At the beginning of every summer, I set goals: how many books I’m going to read, healthy recipes I’m going to try, and opportunities I’m going to have to get together with friends. And at the beginning of every summer, I decide that THIS will be the summer I really focus on my writing.
And, truthfully, I have. For the past handful of years, I dove into my writing. I submitted query letters, entered writing contests, and attended workshops. I blogged, edited, and tweeted. But this summer, I’ve taken a leap and added something else to the mix.
A writing community.
Last week, I joined an online writing community called Becoming Writer through The Write Practice. I didn’t know much about it, but decided that if I want my writing to actually take me places in the future, I’m going to have to be more active about it. I need to take myself seriously as a writer – think about my writing as a profession and not a hobby. So I took the leap and joined. Last week, I submitted my first piece to the forum, something I will do every week for the next year. I will admit, I was nervous. Posting my work for other writers to see was frightening – what if they don’t like my tone? Voice? What if they don’t think I’m a good writer?
Five days and four feedbacks (is that a word?) later, I’m already grateful I took this leap.
My fellow writers gave me suggestions on ways to make my first paragraph stronger and flow more smoothly. They pointed out typos (two of them) that I could easily remedy. But more importantly, their feedback gave me something I have not felt in a while: affirmation of myself as a writer.
So today, while my mom watched my daughter, Writer Michelle stole some time to work on query letters. And I set another goal – this time, I am posting it here so you can all hold me accountable (gulp). I’ve been pining away for a Macbook of my very own. I miss the Mac I had in my former school tremendously, but haven’t felt like I should spend the considerable amount of money it costs to buy one. But here is my goal:
When I get published – when one of my query letters results in my first freelance writing gig – I get to buy myself a Macbook.
Until then, I will continue writing. I will continue querying. And I will continue dreaming in apples.