Saturday, February 9, 2013

How Did I Get Here?

Hello, fabulous Operation Awesome readers! This is my first post on the blog and to introduce myself, I thought I’d tell you a little bit about where I am in my writerly journey.

You probably remember this bit of truth from my Mystery Blogger introduction: My AP English teacher from my junior year in high school made me HATE writing. And though I’ve journaled my whole life, I didn’t discover that I actually enjoy writing fiction until four years ago.

In her defense, she was a great teacher and her motivation behind making me rewrite and rewrite and rewrite my papers was to help me improve. The real problem was that my motivation to do anything school related was turning to vapor at that point. I’d taken on too many AP classes, plus I was in the marching band (I know I’m cool. Don’t be jealous.) and I had a part-time job. So really, I was just burnt out—something I still manage to do to myself on a regular basis.

Fast forward to September 2008 when I read a very popular sparkly book and its sequels—which I enjoyed—and within a week I had decided that if that could get published, I would have no problem writing something publishable. Bring on the fame and fortune.

Hey, stop laughing.

Seriously though, sometimes I wish I could go back to that delusional stage, at least for my first drafts. Just getting words on paper was so much easier then. I wrote the first draft of my first novel in about six months and found I loved doing it. Even crazier was when I realized I love revising and rewriting and how shiny it makes everything. Hmm... Could that be because of a certain high school English teacher? ;)

So after feasting on writing blogs and books for the last few years, I’m finally starting to feel like I might know what I’m doing. And maybe someday that will lead to an agent and that ever elusive dream of publication. In the meantime, I’m happy to be where I am, and I’m happy to be part of Operation Awesome so I can share everything I’ve learned with all of you. :)

What about you? Where are you in your writerly journey? How did you get to where you are? 


Katrina L. Lantz said...

Welcome, Abby!!

Isn't it funny how our high school training impacts our later careers and attitudes? I still remember the year I mastered the five-paragraph AP essay. I knew the rules, and could execute them in under 45 minutes. But I also write poetry, so I figured I'd be able to write a full-length novel and make it both efficient and beautiful. Ha! The problem with trying to learn all the rules of literature is that so often the most successful/popular literature breaks one or more of those 'rules.' It's just not an easy crossover from writing-to-format to writing a living, breathing story in 50,000 words. I'm still working it out.

I loved that sparkly series, too. ;)Imagine how many writers of our generation J.K. Rowling and Stephenie Meyer inspired with their stories.

Angelica R. Jackson said...

Hi Abby--so great to get to know you better through your post!

I've just finished my second book and feel like I've learned so much in the process. But just like our projects are never quite truly finished (that polishing/rewriting is strangely addictive), neither is my learning process. I'm always dissecting some perfect sentence in someone else's book, or annoying my husband by over-analyzing every TV show and movie we watch. Don't know if I'll ever outgrow that--or if I should!

Abby Annis said...

Those five-paragraph essays were the worst. I remember many lunches hours spent redoing mine. So glad I don't have to write those anymore, even though now, like you, I could probably bust one out in 45 minutes. ;)

Abby Annis said...

I do that with TV shows and movies too. It drives my husband crazy. :)

Max Gladstone said...

I think the correct answer to your subject line is: "Christmas! Christmas eve last year..."

Toni Kerr said...

Hey Abby! I also wish I could go back to that delusional stage, not that I had hopes of being published back then, but because ignorance IS bliss (for first drafts)! It's so easy to get bogged down by all the rules and opinions about what writers should and shouldn't do. :-) Great post!