Waddup Savi Crew!
So if you’ve read the title, you already know I won Camp Nano!!! I gotta say, having done hourly count instead of word count, the achievement was a bit underwhelming, not gonna lie. Especially for the amount of work that goes into editing and revising a WIP—hours don’t quite capture the magnitude of labour involved. Lessons learnt, I guess.
But Camp Nano didn’t just test my ability to complete 40 hours in 31 days, it tested my drive for becoming a multi-genre bestselling author. I have to confess, I almost cracked. I’ve mentioned this before (more than once, I’m ashamed to admit) but not too long after Camp started, I received beta feedback on my middle grade contemporary fiction. Mind you, that wasn’t the project I was editing and revising for Camp. Nope. Because if it was, quitting as a writer would have evolved from merely an option to a permanent decision.
Once again, let me preface that I loved my beta readers’ feedback and agreed with most of it. The problem was, I didn’t know where to go from there. Although my fifth draft wasn’t perfect, I thought it would have salvageable core with a few tweaks that would let me stick to my novel publishing timeline. But the feedback wasn’t what I was expecting. While nobody said it sucked, they didn’t say it was novel gold, either.
The characters I expected them to love, fell flat. The story was too simple. And given the current times, it didn’t send the right message to teenage girls. I pondered whether I should rethink my target audience. Should I stick with Older Middle Grade or give the younger ones a shot since the story was a simple one? Did I even have what I took to make a great story?
Crippling self-doubt made its way into my mind and I was fully prepared to write my final blog post this week. I had a decent job that I loved. Who needs another middle grade story or a YA anime-inspired epic? There are a gazillion writers out there looking to write the next great story, what makes me so different? I’m sure you’ve heard some version of that either in your thoughts or from “well-meaning family and friends”. I was gonna throw in the towel.
Then I stumbled upon a video of a man name Irfan. Suffering from a rare disease, he cannot move a single body part except his right index finger. He never complains, wrote three books and is currently writing his fourth! Even spookier, he is the same age as me!
I thought, “This is a sign from God.” I cannot give up and need to press on with my writing dream. At least one person out there needs my story. While I may not be the next J.K. Rowling (nor do I profess to be—don’t come for me, internet!) it’s important that I not quit writing.
Having to deal with constructive criticism is hard. Having your draft ripped to shreds is hard. Having to start over from scratch with a new outline to basically rewrite your entire draft is hard. But it’s okay. If I want to make it as a writer, I will need thick skin and the ability to rebound fast anyway. This is a lesson in patience and perseverance.
So, in case you were following my introspection, I’ve resolved to press on. I’m revising character arcs for both my middle grade contemporary fiction and YA anime-inspired fantasy. I will balance both projects for the month of August and tweak my publishing timeline to suit.
In the meantime, I’m removing my Books tab from my website until I have a solid story, believable characters and a decent blurb. Anyways, I’m rambling again which means it’s time to sign off… Toodles for now.
And remember, no matter where you live, take a little time to enjoy the island life!