It has been a while since I have written one of these. Welcome to Writing Diaries #5 – The Return. How to juggle writing, blogging, and a long distance relationship. Oh, and a full time job!
What happened since then
Last year in November, I have accomplished something amazing: I have started the draft of my novel. For 30 days in a row, I have written.
As many of you are aware of, I’ve also created my initial (and flexible) outline, a list of characters and settings, a map, and even a book cover! I have started using Scrivener, and have read many, many writing books. And while I admit I haven’t done much since November, I know that no one can take away from me the fact that I’ve taken the first step in my writing journey.
During that time, I’ve had the precious help of many readers, bloggers, and those who also embarked on NaNoWriMo, where I met the best writing buddy someone could ask for. Thanks, Cam, you are the best; don’t think I forgot we’ve promised we would be beta reading each other’s novels, so we do have to finish them. We still keep in touch, even if we are both aware life did get in the way – but we will get there, eventually.
I have reread my draft a few times since then. I often reach the last page and think: But I want to read more. I want to know more. What happens next? Well, I need to write it, that’s what happens next! I know I need to rewrite it too, but at this point, I would be happy with just having the first rough draft done.
Meanwhile, a lot has happened in my personal life, and professional too. With the process of moving jobs and houses, it took a while to settle in and focus again on blogging, writing, and even reading. It was during one of the hardest times in my life that I got closer to a fellow geek of mine, who is now my more-than-amazing boyfriend. Fenrile was the first person in my daily / “real” life to know about my dream of writing a Fantasy novel. Not only that, he was actually as excited as me, wanting to know every single detail of my story. And the best part? It’s that he actually loved it.
What does the Future bring?
Since then, me and Fenrile have started blogging together – which is a lot of commitment and dedication. But we are in a long distance relationship, so trust that we know all about commitment and dedication. Blogging with your partner is not as bad as some say. It’s actually quite fun if you do it for fun primarily. Do what you love, and share what you love.
A couple of weeks ago, I have interviewed a married couple of authors who wrote together. This inspired us both. We both share the passion of reading and writing (among many others). We are both geeks who love Fantasy and Science Fiction. So why not co-authoring? I didn’t know whether to start something from scratch or invite him to finish my own project. The fact that someone else besides me was in love with the concept and world I created (and no, I don’t think he’s biased for being my boyfriend) gave me motivation to want to continue working on something I had already invested my time in. Fenrile was very happy that I’d consider him to be part of this project, since he does say he loves every bit of it.
All of this means a lot to both of us, since it’s a big deal that I am able to share a project like this with someone else, but also important to him that I let him make part of this. In fact, we have made such great progress during the last couple of weeks. I could have never done so much on my own. We have corrected plot holes, and come up with many ideas for major plot points. We have both been pinning images for inspiration of characters and settings; and if all goes well, all I can say is that you’ll be hearing about our finished Fantasy novel soon. Wish us luck!
Other writing projects
I have also revisited my first short story a few times. I even tried to submit it to the competitive market of Science Fiction magazines, but not much luck there. I know I have done a few mistakes writing-wise that I probably wouldn’t now – that’s the point of progressing and learning, isn’t it? Even though I still like my initial idea, let’s say it was not perfectly well executed. The few people who have actually read it (I doubt the editors of the magazines would go past the first lines) told me they would like to read more, know more. So perhaps the open ending was a bit too risqué, too experimental. Perhaps I should extend it, maybe even make a novella out of it some day? Otherwise, I will just make a freebie, on Kindle, or even here on the blog, for my loyal subscribers. Would be happy to know your thoughts.
I think the best lessons I have learned since then were:
Believe in yourself. If you don’t, no one else will.
Enjoy what you do. If you do it for love, then you’re halfway there.
Take a break, but don’t give up. We get it, life happens. Take a break, regain energies, and then get back to it.
Share what you love, with who you love. I can’t say how lucky I am to have someone in my life who I can share my hobbies and passions with. No distance can come between this.I can't say how lucky I am to have someone in my life who I can share my hobbies and passions with. Click To Tweet
What about you? How do you juggle writing, blogging and your own personal projects? Let me know in the comments.