Wednesday, October 12, 2011

RTW: It's All About the Climb


Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

PS - CONGRATS YA HIGHWAY! 100th ROAD TRIP! Woohoo!



This week's topic:

What has your writing road trip looked like so far? Excitement? Traffic Jams and detours? Where are you going next?


Three years ago, I began what I hope will continue to be an exhilarating roller coaster writing ride. I roughed out a “fun” novel in four months just to see if I could finish something, four months later I banged out a different story, and thought, Hmmm. I might have something here.

And I did. Maybe not something everyone else wanted, but I had the beginnings of a new passion. I had babies I absolutely fell in love with. And a desire to write about them twenty-four/seven.

I learned the fine frustration of querying. I attended my first writer’s conference. I networked with other writers. And met the first of my fabulous CPs.

I got rejected. I cried (publicly) when my work was shot down. I wondered if my babies would ever see a B&N Book Shelf.

I came out of the writer’s closet to my friends.





I wrote another story. I joined and participated in writer’s organizations. I connected with more writer-ly people. And gained a few more awesome CPs.

Gosh, there’s so much out there!

I started a blog. And came out of my writer’s closet to the world.

That was a little exciting. And a whole lot scary.

I queried another novel. Requested! Rejected. I entered writing contests. And I won some! But, I lost some too.

Fears of never signing cloud my head with self-doubt. I keep writing anyway.





I met some fabulous new friends at SCBWI. I joined platform-building crusades. I met the awesome RTWers I now connect with more than once a week. I’m learning SO MUCH.

I finished the rough draft of another novel. I started blogging at YA Confidential. And joined two book clubs. Busy, busy, busy.

I continue to revise, stay hopeful, and, more importantly, love everything I do. And I try to maintain a healthy balance amongst family, work, and passions.





There have been a lot of tears and frustrations, but so much LOVE. I can’t imagine my life without writing, the incredible rush of creating, crying and laughing at stuff I write, feeling the joys and heartbreaks of my characters. The feeling of finishing something and reading back over it. The scary, torturous yet invigorating thing called revisions.

The learning. The highs and lows of querying. The SUPPORT. The new friends.
EVERYTHING is hard. And frightening. And yet so, so AMAZING.

That’s been my writing journey so far. There’ve been mountains and straight-aways. Times I’ve veered off the path. But I always find my way back.

How about YOU? Where are you at on your writing journey?

28 comments:

  1. I love your choice of inspirational music!

    Keep trying and you will succeed! :)

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  2. What a great post. Thank you for brightening my day. Where am I, on my writers' journey? Whooo-hoo. Exactly where I should be.

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  3. Thanks for sharing Alison! I can't wait to hear about the next phase in your journey! : )

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  4. This is a lovely post! Hard and frightening and yet amazing definitely sums it up for me too.

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  5. "... incredible rush of creating... crying and laughing at stuff I write... feeling joys and heartbreaks of my characters..." Yes, I know exactly what you mean. In fact, I never once thought my characters would become so real to me, as if what I was writing was more biography than fiction! I applaud your tenacity, Alison, and pray that it pays off one day soon!

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  6. Haha, yeah I have four novels and a story that sounds very similar. :-P Here's to hoping that number FOUR is The One--The REAL One. ;) And that number whatever you're on is the one for YOU! :)

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  7. What a journey. You're right about the roller coaster, and that there's so much out there to learn and discover. And so many cool people to meet.

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  8. Great journey so far.

    I have two books being published and another that I'm halfway through on the first draft.

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  9. Thanks for this inspirational post. I completely agree! If you can't take the rush of the ride, it's time to get off and walk the other way. I'm so glad to see so many of us who get back on the ride for more thrills (and spills).

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  10. Thanks for sharing! It is a roller coaster, right? I feel like any low points only make the highs that much more exhilarating.

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  11. It's not a journey without some speed bumps, it seems. :) I love the music.

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  12. Oh man, I am digging the music videos here! It's funny how many of us are right around the 3-year mark! And it makes me smile to read how much building a community has been a part of everyone's journey. Writing friends are so awesome! <3 <3

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  13. Love seeing how far people have come, it is so fun to share the journey with you Alison. Success is just around the corner. I was trying to write an MG but have decided it's a short story and I'm mainly focusing on a collection of zoo poems. I just love being silly afterall :)

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  14. You're definitely an inspiration! I honestly don't know how you juggle everything you do. It's great reading about journeys like yours :)

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  15. Keep on driving (or writing). Your journey may be long and winding, but I can tell you are headed in the right direction.

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  16. Your journey sounds very emotional, but the love really shines through. Best of luck to you!

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  17. I have to agree with Miss Cole--your journey sounds so emotional! But good luck!

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  18. You were right--a true roller coaster! But it sounds like it's been super fun, which is what it's all about. Right? Riiiight? (That's what we tell ourselves anyway.) Also, I love the still shot on the Glee video. Makes me laugh. ^_^

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  19. Love this: "Fears of never signing cloud my head with self-doubt. I keep writing anyway." Followed by "Don't Stop Believin'" :)

    And I have totally cried in public over my writing being rejected, too. I think it's a (really sucky) rite of passage.

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  20. What a great, inspiring post. Definitely a lot of ups and downs, but that's writing. And the most important thing is that you're still trying. I know you'll get there someday! :)

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  21. Your persistent determination is a real inspiration. Especially because it's hard on the bad days to not throw your hands up and say I'm not cut out for this and walk away.

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  22. Sounds like you're well on your way! I'm finding that the whole thing is such a learning process. But it's fun that we can all be in it together :)

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  23. I'm no longer a Miley virgin--in one post, I've listened to one of her songs and seen a video! But that's a perfect theme for the writer's journey.

    And that must have been some rejection, for you to cry publicly! Glad you got past that and kept up with the writing.

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  24. "I came out of the writer’s closet to my friends."

    This was the scariest thing for me. I hoped that by responding to "What are you doing this summer?" with "Working on my novel," would put enough pressure on me that I'd actually do it. And I did nail down an outline--but more importantly, I started to get used to the feeling of those words in my mouth.

    Also: I've been on the fence about Katy Perry. I can't help but sing along to some of her songs, but I also can't help picturing my students listening to "Last Friday Night", where she sings about getting fired because she posted some party pictures online and then says she's gonna do it all again, and...yeah. But I had never actually seen the video for Firework, and now I am crying a little bit, so thanks for that. I think I have to love her now.

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  25. Yay for the 3 year mark! That's where I am, too. :-)

    It really is a TOUGH journey, but that's what makes it worthwhile, right?

    GO US!

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  26. Isn't it comforting to know there are so many of us on similar roller coasters? Thanks for sharing your story!

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  27. I love your musical take on this, Alison (and thanks for getting a Miley song stuck in my head!). Our journeys are quite similar, which makes me feel a little less crazy and a lot less alone. I'm so, so thankful to have made friends like you along this wild ride!

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  28. It's like we share a soul! The Climb and Firework are 2 of my most beloved writer/dreamer songs. I've been singing them at the top of my lungs since the first time I heard them--especially during the rough "will I ever make it" times.

    So glad to have met you this year. :)

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