(Above: Me with the girls earlier this week)
A few weeks ago, I dropped a bombshell that I’ve been writing Middle Grade novels since the summer. Middle Grade books are for readers between the ages of 8-12 years old, in case you were wondering. It’s different than Young Adult, which targets Teen Readers.
Well, maybe it didn’t feel like a bombshell to you when I wrote that post, but it did to me! It was like letting out a closely held secret. I’d been toiling away, writing in every spare moment for many months and I hadn’t told a soul besides my husband.
If I am anything, I am very disciplined, focused, and single-minded. Once I decide I want something, I grab it and I won’t let go…wait, that doesn’t make me sound very good. Ha! But really…I haven’t wanted anything professionally in a long time, probably since I passed the Bar Exam. Writing for me has been something I’ve wanted to prioritize. Even though I’m not being paid for writing (right now), I treat it like my job after homeschooling and being a mom to four young children. Oh yes, and I have a blog, too. 😉
Writing for me has felt like pursuing a deeply seeded dream. One that I buried a long time ago, and I am only now allowing to push through the soil.
So, how’s it going?
I’ve finished three novels now. The first one is locked in a proverbial drawer and needs major work before I’ll let it see the light of day. The second book is a quirky sci-fi adventure, and it’s close to my heart. I have worked so hard on it – and I’ve started sending out query letters to a few agents. I queried the agents right before the holidays and I haven’t heard back (yet). I realize that late December is just about the worst time to query agents, so I’m playing it cool and practicing my patience.
In the meantime, I have written a third book! I started writing a Mystery Series four years ago, right after Violet was born. I put it on a shelf back then, and I just dusted it off and got back to work.
After I finished the third book a few days ago, I let Paprika (9) read it. She’s a huge Mystery Novel fan and she’s in the right demographic, so I trust her opinion.
Well, Paprika went crazy for the book – she read it twice – and asked for the next one in the series. She’s a very honest reader, so that lets me know I’m on the right track (fingers crossed).
My plan is to keep writing my Mystery Series until I have a few more volumes – and then approach agents with it. I’ll just keep piling up the rejection letters until someone says Yes – and then if nobody does, maybe I’ll self-publish the books on Amazon. 🙂
Writing has been keeping me busy in all my spare moments – basically when I should be sleeping. Ha! But it’s good, too. I definitely feel most alive when I’m writing and when I’m coming up with ideas for new books. I have a list of about a hundred ideas (not joking) that I want to write. I’ll just keep honing my craft, and fingers crossed I’ll get better and better as I write. I figure the more you work at something, the more likely the chances of success.
So, now I’m working on my fourth novel. It’s the next installment in my Mystery Series. I’m having so much fun thinking up all the loops and twists, and making it fun and age-appropriate. I happen to know a thing or two about Middle Grade readers, since I currently live with a few! 🙂
Oh, and I’m not writing novels by texting them to myself on my phone anymore. I did that with the first two books – and my hands about fell off. Ouch! Now I stand at the laptop holding Ellie (30 pounds, 10 months old) in the Ergo while she naps/sleeps, and that’s my time to write. She doesn’t nap for long, so I have to make every minute count! Still, it’s amazing what you can accomplish in an hour each day, spread out across a month or two.
I also take notes on my phone whenever I can, and then copy those to a simple word processing document on my computer. I’m playing around using a free trial version of a writing software called Scrivener – but so far, it seems too complicated for me. I organize everything in my head first, anyway. By the time the book needs to be written, it all comes out in one piece.
So, that’s a little bit of a writing update. This update is as much for me as it is for anybody else. I’d love to look back at this post one day and say: Oh, this is where it all started. Or maybe, I’ll look back and say: Hey, at least I gave it my best shot.
That’s all any of us can do, right?
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