I remember the thrill rising in my chest after watching a terrific movie. The aura that hung over me, pushing me to do something. (Was it indigestion?)
I remember the I’m-in-this-for-the-long-haul decision. (Once I realized it wasn’t indigestion but inspiration.)
I remember finding Harold Underdown’s site or maybe it was that other site that is now the Fighting Bookworms. They had a list of words not to use: just, very, exactly, usually, starting to, trying to… I went through with a swift sword of justice and eliminated every one from my work. Triumph!
I remember that my goal of one chapter a week was a lot. I mean I still needed time for all my favorite television shows.
I remember finishing my first draft and not understanding the whole revision thing because I couldn’t find one thing I’d change. My work was perfect.
I remember my first face-to-face critique group, even though they all wrote adult fiction, and taking each criticism to heart (even when it wasn’t good for my story).
I remember when I first heard the words ‘show don’t tell’ and ‘use the five senses’ and thinking, ‘What’s the big deal about those concepts?’
I remember revising and rewriting my first manuscript for three, yes you heard me right, three years! (I did learn a lot even though I should’ve moved on way earlier.)
I remember sending out my query and sample pages to publishers and eagerly checking the mailbox every day.
I remember my first rejection letters with some nice personal notes.
I remember saying I would absolutely never blog.
I remember the thrill of opening the Children’s Writer newsletter when it arrived in the mail.
I remember an agent rejecting a requested partial (from that first manuscript) with a note about three dimensional characters and arc. (What the heck did that mean?)
It’s good to remember.
I would’ve given anything for a free online conference like WriteOnCon. Seriously. I’m taking Wednesday off to enjoy the conference and dabble in the forums. Be back on Friday with my highlights.
What do you remember from your early years?