Original Post: http://ajflowers.org/blog/my-first-blog (July 16, 2015)
Wow so here it is. My first blog -ever-. I guess I’ll start with what I’ve learned this week. I have a 180,000 word novel. (And I’ll wait while everyone marvels at my ability to spit out tons of words onto the screen.) Yes, 180,000 words. You’d think I shouldn’t be surprised that I don’t get much feedback from publishers for a novel of this length for a first time author. But truthfully I was surprised. I did everything you’re supposed to do, I edited and polished and rewrote. Including chunking entire chapters that didn’t add to the story and changing the beginning to be less information garble and more ‘story’.
But even with those efforts, I’m met with crickets and chirps to the void of submissions. So where is a girl to turn? I tell myself, what you really need is feedback. So I hit the web. And I find a writer’s critique workshop that meets in person. Ok, sounds great! I go to a meeting. I’m met with a cast of wonderful characters that pass around each other works and give out pearls of wisdom. This is going to be awesome! But, they only meet twice a month. This is going to take forever!
So, again, hit the web. I find some online writing critique groups. I join critters and scribophile. I think with these new communities on my side I’m finally going to get somewhere. I’m so excited!
So what have I learned this week? It’s that even as a writer, we will have a hard time accomplishing our goals on our own. We need community, and I think that’s a missing key that I never considered. I have felt so alone in this endeavor, feeling that writing a book was just a pastime and if it was good enough it would magically get published. But it doesn’t work that way, does it? I think that goes for most things in the world. We imagine they’ll unfold in one way when in reality it’s completely different. Lesson learned!