Manuscript Monday #26

Manuscript Monday is a series of blog posts which chronicle the life of my latest manuscript. It follows the journey I take to turn my week old baby story idea into a fully grown, polished novel. Take the journey with me. 🙂

Hey friends,

Thanks for checking in. I’m always amazed at how many people (like you) stop by my blog. It’s gratifying to know that people may actually be interested in what I have to say. Reports on blog activity can be a blessing—and a curse though. Much like middle schoolers and teens can become obsessed with how many likes they get on an Instagram photo or favorites on a tweet, I can become obsessed with how many views I get on an actual blog post. And I won’t lie. When I first started blogging over a year and a half ago, I was kinda, sorta obsessed. I kept thinking that when I wasn’t getting many views, maybe that meant my content wasn’t helpful.

But I pushed on, and tried to remember that just because my posts weren’t reaching many people, they were reaching some people. That has always been good enough for me. Obsession handled. If I can encourage just one person to keep writing, to keep improving, then I’m happy to keep doing what I’m doing on this site.

So, week after week, I try to offer my thoughts on writing that might resonate with another writer (or two!) who may be reading my posts. Sometimes my posts are seen by small numbers and other times, they seem to explode off the page. Like last week.

I launched my Story Planner on the Swirl and Spark Academy tab for beginning writers (or writers who like to plan with visual aids)…and the site went crazy with views! Maybe because it’s an easy free download, or maybe because people shared the link with like everyone they know. I’m not sure. But if I can reach writers with something I’ve created, I’m supremely happy. So thank you for those of you who clicked on it and told your friends about it. I’ll certainly be adding more materials and articles by way of easy downloads in the near future. I’ve been working on several things for quite some time and I’m looking forward to sharing those with you as well!

But for today, I’ll share my Monday Manuscript thoughts…

This series of posts has helped to keep me accountable with my new manuscript. And I’ve certainly needed it. I’m like all of you reading this probably. Some days drafting is downright hard. Some days it’s too much work. Some days I don’t have the energy. Some days I don’t have any great ideas. So on those days, I need something to keep me on task. Lately, that one thing has been my day-job outline and draft. Just like you, I work during the day. Work for some of you may mean being a caregiver, or being a doctor. The job description doesn’t matter really. We all have responsibilities that take us away from our passion: completing our manuscripts.

Writing. Ahh… It’s what we crave. It’s what we want to do. Even though sometimes it feels like work. So on days when we struggle to fit it in, or write a coherent thought, it’s important for us to remember that writing is our passion. Writing is what we love to do. That’s why we do it. When it becomes too hard, change your perspective. Realize this: You are blessed with a talent and desire to create stories for other people. That is a big thing. It’s huge. You get to write stories. You don’t have to write stories.

I realized this as I worked on my day-job draft. As I wrote, my mind occasionally drifted to my WIP. I wanted to be writing that draft, not this one! I did quite well at reigning in my thoughts, and focusing on the task at hand though. And you know how I did it? I realized how lucky I am to be writing for a living. I realized that this is what I have been striving for. And though, my heart is always in writing my own manuscripts first, I feel supremely grateful for this opportunity.

But that’s not all I realized. I am supremely blessed to have the time, talent, and desire to work on my new WIP draft as well. I am blessed to have this new story idea in my head, and the ability to turn it into a story. That’s a gift. A gift all of you possess also. So when I begrudgingly draft this manuscript, when I wish I could be at the revising stage (my true love) instead, I remind myself that I get to do this. I get to draft.

It’s awesome how changing your perspective can improve your work. So this week, I’ve drafted two more chapters! I challenged myself to see where I could take this story, and eventually I found my groove. I worked a little bit each day and at the end of the week I had some new scenes to show for it.

I hope you’re finding your groove too. I know you can. Maybe you just need a reminder. Okay so here it is: You have a gift. You have a story in your head. Now go write it!

Don’t forget, our February Critique Corner takes place Wednesday! We have six amazing submissions that will be listed, each in their own blog post. Feel free to comment on as many as you can. Our writers will appreciate it! Also, feel free to spread the word on social media. All our welcome to check out our virtual critique meeting. And of course, my fabulous critique partner, Melyssa Mercado will be offering her comments on the entries too. (Yay!!) We both have been amazed at the quality of work these writers have submitted. Our hope is that by putting their work up on the site, we can all help them to sparkle!  

Until then, have a fantastic week. And like I said before, thanks for stopping by! 🙂

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