Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Acceptance, Revision, WriteOnCon, Kayaking, and Monetizing my Blog?

The Title and the Reality

The title of my blog sounds like too much. I can't possibly tackle all those topics at once, can I? Well, it's just all part of my life. I love how much God has blessed my life with family, friends, and purpose. Don't get me wrong about that. But there are moments when the purposes that God has placed in my life seem to conflict like multiple rocks thrown into a pond creating a maze of ripples that push against one another, and I strive to find a common theme, a moment that ties it all together.

So, Acceptance - it's awesome, isn't it? When someone accepts our writing, our work, a part of who we are? Yes, it is. However, in the writing world, and sometimes even in the real world, that acceptance comes with a list of suggested revisions from an editor/supervisor. "Yes, we want your story/poem/novel/idea, but we feel you need to make changes, here, here, here, and here, and oh, there too." Even when the revisions make our writing stronger, there is that moment when we first get THE list that feels like someone put rocks on our stomachs.

And it's not just me saying that, check out this video from Lindsey Leavit at WriteOnCon: The Debut Year where she shares the ups and downs of her debut year as an author, and exactly how she felt about the 12 page list of revisions she was given.

So, if you haven't joined Write On Con, I highly recommend it. I think it's running today and tomorrow. It's my first year checking it out, and the reality is, I don't have enough time to get everything out of it, but I'm enjoying the tidbits that fit into my life, like that video, and this short article Middle Grades Got Heart by Joanna Stampfel-Volpe.

All of these amazing tidbits mixed in with my ongoing revision of my current novel, and the poem that is going to be published (yay!) are working my writing muscles to the max, king of like how kayaking worked my stomach and back muscles to the max yesterday.

My oldest daughter is fully engaged with Junior Zookeeper Zoo Camp in the afternoons this week, and my youngest loves to kayak almost as much as I do. So away we went yesterday, for the first time in a year, kayaking south from Owen's Beach, across the ferry terminal docks and marina entrance and towards Ruston Way. Heavy boater traffic forced us to turn around, and to paddle harder than we normally would. At the time, if felt great. I was loving every moment (well, except when we weren't sure that power boat saw us - yikes!)and then we slowed down by the beach shoreline, and checked out crabs, jellyfish, sea stars, and lots of kelp. It felt wonderful to be out on the water.

By the time we returned to our starting point, I realized that maybe, just maybe, I was even more out of shape than I realized. My stomach and back muscles were already protesting. In fact, I thought I might be sick from the pain in my stomach muscles. They burned and ached, and I wasn't sure I wanted to walk to my car. Lots of water and some ibuprofin later, I resolved to get serious again about getting into shape. I don't want my generally lazy nature to get in the way of having fun with my daughters.

How does this relate to writing at all? Well, I have a tendency to get lazy with my writing now and then, and when I decide to be serious, it takes a painful revision effort to get my writing into the kind of shape it needs to be in to be fun. That poem that's getting published? I revised it at least a dozen times already. And it still needed more.

This scares me a bit, when it comes to my novel revision. I keep calling this revision step my first revision, but it's not, not really. I started revising it twice before now, and then stopped to say . . . "oh, it just sucks too much." This is my third time with revision with the Crystal Sword. It's going better than it has before, and I am sticking through the painful, "cut-three-pages-at-once" and "take-those-characters-out-of-the-picture" parts. I'm a fifth of the way through it. I know I can finish it. I just have to crunch my way through the pages, much like I need to crunch my stomach every day, so I can kayak without pain.

And monetizing my blog? Well, not today, but it's a thought, maybe. Is it worth it? That's my question for all of the bloggers out there. Is monetizing worth it? What do you think?

Scripture Blessings:

"And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ - to the glory and praise of God." Philippians 1:9-11


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Revisions do make our writing stronger. For some odd reason, I have no problems accepting changes suggested by my publisher or critique partners.
I get a request a week to advertise something on my blog for money. I've decided that's just not what I'm about.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Alex - revisions from a critique partner feel way different than from a publisher for me . . . although I think it depends on how many times I've already revised. Or maybe I'm just being ungrateful today . . . hmm.
And on the monetizing thing - it's good to hear that. I just wonder every once in a while.