’s okay. In fact, the more time that has passed, the clearer the story and characters have gotten in my head. I’m not in a race and I’m competing with no one but myself.
Never lost sight of my goal.
It doesn’t matter how rich or talented you are, sometimes life just stops you in your tracks and forces you to change focus. In my case, I accepted that I wasn’t going to be able to work on this exciting new venture for a few months. However, through it all, I never lost sight of my book. As soon as I pulled my life back together, I was back on it.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, it’s okay to cut yourself some slack and give yourself a break. If what you are writing is that important and inspiring, you will always find a way back to it when you are ready. You will come back and add your new, rich experiences to it and make it the best project ever.
Moving forward. What will I blog about?
Now that I am back on track, I am very excited to keep working on this novel and sharing the process (and, eventually, some of the story) with you all. I will keep updating this blog with my process: the fun parts of writing a novel and the not-so-fun parts.
I will talk about research, organization, structure, time-management, and whatever personal issues (related to writing) that come up along the way. I would also love to hear about your experiences and suggestions that could make this journey more fun and interesting for me.
Feel free to leave comments below or contact me personally through this website.
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Stay tuned for more #browngirlwrites blogs. Next blog: “Let It Simmer”
Happy Writing! :)
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Art by Loso F. Perez of Prime Vice Studios
These blogs explore my writing process and highlight my favorite writers and books.