I broke a lot of new ground in April. I came out of the closet and called myself a writer! Of course, I qualified it with amateur, but I publicly declared that I write and intend to do something with it. It's a profession of faith, a commitment, new ground.
No longer shall I write in the closet. I'll write out in the open and not be ashamed. No longer will I be Jeff, the guy who writes. From this moment forward, I shall stand with my back straight, look people in the eye and say, "Hello, my name is Jeff, and I'm a writer."
And I've taken the first step by submitting my "Cathryn's Bay" short story to the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future competition. Big step for me. Definitely new ground. But I figured, hey, why not? It's just sitting around gathering pixel dust. And that's what writers do. They submit their writing. To competitions, magazines, agents, editors. They write. And writers write to be read.
I'm also working on a short story called "Barnabas" that I plan to submit for a magic stories anthology. I've been working on it for the past couple weeks. I've never submitted anything for publication before. So this too is new ground.
And I'm even considering writing another short story to submit to John Hartness' Big Bad Anthology. I have a few ideas, but haven't fleshed out the plot for that one yet. It's worth a look if you're interested.
Of course, I also broke new ground in April by completing my very first book, The Bonding. A few fine folks have offered to alpha read it for me. I'm giddy with anticipation. It's kind of like sending your newborn off to see a pediatrician and waiting for the prognosis.
I completed my first full-novel critique for another writer this month and am in the midst of a second one. I work hard at giving critiques and feedback. I take it seriously because the people who wrote the books take it seriously. Fair is fair.
And I made a commitment. A scary commitment. Don't ask me why. I'm a guy. I'm supposed to be afraid of commitment. Several members of the Yahoo Fantasy Writing Group are doing their own little private May NaNoWriMo challenge. You know the deal, right? 50,000 (new and original) words written toward a novel within a month. I agreed to participate. My internal editor works overtime. I want to learn how to send him on vacation while I draft. This should help. Again, new ground.
Wish me luck. New ground is often soft. I don't want to get stuck or sink or become mired in this new ground. I want to cultivate it, fertilize it, and watch things grow from it.
So, are you that person who writes? Or are you a writer?