By Judy Clement Wall
On March 10th of this year, I made the final revision on the final draft of my literary novel, Beautiful Lives. Sometime before that final keystroke, as I neared the end, I told Milli, “I think I should blog the process of trying to get BL published.”
I’m not sure what made me blurt that… there may have been wine involved.
Milli didn’t bat an eye. (Or if she did, I couldn’t see it. There are several states between me and Milli.) She said, “I think you should too, on the Fear Of Writing Blog,” and just like that a series was born.
Except that after our conversation, I got a little panicky. I thought about the world of publication, with its queries and synopses and agents and editors, its pitching and branding and marketing and networking, its (and by “its” I mean “my”) inevitable rejections, heartbreak, self-doubt, late night drunken phone calls to people who once thought me sane.
How can I blog about this, I thought, right out in the open, where anyone can see?
And then I did what I always do. I made a list. (I think lists are magical, the way they impose order where none exists – in my mind.) This list was titled “Why Blog The Insanity?” and here’s what I wrote.
- I’m a glutton for punishment. (Part of me thinks this is not an entirely fair or accurate description of myself. Another part of me believes the evidence before her. And the last part of me is just sort of in love with the whole cognitive dissonance thing.)
- I believe there is power in stating my intentions aloud.
- If I share the journey, I won’t feel alone and that’s huge. Seriously. Huge.
- Writing is how I process my world. I’ve written myself through some pretty gnarly stuff. I’m guessing everyone who reads the Fear Of Writing blog has done that. So, why not write my journey to a bunch of writers, and we can all process it together, like a big publishing-quest stew?
I felt better after writing that list. So, on a roll, I wrote another, titled “What will the series include?”
- Ups, downs, tumbles, recoveries, faux pas, gravity-defying feats of daring, doodles, photos and, in a pinch, possibly some recipes.
- Advice (from you, not me).
- Emotional weather reports.
- Invitations to share – I’m likely not the only one doing this, and I’d love to hear from others on the quest.
One of the reasons I wrote Beautiful Lives was because I believe that even in our darkest moments (in fact, especially then), there is humor and beauty and love (and smiling dogs and clairvoyant commercial signage), and that these are the things that keep us moving, one painful step after another, toward the light.
So, I’ll be here twice a month, blogging the ups and downs of my quest for publication. I hope you’ll come with me. The whole thing seems way less scary with you here.
JUDY CLEMENT WALL is a Course Presenter for the Fear of Writing Online Course and co-manages the FoW blog with Milli. She has just finished her first novel, Beautiful Lives, and here, at FoW, she is chronicling her quest to find a publisher. You can read more of her work at Zebra Sounds.