Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans....

So it's been forever and then some since I've updated this blog. In that time, I revised the novel completely and then re-entered query hell. I tried to embrace it as a process rather than something to be dreaded or feared. This was an essential step - putting the book (and myself) out there, knowing that just as in life, some people would think it's terrific and want to hang out more and others would decide it's not for them and move on. I keep reminding myself that I have yet to meet an author who wasn't rejected hundreds of times before landing their agent or their first book deal, and this is part of the journey.

And at the end of the day, all it takes is one yes.

And then, a blip occurred. I lost a close friend of mine, and suddenly my proverbial snow globe was shaken up. I couldn't even begin to think about querying, let alone working on the new novel I'd started, and with each passing day, I lost the resolve I'd worked so hard to build.

Then, a light bulb went off.

It's okay. It's important to take time to grieve, to take in all these feelings, to fully feel this experience, and somehow know that one day, this will be useful. Because the truth is, we write best what we know. And as painful as this experience has been, it can only ultimately add depth to my writing, to make it more authentic, and provide me with yet another topic which I can write about with authority and honesty. I'd rather it wasn't in my list of life experiences, granted, but I knew that I was starting to feel better when suddenly what I was feeling was also sparking ideas of how to exorcise that pain through my writing. The story is not fully formed, but it lays in it's embryonic state, waiting to be fleshed out when I am ready. I know that there will be healing in writing it, and ultimately, it too may move or touch someone.

It's hard not to feel discouraged when you're on a linear path pursuing what you want and life throws you detours and roadblocks, but the most important thing is to realize that sometimes your story can actually lie in the detours and roadblocks even more than on the path you originally envisioned. Be open to the world around you and take in your experiences, big and small. You never know where your story lives and only you can tell it.