So remember that book I wrote? I haven’t mentioned it in a while. I took a break from it. I read a list of good practices for writers that Neil Gaiman put out into the world. He advised putting your work aside for a while then reading it as if you’ve never read it before. So that’s what I’ve done.
This week I picked it back up. I cried while reading the first chapter. I didn’t cry while writing it. But everyone who has read it said they cried. Neil’s advice worked. It is like a brand new book to me. This will be my final edit then I’ll start submitting it, praying that it will find the right person who will help me get it into the hands of people like y’all.
While I was taking a break from writing a little voice of doubt slipped into my head. I started thinking that I was going to be trapped forever in my dead end job. In the rut that is my life. I started thinking that I would never get ahead. That I would never be able to make a difference in the world because I’d forever be trying to just keep my head above water.
But when I picked my manuscript back up, magic started to happen. I found out about a contest for novelists. And I entered. I didn’t win. Yet at least. But entering that contest has turned into a snowball of goodness. The publishing company asked me for an interview. Then posted the interview on Facebook. My entry has been retweeted several times. Even by people who don’t know me in real life. (If you’d like to vote for me and have a Twitter account go look for @Wildwood_Prize and then look for the tweet from @writerelise. Then give me a retweet.)
I don’t know that I’ll win the contest. But I do know one thing. The world is better when I’m focused on my writing. I think that is God’s way of telling me that this, this world of words, is where I’m supposed to be. When I’m away from it for too long, I stop being me. But when I come back to it…it is like coming home.
I hope you all have something in your life that is like that. I hope you all have a passion that you can follow, that you can fall into and be the most authentic version of yourself.
Here’s Neil’s list, in case you’d like to read it: 8 Good Writing Practices
Here’s a link to my interview, if you’d like to read it: Interview