Writing milestone

For as long as I can remember I’ve loved writing.  Whether it was a list, short story or a research paper, if I could write I was golden.  I can’t even leave the house without some sort of paper and writing utensil.

On September 24th, I completed a major writing milestone, one that I’ve longed to do since I finished my first novella in 9th grade-I wrote a book.  Currently it clocks in at over 300 pages and over 80,000 words, which is pretty standard for a Science Fiction novel.  I told friends about (I kept it a secret save a few close friends) and I was overwhelmed at the amount of support I got from it, plus 6 dedicated beta readers!

Even during the writing/first draft process, I tried to edit at least two chapters a week that I’d already written.  Currently I’m finishing up my first edits with another 8 chapters to go.  My goal is to finish my first draft edits and get the first ten chapters through a second draft edit by Halloween.

I had one of my beta readers sample my first chapter over the weekend and they gave me some great feedback.  The most important thing was that the pacing was on point and there was only a minor edit I had to do to the overall structure.  Everything else involved small spelling/grammatical edits and I used different word choices (synonyms) in a few spots.  That’s one chapter ready for beta reading at least!

One of my friends has written several books and they’ve been giving me a lot of pointers on where to go next.  I’m pretty set on self-publishing at this point, so I’ve started researching into it more as I move through the editing process.  I have six beta readers waiting to read my story, which is motivating me to edit quickly.

Once my beta readers are done and have given me feedback, I’ll do another really good edit, then go into publishing from there.  It’s possible I could have a published book sometime in the first quarter of next year, that’d be amazing!  I’m really enjoying the process overall and if all works out well, I’d love to write another one!

 

Of course, my book does explain my absence (though work and life are contributing factors as well).  Hopefully now that I’m in the editing process, I will be writing more as a reinforcer to finishing a chapter or two.

 

Weekend Thoughts on lost skills

 

As early as Middle School, the push to determine what you want to do when you grow up becomes stronger. Already we are picking classes or electives based on our intention as Spanish, higher math classes, agriculture, art and other courses take on a new level of intensity.  In high school it becomes more pronounced as by electing to take AP classes as early as our sophomore year, we are preparing ourselves for college.  Admirably, the push isn’t as strong in the United States as it is in other countries.  In Japan, for instance, the push can begin as early as Preschool.

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I knew in middle school that I was going to go to college.  What for I wasn’t sure, but I knew that my education would continue for an indefinite amount of time.  Once high school started, I took courses that would transfer into college credits or prepare me for more advanced college courses.  Still, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, even once my senior year hit. Here’s a small sampling of careers I seriously considered;

  • Psychologist/counselor
  • Japanese Translator
  • Game designer
  • Web developer
  • Librarian
  • Teacher

If I were to go back and choose my career again (teacher), I would cross teaching off the list .  I’m an excellent teacher, based on my evaluations, student success and what have you, but it wasn’t the right choice.  Do I regret my experiences?  Of course not!  The lives I’ve changed and the changes I’ve had thanks to teaching I wouldn’t change.  Would I opt to change and see what another career could’ve been?  Absolutely.

Here I sit, in my late 20s, not in regret, but in renewed aspiration for something new.  I haven’t just been thinking, however.  Instead, I’ve been developing skills I have lost and gaining new ones.  It hasn’t been a passing fade as over the last three weeks I’ve focused myself to study outside of work and this is only the beginning.

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Japanese

One of the things I’ve been restudying is Japanese.  In high school I knew Hiragana, Katakana and some kanji like the back of my hand.  Almost ten years later, I still know quite a few, but some have been lost to me.  I’ve been really enjoying going back and restudying it for 10-30 minutes everyday and hope to enroll in a class sometime in the future (for credit and authenticity).  I’ve been doing tracing for writing, using an app and playing a game through Steam called “Hiragana Battle” which is quite good.

 

Audio/video editting

In my freshman year of college, I started to study how to make videos.  I even did some decent beginner videos which are still on youtube.  Then…I transferred colleges and gave it up.  Recently I’ve been playing around with video editing and the audio program Audacity. Random trivia: I was involved in theater for 12 years and enjoy doing different voices (to the amusement of my students).  I know your voice is supposed to sound strange to you, but I definitely sound like a kid.  Thus my dreams of being a twitch streamer fade…

 

Writing/editing 

I’ve always wanted to be a writer and love to do any kind of writing.  Heck, I wrote my first mini novel in third grade!  However…its been something on the back burner for a long time since writing is a saturated market.  Despite this, I’ve been doing more writing as of late and working on my editing skills more.

 

Moving forward…

It’s only been 3 weeks since I started this journey of rediscovery and I’m excited to see where it goes.  In the future, I have a running list of what I want to work on next in addition to fine tuning the above.  Next up-I’d like to work on HTML5, data entry (which I do at work surprisingly) and brush up on my German.