I HAVE FINISHED THE NOVEL!
There were one or two things I wanted to add into the novel that I had forgotten, and there are still events I'm debating on including, but I think I have included everything that needs to be mentioned.
The biggest hurdle to completing this work was definitely myself. For those that don't know, my first work is memoir-esque, recounting the events of my childhood. The only issue was there were certain events that were hard to confront and challenging to share. I've been trying to play a careful balancing act with the fact that I was a child and wanting to share why I made certain choices, with the environment around me that helped to mold me into the person I became by the time I was 14. There was also a lot to learn in terms of outlining what was most important to include in the novel itself. If for some reason this work never gets published, at least it has served as a great guide for how to go about writing longer works in the future.
100% though... I think this will be my only nonfiction novel, unless one day I decide to write about my time in China. I'm ready to leave my past behind me (and no, that does not mean I'm wanting to 'mend bridges') and move on completely. I think this novel has really helped with that as well.
Now, when it comes to my other writing endeavors... I threw everything except work and exercise to the wayside to finish this novel, so sorry not sorry, I accomplished nothing else.
That doesn't mean I don't plan on accomplishing more!
So what's next? Well... I'm still waiting to hear back about my poetry manuscript, but agencies say it'll take at least 6-8 weeks for them to respond, if they choose to respond, so I'm still waiting that one out.
In the meantime, I'm going to take a week away from my novel so that I can look it over one more time with fresh eyes before deciding to send it out anywhere.
This means I have more time to focus on both my fiction writing and my poetry! Yayy!
I have SOOOO many writing ideas for longer length works, that I think I'm going to take the time to outline some and choose one to work on that inspires me to write the most. I was actually thinking of doing like a series of monthly writing projects, one after the other and seeing which one(s) I enjoyed the most and polishing up that one, but that might be too ambitious. I'll just have to see how things go. But where does this leave my poetry? Well, I have tons of poems just chilling on my laptop, in notebooks, my phone notes, etc.. so those will continue to live! My plan is to try out a chapbook as my next big poetry project, especially as I try to figure out the lay of publication land.
My hope is to see at least one big publication this year, but I recognize that might be a bit challenging to do when factoring in response times, edits, etc.. that have to happen in order to get a work published. I'll be keeping ya'll updated! Until then enjoy these photos of last week's frisbee game (really popular in China at the moment)!