I Am the Tortoise

Every Wednesday, YA Highway asks their readership a simple question to answer on your blog. Once you answer, you link your blog in the comments for other readers to hop on board. This is Road Trip Wednesday.

This is YA Highway's 100th RTW prompt. How awesome this that!?

Today's topic: What has your writing road trip looked like so far? Excitement? Traffic Jams and detours? Where are you going next?

Writing has always been an integral part of me, but I've always been too chicken to do anything "more" with it. Sure, I have taken classes, but it wasn't until eight years ago that I drummed up enough courage to put my work out for someone other than for Bestie Danielle to see. I wanted to be a published writer--I should have shown my work much sooner.

Hatching out! An African Spur-Thigh Tortoise (Geochelone Sulcata)Sharing something that is such a big part of you is difficult, as I'm sure many of you could attest. The writing workshop I took was my firststep into the indimidating world of workshopping*. After my first critique, I went home in tears. The story was awful. People were confused. I had no plot. My writing was horrible. Basically, I sucked and should take up macrame instead.**

The workshop was a setback, but a much needed one. I did learn something important: I loved writing enough to continue to persue my goal.

Since the Disastrous Workshop Semester of 2003, my writing road trip has continued to be slow-going. I'm driving a beater that's worse than The Ghettomobile*** and I hate highways****. So while I have three novels written, I only have one query-ready. The other two are in different stages of revision. The majority of the time I'm okay with my progress--I've never been the swiftest person--but, at times, I do get frustrated with myself for taking so long*****.

This is why I have friends. In recent years, I've met some of the most amazing, inspiring, and fantastic people in the kidlit community. Without these friendships, my journey would be lonelier and more boring. I love my writer friends.

As to where I'm heading, I decided to go back to school and am currently researching which MFA programs would be the best fit for me. The future holds possibilities and that's what I'm excited about.

* And when you first start, it is intimidating, scary, and panic-inducing. These people know so much more than you. They've taken workshops with big name authors and at important Ivy League institutions.
** While no said these things to me, this is what I had internalized. (Since today is Honesty Day in Alicia's brain, I might as well admit I got through these emotions every time I get a critique or beta feedback back.)
*** My first car.
**** True fact: If I can get there by back roads, I will, extra driving time be damned.
***** In my fantasy world, everyone wants my novel because I'm incredibly briliant. So brilliant, in fact, the first agent I queried became my agent in a day and my book sold at auction for an unheard of sum of cash. I've been published for six years and have my own private island with a smoking hot pool boy. As you can see my fantasy and reality don't mesh at all, you can return to the main text.
Last.fm hit of the day: Blue by The Verve