Content edits complete!

I’ve been writing from morning to midnight, on weekends and during breaks from work, powering through the toughest part of my revisions for draft three. I just finished writing a new ending and epilogue and now, as of today, am done with the bulk of major content edits!

I’ve learned I work well by setting daily goals rewarded with positive reinforcement. As the day progresses, every goal I hit (chapters at this point), I reward myself, i.g., a cup of coffee or browsing social media for five minutes. The small breaks help clear and reset my brain, so when I dive into the next chapter, I’m ready to go.

So what’s next?

For August, I’ll be polishing and honing, cracking down on any passive voice, checking for typos, grammar issues (not my forte), and really working on the flow of dialogue and sentence structure. I’ll be spending days in each of my main character’s heads, making sure what they say and do, fits their voice and desires. This is such a fun part of the process because everything I need is there, I’m just painting in the tiny details and flourishes that make my writing, well, me.

At the end of August, I’ll be submitting this baby back to my badass editors at Author Crash Course for round three edits. Keep your fingers crossed they love Ezrah’s new voice and like my changes so I’ll be one step closer to submitting this bad boy to literary agents.

What stage are you guys at for your WIP?

Happy writing!

P.S. Guzzling Electric Unicorn Coffee from Bones Coffee Company as I type and it’s sooooooooooooo damn good! I love Fruity Pebbles and this is the guilt-free coffee version. It came in today, as though they knew, I needed to celebrate my progress. Plus, they also have tons of other flavors I can’t wait to try. Coffee fiends rejoice!

-RF

train tracks

I think I can. I think I can. I think I can. I know I can.

I read a dropkick-to-the-chest statistic the other day. Less than .6% of people who write a book ever get published. Well, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle! With information out like that, it’s easy for a writer to lose hope. How does one continue with the madness of writing with the odds not in their favor? Quite simply, you have to believe in yourself. Yeah, I know. It sounds cliché. But it’s a cliché for a reason. Whether or not you succeed is entirely up to you. It all starts with your mindset.

When I was a kid, almost every morning before we climbed onto the school bus, my mom used to read to us (my two brothers and two sisters), loads and loads of books. One of my favorites was THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD. For those of you who haven’t read this book, you should. I know, I know. It’s a children’s book. Nonetheless,  it teaches a valuable lesson about being optimistic and having a positive attitude that even an adult can benefit from. The engine that prevails keeps telling himself, “I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.” It’s a mantra I’ve carried with me all the way from childhood to adulthood, and it’s helped me get through some pretty dark times.

Is it easy staying positive and believing in yourself? Not in the slightest. Some days, I feel like that little engine, trying to power up some tracks that scale the side of Mt. Everest. I read a brilliant book and immediately wish my writing was better. I see all of these authors ten years younger than me, getting massive book deals. Don’t get me wrong. I’m ecstatic for their success. But it’s hard not to compare. Even today, right before writing this post, I received a lackluster beta reader review. They didn’t hate my book but they sure as hell didn’t love it either. I poured my heart and soul into this manuscript and downright sobbed during some heartbreaking scenes, yet they didn’t manage to shed a tear.

I know the only way for me to power up and overcome this mountain of doubt is lessening the load. I have to toss off the baggage that’s holding me back. Forget about the negative reviews, the naysayers who proclaim I’ll never make it, and the vast accomplishments of other writers. What separated these successful authors from the 99.4% who didn’t make it?  They never gave up. And neither will I.

Whether you’re a writer trying to break into the publishing industry or you’re following another Herculean dream, just remember—if you think you can, you can. If you think you can’t, well, you can’t and you won’t.

As for me? I know I can.

Mountain view