IWSG: June

It’s time for June’s IWSG post! The IWSG posts every first Wednesday of the month. June’s co-hosts are: JH Moncrieff, Madeline Mora-Summonte, Jen Chandler, Megan Morgan, and Heather Gardner!

Did you ever say “I quit”? If so, what made you come back to writing?

When I graduated college, although I was exhilarated to be a college graduate, I was also feeling pretty burnt out. I was a writing major. My school believed in that academic writing program thing of workshops and literary fiction, trying to channel their writing majors into Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees and MFA programs.

That was not me. I didn’t think I was a particularly good fiction writer, to be honest. It was the only kind of writing I’d ever wanted to do but I came out of college thinking I didn’t have the chops. I didn’t have a particular genre I was drawn to write (I had a few I was very drawn to, reading-wise). I was hardly the most talented, most praised, most encouraged, or most anything of my fellow writing majors.

But I didn’t actually say, “I’m never creatively writing ever again. I quit.”

I think I decided that trying to finish up a story I’d been writing and rewriting since college was the way to go, for some reason. I’d been wanting to write a real book since I was 12. I had time, after graduating grad school. I might as well write that book now.

Thus, Book the First. It’s terrible, by the way, but it represents that last gasp of the stuff I was writing as a relaxer in college. It was never meant to be submitted in writing workshops.

I eventually came around to realizing that my entire personality is just…”writer.” Storytelling is compulsive. The incremental improvements, the nuggets of info and technicalities, the satisfying (or not satisfying) shape of a story coming together and doing what it’s supposed to…

There’s no coming back from that sort of thing.

41 thoughts on “IWSG: June

  1. Sorry about your grandfather. I only had one growing up. He died at 77 about 13 years ago, but it was very sad. It was one of those, slipped very quickly kind of things. But really though, I think picking out a cover would be my most favorite part. 🙂 I play around with mock covers a lot already. If I remember my conference panel that I went to on this on last year, I think they said you can get a really good custom cover for around $150.

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  2. So sorry for your loss. Glad you could be there though. Sometimes that is the greatest blessing when you know it's time for a loved one to move on. Good luck for your cover search. I don't write historical so I don't have any advice.

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  3. Thank you. Of the covers I've looked at…they're a bit too modern for me. And since I don't really know what I want, it's a bit harder to decide which direction to go in–custom cover, pre-made cover, person on cover, object on cover…

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  4. I'm sorry for your loss, Michelle.Maybe think about a different aspect of your story that you can highlight on the cover. Like if it's pioneer times, a photo of a covered wagon instead of a pioneer woman. Maybe try something more symbolic.

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  5. Errr…well, it's late Georgian England. So we have ships. We have Bristol, England. Pearl buys new gloves toward the end of the story. I'm trying to decide, I think, what says \”historical fiction\” to people.

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  6. Sorry to hear of your grandfather passing. As for historical and diverse, have you thought about an old time plantation style mansion? To me, that conveys historical!

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  7. Thank you, Diane. It definitely says historical, but only a bit of it takes place on a plantation. I've never put this much thought into a cover before. It's different when it's yours!

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  8. Michelle,Condolences on your grandfather.Glad your novella is going so well. I don't know very much about cover art myself but I'm sure you'll find something good.

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  9. So sorry about your grandfather, Michelle. But he live a nice long time! Am sure many memories were made.Hmm, if you go to my blog, under \”Helpful Resources\” i have a section for cover designs that might help 🙂

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  10. I sort of had an idea of maybe the character's arms with her hands clasped, wearing gloves. Or something. I'll have to look around at the resources and links all of you have left!

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  11. I'm so sorry to read about your loss. It's good to read that the family had time to prepare and were present as he/just after he passed. I'm sure that was very comforting for everybody.With regards to the book cover, I don't have much experience with that. Yet. I'll get there. One day.Seems like some good advice in the comments above.Congrats on the progress with your novella! Awesome!

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  12. Love this! I felt like my writing teachers were trying to turn us into the next \”great American writer\” like Harper Lee or F. Scott Fitzgerald. Writing genre fiction was certainly not encouraged, and my second teacher outright hated it. I think college is good for weeding out the people who don't really want to be writers. The rest of us, we'll find our ways back. It's just who we are.

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  13. There was definitely some of that great American literary writer thing going on, but there was also that great American contemporary writer thing going on as well and, I've come to realize, neither of those things are me.

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  14. I suppose the trick is to find your niche. Just be who you are, and write what you write best. The world already had a Harper Lee and F. Scott Fitzgerald… and we all know that one of each person is enough.

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  15. I'm so glad you didn't listen to that negative voice. Who cares about writing the perfect literary work, the next great American novel? Write what you love and readers will see your enthusiasm and love your book, too.

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  16. I've heard that creative writing programs can sometimes be killer. Okay for me personally once I got my B.A., I had this whole panicked – but I need a real job feeling. But the writing never goes away does it?Anne from annehiga.com

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  17. So true! It's addictive as hell, though it torments us.I'm glad you didn't give up. Most of the writers lauded in college courses weren't appreciated until after death, anyway. And what fun is that?

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