Friday, December 18, 2009

Resuming the Mission

During the last few weeks of "down time" I have realized more than ever that this desire to write fiction is not going away. I have been reminded over and over that everything happens in God's time. All I have been doing up until now has been valuable. I'm very happy with my marriage, my children, my grand-children, my job, my work with the Church, the column I write each month. But, I just can't continue to let the stories in my head just sit there, on random pieces of paper, in random folders in My Documents file.

I'm looking for input from anyone who understands this need to write. I'll give you a brief outline of where I am, and ask you to make suggestions on the next step. I'll sort through the ideas, and pray about it, and figure out what will be best for me. After all, what works for someone else won't necessarily be the right way to go. But, neither is sitting here doing nothing with this talent God has given me. I know that sounds like I'm bragging, but I'm not. It's not an earth-shaking, instant best seller that will change the world, but it's there, such as it is, and I should be using it to help someone else. So, your input is very much welcomed!

  •    I am not a newby. I've completed three manuscripts. One, a teen mystery/romance called Butterfly Summer. The second, a contemporary romance called Crossroads, written from both the hero's and the heroine's POV and the third, a historical called In Pastures Green based on my family's stories from the late eighteen hundreds in Eastern Kansas. All have been submitted to contests,and done fairly well, though none have won first place. Crossroads was turned down by Heartsong presents a few years ago.

  • I have been a member in the past of a local writer's group that is still active. Fiction Writers of Central Arkansas  holds monthly meetings, and would probably give me an opportunity to be in a face to face critique group, although not all write in the same genre (Christian Fiction) that I'm trying to break into.

  • I am not currently a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, because I was not utilizing their tools, and just deleting most of the messages in my inbox. I have attended one conference in Nashville a few years ago, but this was a tremendous expense for me, and it's hard to justify a vacation that doesn't really allow much time with my husband.

  • I will be retiring from the State of Arkansas in two and a half years, and should be able to substitute teach enough to make some money, hopefully allowing some time to devote to writing.

  • I have a current work in progress that is classified as Women's Fiction and has received favorable comments from at least one published author. I will soon have that one completed, and ready for first re-write.

So- what do you think? Do I concentrate on finishing my WIP, take it to a critique group, get it professionally edited (I have a friend who can do that), and start sending it out? Do I resurrect the old already completed projects and start shopping them around? Is there value in getting back with ACFW? Should I rejoin my local all-genre group?

You can see what a quandry I'm in. My time will be limited till I retire, so I need to make the best use of it. Thanks for any suggestions you may have.

Blessings on your own writing journey!