Wednesday, November 7, 2012


It's time for the IWSG again!  Share your joys, insecurities, and accomplishments as a writer.  If you'd like to join us, head on over to Alex Cavanaugh's blog to sign up.  Then go visit as many other people on the list as you can and leave a comment; your encouraging words might help them achieve their next goal.  

This month, I'm reflecting on my growth over this past year as a writer.  

Last year I decided to put my other projects on hold and write a YA fantasy novel.  I'd never attempted writing something so big before and I wasn't sure I could actually finish it.  Most of my previous writing had focused on picture books or magazine articles.  

The first thing I had to do was commit to a regular writing time.  I decided the best time was before the kids wake up in the morning, when it's still quiet and I'm most refreshed.  If I get up at 5:30, I can squeeze in about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.  I don't make it that early all the time but at least I get some writing in everyday before the craziness begins.

The second step was to read more in my chosen genre.  I realized I hadn't read a YA fantasy in a long time.  So I made many trips to the library and I grabbed all the books I could find (and actually read them).                 

Then I just wrote, even if what I was writing I didn't like. I kept writing.  Some days I felt like I was dragging myself and my characters through a swamp of literary garbage.  But I kept writing.  And finally, I got to the end!    

Now I'm on to editing; attempting to wash away the muddy language and webs of unnecessary adverbs that crept in like spiders.  I'm adding new scenes and taking out pointless ones.  I added a prologue then I decided to begin the story in an entirely different place so I'm working on a new chapter 1.  I feel good about all of these changes and I can see the story becoming what I want it to be.     

Maybe it won't ever end up on anyone else's shelf or in their Kindle but I feel like I've come a long way.  And I want to thank all of you for supporting me on this great journey.  

Have a great week! And don't forget to check out all the other participants here

Kathy :)


  1. I am not a early riser, but give me a few quiet hours at night and I'll spend every minute writing.

  2. You get up at 5.30 a.m! Now that is dedication.

  3. I love that you just wrote it. It's the hardest part, and then there's a bunch of work after that, but every journey begins with a single step.

    And while I love that adage, I think my favorite is that you'll never know home until you have left it. Writing is like that too. Good luck and happy writing!

  4. Ink- As long as your finding some time, it doesn't have to be early. I find by the end of the day I'm usually exhausted so I'm not as creative.

    Sally- That's what I shoot for, just doesn't always happen. :)

    Rena- I love both of those lines! That's how we felt when we moved to Seattle then back to Ohio.

  5. Feeling good about your own improvements and progress is a major thing! Keep moving forward and you just might surprise yourself...

  6. Sometimes the only thing about the first one is that it shows you that you can do it.

  7. Alex- thanks!

    Stu- I'm really using this first one to learn all I can. Hopefully I'll have it figured out for the second one!

  8. Hey Kathy! And that's what is important and we so often neglect to see-- our own personal progression. Sometimes I think we can only see the pot of gold at that end of the rainbow and miss all the beautiful colors along the way.

  9. Fantastic, Kathy! I've found sitting in the chair at a certain time half the battle.

    And thanks for adding me to your sidebar - yay!

  10. sounds like a plan! whats it about?

  11. Hi, Cathy,

    CONGRATS... you have accomplished something quite amazing... a finished draft... YAY!

    My first was a y/a fantasy too. BUt I was SOOOO long I ended up cutting it in half and realized it was more m/g because my mc is only eleven.

    Don't worry about about future readers, just create the best story you can and the readers will come.

    I am STILL working on mine. THREE years plus and I still have quirks in the beginning that need ironing out, I've left it for a while, wrote another novel (y/a edgy contemporary) and the beginning of a film noir novella. But now I am back to tweaking the first one.

    Mine may never be published either,but I still believe in the story and if all else fails I will self publish it. Thankfully we writers have this option so we can let the readers decide whether they like it or not.