Posts Tagged With: beginnings

Starting from Scratch: Plotting the Journey

writingWithin the last 24 hours I have decided to move forward with the goal of publishing 3-4 books in the next 12-14 months. If I’m going to show the skeptics and myself that writing for a living is truly possible then this is an important first step.

So, how do I begin?

Well, I’m lucky enough to have a contract with a small publisher for my short sci-fi series The Chronicles of Xannia… book one will be launched Oct 1st, 2014 so that’s my official first book – the starting line in this race to prove my mettle. I all ready have half of the second book in a laughable first-draft state (but that’s better than nothing) and it’s fully plotted (pantsing is not my forte). This afternoon I finished the skeletal plotting for a new urban/fantasy duology of which I will be writing the first draft of book one for this November’s NANOWRIMO (national novel writing month).

That’s three books right there that could potentially be published by next spring, which just leaves me with that fourth one… will it be the 3rd book in The Chronicles of Xannia? or will it be the second and final book of the fantasy duology? Needless to say, like most writers I have a back list of potential books to write, all listed with some degree of plotting in two very well protected journals, so it’s not like I’ll be lacking any ideas for moving forward.

crumpled_paperBut that’s the hardest part, right? Moving forward. I’ve given myself a logically tangible goal for writing but only time will tell if I can actually make a good income doing this. Yet, there’s that dark spot in the back of my conscious that whispers when I least expect it, “What if you’re not good enough?”

Many of us face that doubt in our lives… for me it means the gain or loss of a new career – something I’ve dreamed about doing nearly my whole life. I can’t help but wonder what the consequences of failure might do to me? My tenacity? My spirit? My self-esteem?

I failed as a teacher – 10 years and no full-time position (they say it’s because of the market and timing and all that but other people were being hired for the jobs I was applying to, why not me?).

I failed as a journalist – I couldn’t even complete my diploma for college (I hated current events so much).

I failed in my goal to sing for Disney – with no support for such a ‘far fetched’ idea friends and family just smiles and shook their heads.

I failed as a theatre tech – I love the work but under pressure I tend to mess things up at the worst possible moments.

I have not gotten over any one of those failures and each one impacts me to a greater or lesser degree, but writing? That’s my soul we’re talking about now… if I fail at writing no one can claim it’s not because I didn’t try, and it scares me to contemplate which aspects of my life are most likely to hold me back, drag me down…

I’m plotting and scheming, scratching and clawing but in the end will there even be a ‘top’ to this mountain I’m so desperately trying to climb?

Will hope fail me too? It has before… still, I’ve all ready opened the door. It’s time to walk through.

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At the Beginning with You

This is the title to the first song my husband and I danced to at our wedding in 2000.

hand“We were strangers
Starting out on a journey
Never dreaming what we’d have to go through
Now here we are
And I’m suddenly standing
At the beginning with you”  Donna Lewis & Richard Marks

At the time it aptly described our humble beginnings and now I keep returning to the idea that I’m starting at the beginning of a new adventure in writing with you, my reader.  It is a journey I hope to make with you by my side and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else but right here, right now.

The idea of the journey is also significant as it is an all-encompassing theme that I have adopted for my writing.  Quite often my characters go on a physical journey but the most vital expedition they make is the one to self-awareness.

No matter the genre or scope of the tale, be prepared to walk with me into the hearts and minds of individuals facing a personal cross-road or life-changing crisis.

So I invite you to take my hand and travel with me to new and exciting places in search of those things we’d rather were left untouched.

M.J.

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