I’m currently in the midst of rewriting and finally completing a young adult novel for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writer’s Month) that I first started 10 years ago. Yikes–I know, I can’t believe it’s been that long either! As a story first begun in an informal YA (Young Adult) fiction writing class, further developed in a more formal YA fiction writing course, and then regularly critiqued in an intimate, three-person circle of writers before I lost the fire that lit the first couple hundred pages. I’ve mostly been spinning in circles working independently with the story over the last several years–in between news articles, health and wellness blog posts, ghost writing, tutoring and yoga teacher training–rewriting and rewriting again the major scenes at the start of the novel, while working on new scenes here and there. But as November neared and my 40-day countdown to 40 began, I made the decision to recommit to the fictional world I first began at age 30.
As I’ve sunk my teeth back into the plot and re-bonded with the main characters over the last couple weeks, I’ve fully enjoyed the dashed frenzy to get more words on the page. But something was missing. Someone was missing.
So yesterday, on the first sunny day of the week, I attended a writer’s group for the first time in far too many years. I’m so glad to made the effort! I was pleased to see a rather sizable turnout of about a dozen people. There were award-winning novelists, published memoirists, a seasoned journalist, a TV and book reviewer and a short-story writer learning how to write for screen, as well a budding poet and a budding essayist. I made the acquaintance of the author of a memoir on being a medical marijuana dispensary owner, The Brian Hogan. And I was thrilled to see author Sophronia Scott, with whom I was considering taking a memoir writing class at the Fairfield County Writer’s Studio this past fall. After flipping through its pages yesterday afternoon, I can’t wait to read her collection of essays, Love’s Long Line, which comes out in February 2018.
Big thanks to the British-born award-winning writer Gabi Coatsworth for leading such an informative and inspiring writers’ group. I left fresh with ideas to further pursue, workshops and mini conferences to attend, writing contests to ponder entering, writer’s tools to use, and several new writers to follow. I’m excited to finish up NaNoWriMo with thousands more words behind my belt and a better idea for how to come full circle on this novel at long last.