Trusting the process (Or, you wrote a book: now what?)

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In less than 10 weeks, I wrote 60,092 words to complete the first draft of my novel (see “My future self…”). So here I sit with #allthefeels. When I first began this journey, I imagined what it would feel like to hold my finished manuscript. And, although it’s still in electronic form, I can’t say it’s what I expected. Since the day I typed “the end” (or in my case ###), my emotions vacillate from elated to underwhelm, with several limiting beliefs tossed in to create mental drama. But now that I’ve completed the first draft, it seems logical to undertake the second draft, possibly a third, followed by critique groups and/or beta readers, revisions and editing; then soliciting agents and editors and creating a platform to further engage with readers. At first, it appears daunting. Yet I’ve done the hard part: I wrote a book. Now I get to continue trusting the process and focus on one step at a time.

Where can you trust the process?

Image source: seedgrowth.wordpress.com.

Shaking things up: writing prompt #4 (Or: your life as a musical)

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Image courtesy of Applezoomzoom at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

I’m having a blast with my latest dabble in posting writing prompts (see writing prompt #3). And whether you consider yourself family, friend, fellow creative or simply support my rambling and rhetoric—thank you, by the way—I encourage any and all to play along. What better way to take a break from the competing news media, weather updates and cat videos? I’m kidding, of course, because there’s no such thing as too many cat videos. But I digress. This month, I’m focusing on the topic of Broadway musicals. As a refresher, musical theater is a form of theatrical performance that combines songs, spoken dialogue, acting and dance. Popular musicals include Grease, The Phantom of the Opera, Wicked, Aladdin, Cats and Hamilton—among countless others. A favorite of mine, Little Shop of Horrors, happened to be presented by an outstanding all-youth cast.

A new Broadway musical is about your life. Come up with a title for the big show, and write a mini-review in 25 words or less.

Shaking things up: writing prompt #3

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Image courtesy of Applezoomzoom at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

In my post “ …writing prompt #1” I introduced my first writing prompt challenge as a way to stretch my creative muscles. In writing prompt #2, I shared ways to get started for readers playing along. And also hinted at a new writing venture (stay tuned). In today’s post, I want to focus on the topic of story and “theme.” In the literary world, theme is the underlying message or “big idea” or—in other words—the heartbeat or soul of a story. Theme is expressed through the plot (the chain of connected events that make up a narrative—what actually occurs in a story) and through the characters’ journeys. For example, in The Lord of the Rings, the story is about a hobbit tasked with destroying an all-powerful ring sought after by all who encounter it. The theme is about the addictive and debasing nature of power.

If your life were a book, in 25 words or less, share your “story” and “theme” in the comments section.