The Writer's Journey - My Story - Part 2

There are a multitude of thoughts that run through an author’s head during the plotting, writing, editing, polishing, re-writing, and repeat over stage. Light the barbecue was and endless reel that ran in intricate and complex stream over and over in my mind. It consumed me in that, I became sick of my own story and it is terribly dangerous when you fall in that pit. Climbing out of this bottomless pit is harder than running a marathon. 

 I had fallen out of love with my story

After my ‘rejection’ moment.  I went back to the proverbial drawing board. A dear friend offered to work with me. I learnt a great deal from her but I had fallen out of love with my story. At the time I did not understand why I felt that way. My conscious mind was screaming that my muse had left the building and she wouldn’t be back anytime soon. I persevered and made changes and then made the decision to pitch my book at conference for the second time. I got two requests and followed through. Remember that was 2012. I have given up on waiting for a rejection. 

all the little lights in my brain went bling, bling, bling. Times square’s lights had nothing on what was going on inside my brain.  

In 2013 I decided that I would pitch at the US conference. Again two requests one from an Agent and from a Publisher. Waiting – nah – I am a veteran in ‘non response.’ The best thing that happened at the 2013 conference, that shone the stadium lights on everything, was a twenty five page critique with an awesome and amazing author, who read my drivel and gave me solid feedback. When she explained, all the little lights in my brain went bling, bling, bling. Times square’s lights had nothing on what was going on inside my brain.  

On the flight home from Atlanta to Australia I tore the manuscript to pieces. It was a love hate relationship.

From: http://i.giphy.com/rIIsuUflbjvX2.gif

In 2014 I asked another dear friend if she would edit me. “Yes,” she said. But that same year I decided that I needed to feed the academic beast that had reared its head and would not subside. So that process was thrown on the back burner as I struggled with pressure of full-time study. My book would have to wait for a little longer.  No harm in that right?

WRONG!

The guilt I felt for not progressing cut deeply into my muse and opened a gigantic fissure of doubt that I feared I would not ever return from. I bleed for a long time. I was annoyed mostly with myself for not giving it my 110%. Out of my anger I turned to the inner self for answers and that is when I remembered. I wrote this in 2010 about the writerly-self,

Writerly – Self-evaluation –  the reflection process and learning that happens whilst writing. 

Self-confidence –  belief that allows the writer to master challenges and obstacles in order to accomplish and execute what they ventured out to do.

Self-awareness – recognition of strengths and weaknesses within the writing.

Self-fulfilment – reaching and attaining the goal of a finished novel/work which brings happiness and satisfaction to the writer.

Self-enlightenment – the knowledge of the divine connection of the writing to the self.

Believably, these are all sides of self that a writer will consider and which will evoke a deeper thought in methodologies and approach in the expedition of writing. This depth fuses the understanding of the developing writerly-self.

Soul searching is a way of tapping into our inner strengths.  By understanding ourselves completely we begin to understand how we can bring our inner understanding to our writing thus be able to project our strength onto the blank page that can be the ever daunting stumbling block or thorn in our side.”

I understood why I was struggling at every twist and turn – I had been trying to sever myself completely from the writing. To detach my psyche from my body. To disjoin that which was me from the text. I had spent too much time listening to what and how I should be doing things rather than taking the path that was specifically tuned to me and to me only. This was my baby and it needed nurturing from me and me alone. 

Next week the final piece of this condensed journey –

What a fresh pair of eyes from an editor can do.   

Till then big smiles everyone, Efthalia

 

The Writer's Journey - My Story - Part 1

When I started out to write my first Paranormal/Fantasy/Romance novel, I was fresh out of having finished my Master of Arts in Writing degree. I thought that I could virtually rule the world. Put a sword in my hand and I could slay dragons, the likes that we read in medieval literature. In modern terms Ironman had nothing on me. How utterly bombastic and delusional I was. The universal truth slapped me upside the head sideways and in Greek style.

How utterly bombastic and delusional I was.

I knew nothing about the publishing industry, something that continues to baffle me and amaze me at the same time. But that new knowledge of knowing how little I knew, as Socrates would have said if he were around today, drove me to learn, to immerse myself in the art and craft of creative fiction. Something that non writers often think is an easy task. My evil side wishes I had a cricket bat for every time I am told that anyone can do it. 

That same year I got my first rejection

Back to me, so sword swinging I took the leap and went to my first Romance Writer’s Conference, the best thing I ever did, in 2011. The workshops were an eye opener and the speakers motivational and inspiring. Under the influence of my new found friends which I met in the cyber sphere of RWA’s chat room, I pitched my book. I got a request for the full manuscript. I came back from conference and sent my book. That same year I got my first rejection. I didn’t grovel or cry. I felt elated. Why? Because I got feedback and feedback is the most nurturing nourishment that a newbie author needs. To this day I am grateful for that feedback. It pointed out my strengths and weaknesses and I required that as much as I need chocolate and baklava. 

The lesson for me that year was that I had something to work with. Truth is you can not re-write, edit or fix something that isn’t written.  

next week – fixing your MS vs BBQ fuel. .

Warmest, Efthalia

Welcome to My New Blog and Website

Welcome everyone! Good to see you all here! Firstly some news. It’s been a long time in the making (since 2011) but I can firmly say that Phantasma – A Phi Athanatoi Novel is just around the corner from publication. It has been held up for some last minute edits that were a necessary evil. Just  because we choose to self-publish doesn’t mean we should deter from giving our work the time it needs. I truly hope I have done a good enough job for my first publication.  Phantasma by Efthalia

I’ve also decided to do a big market push and that takes time and planning because nobody really knows who I am. To me it was imperative to consider that as a self-published author I need to introduce myself to readers and industry based professionals.  

In the coming weeks  I’ll be sharing a little of my journey with you all(one will be posted right after this post). Yes the preverbal if I knew then what I know now and the common trials and tribulations of the writing process. Warning: Crazy rambling will occur. 

Now for the fun stuff, I will be running a MAMMOTH GIVEAWAY, which will be open internationally. So look out for it. 

To finish, I should have some concrete news for you all in the next few weeks, about Phantasma….watch this space.

Big smiles, Efthalia     

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