Sometimes, I make goals for myself and then forget about them forever. But if I have anything to do with it, this goal will be seen through to completion or, so help me God, I’ll be a failure for the rest of my life.
Okay, so it’s not as melodramatic as all that. But I came up with this goal my junior year (I think), and now that I’m finally working on it, I am so determined to reach it, it is not even funny.
The Almighty Goal: To get published before I graduate from college.
Seeing as how I haven’t begun college yet, it seems like I have a lot of time. But I know better. Just writing a manuscript can take years, not to mention going through the publishing process. Dump college life on top of that — with all its exams, social issues, and inevitable sleep deprivation — and it may well take me four years to reach my goal, even if I work on my manuscript faithfully. It may even take longer.
Which is why I have decided to begin now. Back in the spring I chose one of my (many, many) unfinished, potentially book-worthy stories to work on. And in the past couple days I have begun. Actually, I began refining the unfinished first draft back in the spring, but I quit when I realized how much work I have to do. Now I am on it again, and I’m starting almost from scratch. I’m not writing a word of the narrative yet, and may not for the entire summer. I’m talking to writing friends and reading up on the writing process, getting a feel for what it really takes to finish a novel. I’m doing character studies on my own characters and fleshing out the plot in the process. I’m still in the very beginning stages of this novel, and it is a lot to sift through. It’s going to be a ton of work; I can already see that.
But y’all, I am so excited. Writing is my heart, and when I begin writing again after not doing it for so long (I haven’t really written since probably sophomore year), I just fall into it. I love it. I love the struggle of creating realistic characters and interesting, well-thought-out plot lines. I love reading about writing. I love the process.
All this writing made me remember, Oh, yeah…I have a blog I need to keep up. Often, I struggle with coming up with topics to blog about – I mean, do people really want to read about what I’m doing? I tend to glance over those types of blog posts even as I write them myself. And I’ve noticed that out of the blogs I follow, my favorites are the ones by real authors — those who write books, not just blog posts. So, as I begin/continue my novel-writing journey, be prepared to read about writing — the ups and downs and in-betweens of my own experience. I’m already getting blog post ideas.
As I work on this goal, I would love to connect with other teen writers! If you’re a teen writer, a teen blogger, or a wannabe author like me, please leave a comment! :)
Teen Writing Resources
Emily Rachelle Writes is one of my favorite teen writing blogs. Emily also blogs about throwing parties, reviews books, and writes about life in general as well as giving writing tips.
Superhero Nation is a writing tips blog that specializes in superhero stories and comics as well as novels. I’ve found these articles to be extremely helpful.
Go Teen Writers is a blog by Stephanie Morrill and Jill Williamson. These two published authors offer tips on writing as well as getting published. (I ordered their book, Go Teen Writers, and cannot wait to receive it in the mail.) They also do a lot of really awesome giveaways!