The Writer’s Pyramid (Big Dreams Blog Update #9)

Holy guacamole-eep!

 

 
We’re at the halfway mark of the year, peeps. THE HALFWAY MARK.
 
I can’t believe how fast this year is zipping by, it’s one-half crazy, one-quarter confusing, and the other quarter pretty mind blowing. This last part especially because after years of complaining: I finally finished my first full-length (50K+) novel.
 
So now that it is the end of the month as well, nothing changes and this is the usual Update Day–but with a little twist. A brilliant mastermind *ahem*Misha*ahem* suggested that us crazy dreamers over at Big Dream-slash-Do You Have Goals? blog hop do a six-month special review during this update day’s post. 
 
And, girrrrrls and boys, do I have a lot to review. I’ll break it up into two parts for simplicity’s sake into two parts: my Reading/Reviewing goal and my Writing goal(s). Cool?
 
But before I jump in with the review, I just want to let any of you lurkers know that there is more than enough time and room for you to join us and add your crazy BIG dream to the 21 participants in this blog hop fashioned by the amazing duo Beth Fred and Misha Gericke. Sign up here if you want and do a half-year review anyways.
 
Onto le review:
Reading + Reviewing:
 
When I posted the very first post of 2014 one of the goals I had for the year was to redeem myself from last year’s reading fail. I was aiming for 52 books in 52 weeks for 2013, and I unfortunately barely stepped over the halfway mark. This year, because of school and knowing my gosh-awful procrastination, I set a more reasonable goal of 30 books. And I decided to continue the GoodReads challenge bar thingie to measure my update. AND to further ensure I didn’t lazy about with my reading, I added the extra measure of reviewing all 30 books by the end of the year.
 
Last month I hit the halfway mark for my reading.
This month I added 2 more books to that, one of which I has been on my TBR pile since 2012.
I’m sitting at 19 books, 18 of those reviewed and though I’m busy finishing up the semester in July, I’d like to read book #20 and catch up to my review to that point. 🙂
 
One thing I have noticed about reviewing–I’ve totally hyped it. I really love reading reviews (positive and negative), and I enjoy writing my own–I just now also know I wouldn’t ever make this a professional gig. And I’ve learned to admire professional reviewers even more!
Yay to those who take the time to do this more regularly.
Writing:
 
Arguably this section will be longer, because I have more to blab about. Blah-blah-blah–you’ve been warned.
 
 It starts with an article. This one. I came upon this piece of wonderful two months ago in April-ish, but for the last two Updates I set it aside in lieu of taking the posts in other directions.
 
I return to it now with a finished novel.
 
For those of you who are TL;DR the article is written by someone who I assumed to be an editor (not that that really matters) and the gist of the writing is that worry is pointless. Worrying about your novel rather than writing your novel isn’t going to do anything for you, particularly if you would like to make this a career.
 
And instead of another editor/writing biz pro telling you “to just write the damn story”, Rachel Scheller is telling you to step back and analyze the bigger picture. Or in this case this pyramid below.
 
Where do you sit on this pyramid?
At the moment I’m sitting at the Finished stage, but two months ago I was waffling between being a Wanna Be and a Learner.
 
And let’s get something straight here: I’m not delusional.
 
I never tried to envision that I’d just finish the first draft of my first book and it would be SPESHFUL SNOWFlAKE-goodness and agents would beat each other down to get it and publishers would throw bajillons of dollars at me in a auction and my debut would fly and buy property at the top of the USATODAY and NYT bestseller lists and win multiple literary prizes.
 
When I did finish my first MS, I kinda knew that there was no way-NO WAY–this was going to be seen my any editor and/or agent.
 
I’m not about to cart my story off when I know it needs a lot of spit and polish before I give it a chance.
 
The pyramid is a really great visual tool. Of course it doesn’t include the Big Step of Revisions–you know the whole “writing is revising” and vice versa–but it does work to make any fanciful dreamer realize making writing a F/T paying job is hard work.
Right now I’m about to buckle down to revisions. After stepping away for 2 weeks I’ve been outlining and prepping for rewrites on the first draft and just in time for CampNaNo (July 2014 edition).
 
It’s funny because I wasn’t actually expecting to have a novel and it’s still a bit surreal.
I just started writing the Monday following Mother’s Day and I didn’t come up for air until 4 weeks later.
Yeah. You read right.
After all my complaining I finished a novel and…
I finished it in four weeks (or 29 days to be exact).
 
What should anyone reading this and aspiring to the finish their own novel glean from my story/experience: believe in yourself because you sure as heck can do it.
Find the story that makes your heart beat and in time you’ll rush to get your writing in for the day.
 
Personally where do I stand with revisions… I’m going to be doing A LOT of rewriting. Why? I pantsed the project. Like entirely based off nothing.
I actually still remember wondering who the heck my hero and heroine were by the end of the first week. xD
But I don’t regret it.
I finished the novel, and along the way I made mental notes on the things I wanted to change.
 
For anyone interested I’ll keep a separate NaNo bar on the side and I’ll try to update it every week for the coming month. I don’t actually have a particular word count goal for the Camp. I know I’m doing heavy rewrites, but I’m also freeing myself up for whatever really.
 
But do leave a comment with your NaNo username if you want me to buddy up with you.
Let’s wrap this up.
January to June 2014 has been a crazy roller coaster of…taking small steps towards Crazy Big Dreams.
 
For the coming six months I’d like to see myself continue to read and review regularly (as regular as my schedule will allow, of course) and write. Write. Write.
More specifically finish revising my first draft and I’m eyeing one other project, a fanfic I started last year and abandoned, but I wish to finish up. Why? No particular reason other than I like the fandom and I want to.
 
Keep dreaming fellow nuts. We’ll climb the big pyramid together–even if we take turns stepping on each other’s shoulders (consent being key here! :P) along the way.
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