Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Beginning of the Journey

For the past, let's just say couple of years, lest anyone figure out my age, I've been working primarily in the PR industry.  I worked for three agencies, one non-profit and a partridge in a pear tree.  Recently, I've been freelancing, doing a hodgepodge of Web content writing, corporate/PR writing and ghostwriting manuscripts for a small publisher. 

However, my dream is to be a published author of fiction. 

I've been writing stuff since I was kid, coming up with everything from ideas for TV shows and movies to short stories and fan fiction (this was "PI" - pre-Internet - so I didn't know I was doing fan fiction).  I was in my 20's when I started writing fiction manuscripts and began the long, hard road towards trying to find an agent.  I dutifully sent out query letters everyday and kept writing, vowing I wouldn't go down without a fight.  I was encouraged by the fact that more often than not, agents would actually request a sample of my work, even if they eventually did reject it.  Regardless, it made me feel like I was onto something.

And then life got in the way and I stopped writing.  Stopped querying agents.  I underwent a major life upheaval when I moved across the country, got a new job and was swept up into a rekindled romance.  Without even realizing it, I had given up the fight and slipped into the monotony of everyday life.

The seeds started to replant themselves a few years ago, when I was cleaning out some old papers and discovered a "bible" for a story idea I first had when I was 13.  The crinkled, yellowed pages were dripping in red ink (from the red typewriter ribbon from the ancient manual typewriter I learned to type on.  I probably didn't have the allowance to buy a black ribbon.) typos and all the words sliding off the page because I could never keep the paper straight in the roller. But the germ of an idea was there and I spent the next few years working on it in fits and starts.

Then I heard about Amanda Hocking and how she published her books to Kindle.  It was a wake-up call for me.  It was time for me to get back to my passion, which was fiction writing, and in the process, take control of my career.

So, here I am at the beginning of that journey. I plan to go the eBook route and am in the process of polishing my unpublished manuscripts while coming up with a lot of other ideas for future manuscripts and content.  It feels like I've come home. While I'm excited about the journey, I'm a little terrified.  Okay, a lot terrified.  But I have to try, no matter where the road leads.

I was recently going through another set of old papers (Wow.  What is it with me and old papers?  I sound like a hoarder) and came across a short story I wrote for 7th grade English class. It was a about a homecoming queen and cheerleader named Carmen who decided  she was tired of her superficial existence.  To solve her dilemma, she embarked on an eating campaign that resulted in her gaining so much weight, she had to wear a bedsheet to the senior prom because she couldn't find a dress big enough.  My English teacher scrawled across the bottom that it was the funniest thing she'd ever read and that I would "go far [with my] writing."

I hope she's right.   

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