Okay, so I realize it is Wednesday and I’m supposed to be writing about teaching and learning because that is my schedule, but today I feel like breaking the rules. I want to write about writing because that’s all I’ve been doing! I want to share what I wrote in my journal (that’s right! In my journal. I don’t have a deadline to meet so I actually got to pick up the pen and hear the scratch as the words poured on the page. I feel like hugging my journal right now, I’m so happy to see it.) this morning.

This journal feels so fresh and so empty, the words barely out and the pages blank and looming, even though I’ve owned this journal a couple of months now. When I really began this writing journey almost two years ago, I began with my focus on the words. Whatever the words were, fiction, reflection, nonfiction, they could go in my journal, it didn’t matter. My focus was on practice. Recently, my focus has been on fiction. In the past six months, I’ve written two almost complete novels. That is amazing to me. Before my second NaNoWriMo adventure, I had never been able to write that number of words on one story. Not including blogs and other writings, I’ve written over 125,000 words in two worlds in less than six months, and I’ve learned a lot from both attempts. 

In November, attempt one culminated in 75,000 words that had no direction. I had good characters and motivations, and a really funky, small town setting, but no plot or direction for my characters. In April, with my latest 50,000 word success, I had a plot, but my characters were a little weaker. Dialogue was difficult because I couldn’t hear the characters. They weren’t fully formed and whispering their words before I ever wrote them. 

Over the next couple of weeks, my plan is to bevin revisiting that November novel. I’ve never actually made it into revision, so I’m scouring the internet for a book on the revision process (any advice welcome). Part of me says that I need to just completely start over, but I would hate for those 75k words to be worthless. They aren’t worthless, they are my own, and I worked so hard for them. 

Persistence is key. Persistence is what will get me success and the dream of being a full time writer fulfilled. And persistence means stepping into the murky waters of revision, even if I have to hold my nose to make the plunge. 

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