FOLLOW YOUR DREAM AT YOUR OWN PACE
Giveaway below from Natalie and Casey- two winners will receive a copy of GILDED
I’m an aspiring middle grade and YA fantasy writer. Like many, my dream is to write a book good enough to find an agent and get published. But mine is a LONG, SLOW journey. I started writing after reading the first Harry Potter book when my daughter was starting first grade. Now she’s a junior in high school. And I’ve only finished one story that I haven’t queried.
I wasn’t one of those kids who dreamed of writing. In fact, I couldn’t imagine wanting to do that when I was in school. So I started out making a lot of mistakes, like creating cardboard characters, being too nice to my main character, and having scenes that didn’t move the plot. I’ve spent years revising my first middle grade fantasy, learning from my mistakes and improving my writing.
There have been times when I’ve gotten frustrated with how slow my progress is, especially as I watch my writer friends move on to getting published. But I work full-time and have a daughter who’s a swimmer. And my job and involvement in her schools and her swim activities have made my journey even slower. Sometimes I’ve wanted to cry or give up. But I always come back to the love of writing.
My first middle grade story is finished finally. And I could query it. But I’m not sure if it’s unique enough. And I realize that this year I have too much else going on to query—job training for a new career when I get laid off this year and hopefully starting a new job, helping my daughter with her college and scholarship search, and being swim mom for the high school swim team in the Fall when my daughter is captain of the team. That’s been her dream since 9th grade. I just can’t handle any more deadlines this year.
While I go through this year of change, I’m working on a new YA project, one that might be a fresher story to query. And I’m seeing how my writing has improved. I don’t think I’ll have to spend years revising this one. I don’t have as much time as I’d like to write, but I plug away at it when I can. And I’ve already finished one-third of the first draft.
So I’m continuing on my slow journey. And that’s okay with me now. Because I realize we all have our own journeys. Some can move fast toward their dreams. Others take longer. And for me, once I get through 2014, I really will start having more time to devote to my writing. And if I fulfill my dream of finding an agent and signing a book contract, I’ll know that I achieved this while supporting my family by working and being the best mom I could be to my daughter.
Things have a way of working out for the best. And my slow, steady pace at reaching my writing goals is what’s right for me. Follow your own dreams and do it at the pace that’s right for you.
And a huge congrats to Christina on the release of GILDED. She did an amazing job weaving in Korean culture and mythology into her story. And Jae is a fantastic heroine I fell in love with. Hope you all read Christina’s book.
Natalie Aguirre is an attorney by day and an aspiring middle grade and YA fantasy writer the rest of the time. She blogs at Literary Rambles where she helps promote debut middle grade, YA, and NA authors through interviews and book giveaways. You can also find her on Twitter @NatalieIAguirre and on Facebook.