What Really Happens When You Set Aside a WIP After 10 Years of Revisions

An Autobiography of the Past 7 Months in GIF Form

Last June I set aside the trilogy I’d been striving to revise for 10+ years, because I could no longer see the forest for the trees and it had problems I could not see a way to fix.

It’s gone about like this…

Step One: First, you realize that what you’ve actually done is ripped out a chunk of your heart and left a gaping hole of raw, bleeding soul.

Step 2: You feel like you don’t know your purpose anymore, or where you’re going in life.  You’re not even sure if you’ll ever want to write again.

Step 3: Suddenly God provides you with a new story idea, and it’s actually exciting to you and you want to write again!

Step 4: You start writing your new idea and are getting pretty excited about it. And your friends like it!

Step 5: You hit a snag in your new story. You start to have doubts. I couldn’t make that other WIP work after 10 whole years!! What makes me think I’m ANY good at this whole writing thing??

Step 6: And all you want to do is go back to that beloved WIP and talk to those characters and hug them and never let them go…

Step 7: You spend months trying and dropping WIP after WIP. Nothing is coming together. Each new writing project feels like a fresh experiment in discovering your own inadequacy.

Step 8: But you try to have a good attitude about it all. You’re learning, right? You’re growing, right?? This is a GOOD THING, RIGHT?

Step 9: Finally you reach a kind of peace. You’re still not sure where you’re going anymore, and you still think wistfully about the project you can’t go back to yet…but you’ve found assurance again that God has a purpose for your writing and you’re not a failure.

Step 10: Confidence boosted, you charge forward with purpose toward new possibilities.

Failures, repeated failures, are finger posts on the road to achievement. One fails forward toward success. – C.S. Lewis

I haven’t quite reached Step 10 yet…I’m still repeating Steps 7, 8, and 9 (with occasional fallbacks into earlier steps). 😛 But by God’s grace, I’m sure I’ll have clear direction again, one of these days!

And while I’m still not there, I’m pressing on, bit by bit, learning more than I ever thought I needed to learn and laying down more pride than I ever saw before in my heart. I’m finding joy in my journey – even when it hurts and all I want to do is rush back to the hobbit hole of my comfortable, familiar trilogy where my heart lived for ten years. I’m entrusting that world and all those dear characters to God, who knows the very best thing for them (even if that best thing is…gulp…that it might never see the light of day).  And while I wait for the right time to return, I’m following His call to write into new places where I never thought I’d tread.

Life is an uncertain rollercoaster, but He is good. Stories may shatter, but He is faithful.

The terrible thing, the almost impossible thing, is to hand over your whole self – all your wishes and precautions – to Christ. – C.S. Lewis

Did you ever lay down a dream after working toward it for a really long time? How did God teach you and bring you to a new direction?

#WIPjoy Is Over…NOW WHAT DO I DO?

Awwwww, the fun of the January edition of #WIPjoy is over, and the giveaway too. Now what???

Well, #WIPjoy is coming back in April, Lord willing! 😀

But since I created the first #WIPjoy last year, a lot of similar hashtag games have been created by other authors, so if you’re feeling a daily-tweet-shaped hole in your heart and it needs to be filled right NOW, one – or all – of these upcoming games should satisfy that itch! 🙂

Click on the images to go to the hosts’ profiles on Twitter and follow them!

#FebWIP

The lovely Reagan Colbert held #DecWIP back in December, and in February she’s back with a #FebWIP! All the questions for this one are supposed to be answered by your main character.

#Authorconfession

A lot of you were doing the #Authorconfession challenge alongside #WIPjoy. Well, good news – there’s another one from J.M. Sullivan for February!

#FictFBFeb17

And last but not least, Faith Rivens has made another character-centric game, a daily challenge to help you connect with your character – neatly themed by words beginning in F.

I hope you rejoin me in April for another #WIPjoy, and in the meantime, happy hashtagging! 🙂

The Joy of Writing Giveaway WINNERS!

Drumroll, please!

