Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Writer's Retreat Submission

I took a huge step in the writing realm a couple of weeks ago. As a member of the Midwest (which I don't get, because Indiana is a little more on the eastern side of the country, but then again, I'm sure people in Iraq are wondering why they're considered the Middle East), I am able to "be a part of" the Midwest Writers' Group. The website is horrid, really, but a writer isn't a designer, so we'll have to forgive those who are in charge of it. 

I went to a writer's workshop earlier this month during heavy snow with fellow members of my small writer's group. At the workshop, I learned about a writer's retreat they offer and this excited me. For the first time, I actually followed through:

Six fiction writers and three nonfiction writers are picked based on a 1,000 word excerpt from their latest work. They spend a Friday and Saturday in Northern Indiana with each other and  three writing coaches working on their manuscript. There needs to be at least 20 pages already written, since it is a work in progress.

I did all the above. I decided that I was a fiction writer. I tweaked the first 1,000 words of my latest novel, which I think will be a good mix of mainstream/literary fiction, sent it off in the mail and now I wait for April 4. 

It doesn't mean publication, but it's a big step, something I wanted to do for the year 2008 -- I want to continue taking big steps. I'm ready. I haven't officially been ready until now. Now, I'm ready to be noticed. Ready for a public. Ready for the public. My public. 

After I sent it off, I realized I didn't have my name on each page I sent. I had a cover page with my name on it and contact information, as well as my name on the first official page of text, but that was it. Paranoid thoughts of some great wind sunk into my chest and I realized, if something happened to those pages, they won't remember who they belonged to, or what order they were in. 

I keep envisioning a great wind, from a fan or an open window, blowing the pages around, getting lost and the person reading it saying, "it was good, but oh well, it's lost in the cavern of my office with tons of other papers lying around on the ground, so I will move on to the next good piece."