I continue to carve out time to work toward my goal of finishing a manuscript by summer or fall, and I’ve clearly defined that my focus is on my work of fiction, a love story. (Because, remember, I’m in love with love!)
I have been writing in the evenings and on the weekends, on my laptop and on my cell phone. I’ve been writing notes on scraps of paper and using the voice memo tool on my phone. I’m putting all the resources to use!
So far, I have 112 pages of manuscript that I believe is ready for my interns Shannon Grossman and Kayla Fontaine to read next week, while I’m away in Florida with my boyfriend and his mom. Their feedback is important to me, and I look forward to hearing it.
What I’m doing in this current round of edits, in part, is incorporating some of the feedback that my intern Vanessa Pesa gave me when she read the manuscript about a year ago. I am also developing my characters and injecting humor into to their lives. I thought the book was previously too serious, heavy. Sometimes when I am working, I laugh out loud. It’s good to crack yourself up! What I need to learn now, though, is if my words will crack others up.
While I can’t wait to be back in the sun and sea next week, I’m equally as excited about the following week because that’s when I’ll start the writing group I joined with Liz (whose last name I do not yet know).
It meets in the Arts and Industry building in Florence, where I used to have a studio, from 9 to 11 on Wednesday mornings. My understanding is it’s not a typical writing group, in which you receive a prompt and write for 20 minutes before sharing what you’ve written out loud.
Liz says we will start each session by naming our intentions, and then we write. I like that!
I am ignoring all the what-if fears associated with taking time out of my “real” work during a work day to work on my book. Fears like, what if the time away from my business affects my finances? Or, what if what I’m working on is crap and all this time is being spent for no good reason? I’m staying attuned to what I’m hearing in my gut. (Thank you Val Nelson.)
I’m also working with Shannon and Kayla on a dozen other initiatives related to my creative work! They are helping me improve this website this semester for starters—ideas welcome, by the way—and they will start blogging soon too.
They’ll follow up on some old blog posts, offer new blogs on local authors, offer writing prompts and tips and also help me with my two manuscripts in process.
These girls are smart and hard-working, and I trust them and their instincts. I am choosing to also trust myself.
I might type a few blogs in Sanibel with my thumbs on my cell phone and send them to the girls to post. Or perhaps I’ll use my thumbs to write those last few chapters in Unleashing the Sun, the working title for my love story.