And the winners of the January 2017 Joy of Writing Giveaway are…

Partial Edit and Review Prizes

  • Winner of the 10-page partial edit from Katie Morford: Clare Dugmore
  • Winner of the 15-page partial edit from Ralene Burke: Andie Biagini
  • Winner of the 3-chapter general critique OR 1-chapter comprehensive critique from Mirtika Schultz: Alyson Bowen
  • Winners of a 15-page edit (and a 25% discount on a complete edit of their choice) from Sarah White: Anna Bourassa and Benjamin Kocher
  • Winners of the 10-page comprehensive manuscript reviews from Janeen Ippolito: Diana Alisa Sanchez Costin and Sarah Yoon
  • Winners of a 15-page edit (and 20% discount on a complete edit of their choice) from Bethany Jennings: Jennifer Acres and Jean Pace

Coaching Prizes

  • Winners of the half-hour manuscript consults from Katie Morford: Mollie Reeder and Emily Hayse
  • Winner of the 25% discount on Katie Morford’s 8-week fiction writing mentorship course: Hannah Givens
  • Winner of the coaching sessions (2 half hours OR 1 hour each) from Janeen Ippolito: Jessi Elliott and Cathrine Bonham

Blurb Prizes

  • Winner of the blurb critique from Katie Morford: Rachel Kennedy Harbour
  • Winner of the fully written blurb and revision from Mirtika Schultz: Jason Dailing

Books and #WIPjoy Swag

  • Winner of the World-Building From the Inside Out textbook and workbook from Janeen Ippolito: Jessica Springer
  • Winners of the #WIPjoy posters from Bethany Jennings: Drea Lee and James Holstein
  • Winner of the “Don’t Lose Your #WIPjoy” mug from Bethany Jennings: Nicola Rose

Grand Prize

And the winner of the giveaway Grand Prize (20-page edit from Bethany Jennings, #WIPjoy poster, and $10 Amazon gift card) is…Jacy Merrill!

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Congratulations to all the winners! The editors you won prizes from will be contacting you soon.

Thank you, everyone, for participating in this giveaway, and for joining in the fun of #WIPjoy!  Whether you won a prize or not, I hope this month has refueled your enthusiasm and given you hope and enthusiasm to press on with your writing.

If you are interested in the services offered by the editors who held this giveaway, check out the links below to our business pages. 🙂 Any one of us would love to work with you, and we don’t bite! 😀

Bethany Jennings

Janeen Ippolito

Sarah White

Ralene Burke

Mirtika Shultz (blurb help)

Katie Morford

The Joy of Writing Giveaway & Editing Launch!

The Joy of Writing Giveaway (1)

SURPRISE! It’s a giveaway!!

A year ago, I created #WIPjoy as a way for authors to connect, support each other, and rediscover their passion for their WIPs.  Many of you have told me over the past year that #WIPjoy helped you plug into the author community and find enthusiasm again.  That makes me so happy!

Now it’s a new year, and in 2017 I hope to begin helping my fellow authors in a new way – I’m excited to announce that I am now offering my services as a freelance editor! This is something that’s been in development for a few months, and it’s a thrill to finally, officially hang up my shingle. 🙂

To celebrate my new services – and a year of fun with you, awesome #WIPjoy-ers! – a group of wonderful editors and I have come together to hold a giveaway!  Some of us are newer to the field, some of us have years of experience, but ALL of us are excited to give away fun prizes and help you soar in your journey to publication.

Passion and inspiration are one side of the coin.  The other half is the exhaustive, often painful task of refining our passion projects until they are as cohesive, clean of error, and powerful as they can be. I hope #WIPjoy has helped you with the former – maybe one of us can help you with the latter!

Just like every author’s voice is unique, so is every editor’s style and work.  Learn a little about each of us and the prizes we’re offering below, and then scroll down to the Rafflecopter giveaway at the bottom of the post!

Six Editors – Over Twenty Prizes!

Author picBethany Jennings

I’ve been writing all my life – ever since I was old enough to pick up a pencil and spell. As an editor, I’m excited to work with authors at all levels, but especially young and new authors who are still finding their voices and dreaming of being published for the first time. I specialize in speculative fiction, and my flash fiction has been published in Havok Magazine and on the Splickety Lightning Blog.

When I’m not writing fiction in the dead of night, I’m chasing after my four adventurous kiddos, eating artistic sandwiches, and enjoying the writerly communities on Facebook and Twitter.

