Last week I completed the rough draft of my novel! Over 50,000 words, almost 200 pages. I feel accomplished, proud – and I am procrastinating revision. I am almost afraid to go back and look at what I have written with a critical eye. Luckily several members of my writers’ groups have agreed to look over a few chapters a week and critique them. I have a feeling their comments will spur me on.
The Advanced Short Fiction Workshop I was taking at the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program also completed. My last crit in that class went very well, because I thought about critique as contribution. It was an opportunity to let others contribute to my work and for me to contribute to their writing as the workshop focus. This attitude laid the foundation for success – I was able to take the criticism and see where I could apply it, and I was able to actually hear the compliments.
I invited the members of the class to join one of my writing groups and several people applied. So far the comments from the group members about their submissions have been positive, so it’s looking like the group will expand. I hosted the first meeting of the group with new members from the last class I took and it went well. It was a productive session and everyone meshed. I was also invited to join a group by someone in the class, and I am looking forward to attending a session next weekend.
And so, the writing life goes on. Do I wish I had a full-time job as an editor of some magazine? Not really. Do I wish I were making a full living off my writing by now? Sure. Am I happy with my life – and the writing life I am building? Yes. A resounding yes.