It's been two years since I started the Writing Popular Fiction program at Seton Hill. I received my second reader response about my novel today (well, Tuesday). Passes across the board! Woo hoo! Although, it's a tad bittersweet. I've enjoyed my time in the program, and I'll be sad to graduate in June. True, I have a reaching module and thesis presentation to prepare for, but the manuscript passing and finishing the critical essay pretty much says I'm graduating. *throws confetti*
Now comes the hard part: getting the damn thing published. One query at a time...
Anyway, I'm too tired to elaborate anymore, but I have decided to post my final self-evaluation that was due on May 10, my final writing term deadline (although I still have to revise a bunch of Chun's pages - tomorrow...erm today - I really need to stop posting after midnight). I hope you get a laugh out of the evaluation - I had to be hunorous, otherwise I might have teared up. Happy writing!
Term #4 Self-Evaluation for the Writing Popular Fiction Program:
Well, I’m not exactly sure what I should say this time around. I can say I’m sad. Very sad (in this case, I think it’s appropriate to use the word very). It’s hard to believe that two years have passed, that I met all the deadlines and completed my thesis novel. Do I really have to fend for myself in the real world now?
Okay, I’ll be a little more serious right now, but no promises that I’ll remain serious. I feel I learned a lot about myself as a writer (or should I say reviser) this last term. No one truly knows their limits or the loads that they’re comfortable with until they push themselves. The reason why I had to push myself is because I was the Procrastination Queen. See the crown--it’s as dented and tarnished as the one Thane wore at the end of my novel (I warned about me not remaining serious).
Anyway, as I was saying, I learned a lot about my writing habits. It seems that revising fifteen pages a day is my comfortable amount. Anymore, and I get a bit lazy, or I at least can’t concentrate as much. Revising is still the bane of my existence, but I will always love seeing the results after revising. Although I am humble, I get proud of myself when I’m willing to change something that will improve my writing. This means I will need to balance my revising and new writing each day. Something old, something new, something borrowed . . . (oops, wrong saying – this is what happens when I’m “lady” of honor).
The biggest thing I learned though is that I need a schedule, badly. If I don’t get myself in a set schedule, I will likely slack and leave things to the last minute. I spend more time worrying about what I need to get done instead of actually doing it. So, starting next week (after my friend’s wedding is all said and done with), I have to make sure I write and do writing related things for 40-60 hours a week. The time comes first, the set times come later. Progression I think is best. This way, I won’t be rushing to get my thesis presentation, teaching module, critiques for residency, and the book I need to read done. Oh, and I won’t be sitting on my novel – so I’ll actually send out those queries (and working on another novel). Damn. This list is starting to overwhelm me already.
That reminds me. I’m scared ----less (I won’t be that naughty in this evaluation, I promise to keep it clean . . . or at least strike the bad words out) of sending my queries out. Every time I think of doing it, I choke up. Rejections are nothing new to me – I’ve received enough for my short stories. It might be that fact that it’s my novel – the thing I put every ounce of myself in for the last two years. I think the amount of time I spent on it is why I’m so frightened. I know, I know, there is no way I’ll ever know if I can get it published if I don’t send it out. The sweaty palms will always exist I think, though.
Well, I guess I should cover my goals. I succeeded – yippee! According to Tim and Diane, my manuscript is marketable. I finished the second half of the first revisions, did a second set of revisions, and edited it, just like I wanted to do. Also, I think I did a little better with adding description, although I will never be able to describe clothes in detail (sorry, Diane!). I’ve written some new material also. Two new scenes developed with a new POV character in the novel I’m working on next. I hope to have a good chunk of that rough draft done before residency starts. There’s nothing I can do but keep writing. Practice makes perfect (well, it’ll NEVER be perfect because I’m a perfectionist, and it’s impossible to wholly please myself).
Oh, look, I’m at the end of two pages. I rambled a bit, but I had to add the humor. As I said before, I’m sad it’s all coming to an end. I’ll miss the residencies and the writing terms. And I’ll miss my mentors (I plan to keep in contact with them though)! As Chun says, there are always conventions. It just won’t be the same, though.