I’m giving away…

  • The Giveaway Grand Prize – a 20-page edit, #WIPjoy poster, and $10 Amazon gift card
  • Two 15 page edits that come with a 20% discount on an editing service of your choice, if you like my work
  • Two beautiful #WIPjoy posters (pictured above in the giveaway graphic)
  • The “Don’t Lose Your #WIPjoy” mug (pictured above in the giveaway graphic)

DSC_0649Janeen Ippolito

Janeen Ippolito is a multi-published author in speculative fiction and nonfiction writing resources. She’s also an experienced editor, book reviewer, and English teacher, and she’s the Fearless Leader (president) of Uncommon Universes Press. She believes that writing (and editing) should be fun and that everyone can do awesome work–they just need a solid editor and coach in their corner.  As an editor and coach, her mission is help writers refine their unique stories in speculative fiction, from paranormal romance to hard science fiction. She’s also passionate about bringing organization and a unique voice to nonfiction. Her background in communication and book sales has given her additional insight into both the creative and the marketing aspects of story telling.  More than a manuscript perusal, she examines how the writer’s message connects with genre and marketing expectations, and creates an editing strategy for irresistible stories that make for happy readers. In her spare time, she enjoys sword-fighting, reading, learning random facts, and making brownie batter. Two of her goals are eating fried tarantulas and traveling to Antarctica.

Janeen is giving away…

  • Two coaching sessions (an hour or two half-hours per winner)
  • Two 10-page comprehensive manuscript reviews
  • A copy of both her “World-Building From the Inside Out” textbook and workbook

DSC_0755bSarah Delena White

Sarah Delena White is passionate about helping writers realize their unique visions and bring quirky concepts and fantastic worlds to life. She specializes in speculative fiction and academic editing, and offers a range of services that will take your manuscript from a draft to a polished work. She is also a founding member of Uncommon Universes Press, where she serves as acquisitions editor. Her novel Halayda, an epic Celtic mythology mash-up, will release this spring. When she’s not writing or editing, she can be found making jewelry, singing Irish ballads, and drinking lattes.

Sarah is giving away…

  • Two fifteen-page edits and a discount on her editing services

Mir Head Shot Red top CROPPEDMirtika Schultz

Mirtika holds a degree in English and has edited at two speculative fiction magazines. She’s won several awards for her writing, including the ACFW Genesis in the Visionary category, and has published articles, poems, and short stories. She enjoys editing and writing blurbs. Her favorite genres for both reading and editing are fantasy, soft science fiction, horror, mystery, poetry, devotionals (Christian), suspense, and romance (especially those with a speculative or spiritual element).

Mirtika is giving away:

  • a full story blurb for your back cover, written by her (along with a revision of it based on your feedback)
  • your choice of a 3 chapter general critique or a 1 chapter comprehensive critique.

10700183_826431770711959_847746669942940741_oRalene Burke

Whether she’s wielding a fantasy writer’s pen, a freelance editor’s sword, or a social media wand, Ralene Burke always has her head in some dreamer’s world. And her goal is to make it SHINE!  She has worked for a variety of groups, including Realm Makers, The Christian PEN, Kentucky Christian Writers Conference, and as an editor for a number of freelance clients.

Ralene is giving away…

  • a 15-page partial edit

IMG_7999rvhoriKatie Morford

Katie Morford is an author and freelance fiction content editor specializing in character-centric “soft” speculative fiction (steampunk, space opera, urban fantasy), as well as romantic suspense and some historical fiction. She lived overseas for nearly three years and has traveled to over 30 countries, giving her rich experience in world-building and cultural settings. Her co-authored romantic suspense novel, Kenan, released last May under her pen name, Karis Waters. Katie is also a founder and the managing content editor of indie publishing house Crosshair Press. Katie loves dancing with her fiance, Cadbury Royal Dark chocolate, and lives in a 100-year-old farmhouse in the middle of nowhere. 

Katie is giving away…

  • a 10 page partial edit
  • one of two half-hour manuscript consults
  • a critique of your back cover blurb
  • a 25% discount on her eight-week fiction writing mentorship course.

Enter the giveaway!

Any writer is welcome to enter, no matter where you are in your journey to publication, whether you already have an editor or not, and whether or not you’ve participated in #WIPjoy. 🙂

Enter anytime from now until January 30, 2017. May the odds be ever in your favor! 😉

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Facebook Page Giveaway

Hey, friends! I just wanted to let you know that I’m running a giveaway on my author page on Facebook! I decided to give away those hand-painted quote bookmarks there rather than on the blog. 🙂 The giveaway is open until 5 PM EST today (the 17th) so hurry over!

Click the picture below to go to the Facebook giveaway:

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