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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Writing is a Marathon. Not a Sprint.

I was always a B student. Not excellent enough to be Principal’s Honor with my solid C+ in math and not cool enough to be a problem child. Just somewhere in the middle. Rarely praised. Never punished.

In seventh grade my persuasive essay on capital punishment was read aloud in class. It was one of the first times I was told I was really good at something.

In eighth grade, while I was preparing for high school, my teacher told me I was an excellent writer and that I needed to be in honor’s English in the next year.

My sophomore year, I developed a crush on a boy who had written pages of fantasy. I thought to myself, I wonder if I could do that. Then I did do it. It was a rambling mess but it had a storyline and characters.

When I graduated, I wrote a “novel” with characters based on Japanese rockstars because I wasn’t sure what else to do with my fascination. I let my best friend read it and she told me she thought I had something. Perhaps the most overly elaborate fan fiction of all time and also not publishable, but the passion was beginning to take hold of me.

For years I would labor into the wee hours of the night. My friend gave me the harshest of criticism, eventually desensitizing me to prepare me for later “grilling”. Getting critiqued is like having a teeth cleaning. You may hate it during the drilling and the pain, but afterwards you’ll feel polished and clean and more ready to show your smile.

I was asked by my aunt and cousin to join them in a writing group. I resisted at first. I think I imagined a community college situation with a know-it-all professor, since these had been my only experiences in the classroom. Finally, I decided to go. It would end up being one of the best decisions I would make for my writing journey.

The instructor was a published authoress, for starters. She knows the craft. She took my overly-descriptive chaos and taught me how to streamline it into stuff that’s headed in the right direction. She also led me to Steampunk, which I had never even heard of before she said it beneath the warm lights of an art gallery.

I’m finishing up my Steampunk Y.A. and will start seriously querying agents within the next year. My passion for writing is at its height and I can’t wait to enter this amazing industry. I hope to dedicate a small part of my Wednesday to my Steampunk journey as I learn more about the genre and share my discoveries with you.

Keep reading and keep writing. Write on napkins and toilet paper if you have to. That’s how some of the greats began.

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