Uncharted Territory

I have submitted my query letter to a major national publication for an article I wrote about a small group here on Kaua‛i that helps physically- and mentally-challenged people experience surfing. Wow…I can’t believe I’m actually doing this. It’s time, I suppose to  dip my toes into the deep waters of a national publication and see what happens.  One day, I hope to be published regularly in national publications, so I have to start somewhere, right?  Of course, I am looking into other publications as well, but I wanted to.  May as well take the leap.  The worst they can do is reject my submission.

This is part of the dream I am living: working at home with my husband and writing my novel along with some poetry, articles, and essays from time to time.  I am a writer!  Excitement and dread filled my whole being as I clicked on the send button for that query.  Yes, it was that deep for me.  Aspiring to meet my goals, though, so satisfying!

After I have submitted queries (or whatever) to the other magazines I have in mind, I will go back to outlining the middle of my novel.  That’s a different issue…I seem to be stuck at the beginning of the middle. I need to get my characters through the maze in a convincing, realistic manner.  I feel like the stuff I am thinking about is too contrived, so I keep scrapping and starting new. Well, I suppose that is normal, right? It’s difficult to be satisfied with your own work.  At least it is for me, it’s part of my writing life.

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This post is also published on my other blog https://andreahunter313.wordpress.com.  One of these days I will stick to one or the other. 🙂

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Differing Writing Styles

I am one of those people who writes for different venues.  I have been a technical writer of manuals and policy docs, a poet, a prose writer of fiction and non-fiction.  Each style of writing has different conventions and requirements.

I write about this now because I am struggling with switching between styles and how this affects my writing projects.  Because I am writing two different projects right now (a new article and my novel) I am having trouble shifting.  I also have such a long history in technical writing that the conventions of that style leak into all my prose.

As I write my novel, I notice my prose can become quite succinct.  This style is great for a manual or a procedure, but it doesn’t lend itself to creating the space in which the plot is taking place. So, I find myself adding more scenery and more action to the chapters as I go back to reread them.  I think this is one of the reasons it is taking me so long to write it.

As I work on my article I shift between writing the hard facts and setting the scene so the reader can get the feel of the place while understanding the subject.  While my background lends itself to writing the facts, I continually struggle with setting the scene.  I wonder if I am getting to poetic or vivid in my descriptions and if that takes away from the facts.  I have so much to learn about writing articles.

I know there are others out there who write for different venues.  How do you handle the switch between styles?

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Friday Focus

I have been trying for the last hour to get to the point where I could write my blog post this morning before work! It seems whenever I want to get something done, a computer update or other distraction interferes.  This morning it was an update to Windows 8.1 and a cat that decided to lay on my lap with my laptop!  Now I have about 13 minutes to write this post.

For most struggling writers, I will venture a guess and say that we want to be writing full-time. That is the end game, at least for me. We feel stifled if we are not writing.  After spending too much time with other projects, I have decided that my new year’s resolution will be to learn to say no.  No to new projects.  No to anything that does not help further my goal to be a full-time writer.

I feel that I have made a big step toward that end when my article was published this year in KAUAI TRAVELER magazine (http://www.travelerdigital.com/kauai/fall2013_main?pg=49&search_term=Andrea#pg49).  I don’t want to be a “one-hit wonder” and leave that one article as my foray into published works.  I am spurred on to continue that path. So, these side projects that I do just prevent me from writing. NO MORE!  Sorry. But I have to focus on the writing and move forward.

Time to go. Day job is calling. Gee, I hope this update finishes before I have to leave!

Aloha Friday!!
-AH