I’ve been neglectful of my blog lately, as most of my spare time has been consumed with some major rewrites of The Education of Eve before I start my next round of sending it off to agents for consideration. While this blog focuses on history, from time to time I’ll post on this other interest of mine.
It’s a lot of work, writing. My husband often asks me why I couldn’t have chosen a more relaxing hobby. Sometimes I wonder the same thing. But I don’t think I had much choice in the matter, to be honest. I’ve been coming up with stories in my head for as long as I can remember. Barbie, Ken, & co. lived a dramatic As The World Turns sort of life at my house. And outside my dolls became pioneers (thanks to my love for Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books), braving the wilderness that was our backyard. I eventually became too old to play with dolls, but the stories didn’t stop. My imagination kept turning them out, and I started filling notebooks with ideas. I loved creating characters and then putting them in dramatic situations, plotting how they would react. It’s something I just couldn’t turn off.
So here I am, years later, novel ideas still swirling around in my head, just waiting to be brought to life on paper (well, word processing document, but that doesn’t exactly have the same ring to it). Which brings me back to the rewrites. Right now I’m dealing with the not-so creative side of the writing process: trying to get published. It’s not an easy task, and turns writers into salespeople as we pitch our work via query letters, which most agents receive hundreds of each week. This “sales pitch” can go a few ways–it can lead to instant rejection (one must develop a thick skin pretty quick in this business), or perhaps if the concept catches the agent’s fancy it might lead to a “partial” or a “full” request of your manuscript. That doesn’t give you any guarantees, but it at least gets your foot, er, manuscript, in the door.
I’ve learned a lot about the world of publishing since I began this process of taking my hobby to the next level. Sometimes it can be a little overwhelming and I wonder if it’s worth it. But then I think about that little girl playing outside, populating a fictional world with colorful characters and stories, and how much fun she had. And I think that maybe, just maybe, if I can someday get my words in print, that perhaps I can bring some entertainment and enjoyment to others with these stories I carry around in my head.
What about you other aspiring authors out there? When were you first bitten by the “writing bug?”