Wagner Writer

Hi you!
So I realized that, as of today, the year is 1/3 gone. Finito. Arrivederci. Bye bye. That’s pretty scary. The time has absolutely flown by!
It’s funny, the first few weeks were snail-like. I hadn’t felt time creep like that since I was a bored kid in the summer. It was actually nice because I felt I had so much time! Since then, it feels like I’m in a Delorean. Oh yeah, Back to the Future reference.
Anyway, I wanted to do a recap of the last 4 months. I think it would be fun to look at my journey so far. Therefore, I’ll share some accomplishments and, because I don’t want to get complacent, also list some unfinished business.
The Accomplishments
1.    I’ve written over 450 pages of the book. At this point, I’m considering the rough draft complete. Now I’m working on massive edits and rewrites. Chapter 1 has been rewritten and I finished chapter 2 yesterday. Fortunately, I don’t think the remaining chapter edits will be as heavy, so I’m anticipating completing the second draft sometime in June or July. At that point I’ll decide if the subsequent chaptersneed to be added. All in all, I’d say that’s pretty freaking awesome! Go me! Regardless of what happens, I have to be proud of the fact that I wrote a 500-page book.
2.    I started the Page Writers’ Group. Membership hasn’t grown but that’s OK; we haven’t been advertising. On the plus side, all original members are still coming and contributing. I think it’s turned into a great way to socialize and also motivates some members to write. If one of the women in the group actually finishes her entire book, I’ll be proud beyond words.
3.    I’ve learned SOOOOO much about writing. I can’t expect miracles from my first book and I know that, deep down, it will suck if/when nothing happens. I mean, I’ve put a ton of blood, sweat, and tears into it. But I have to remember that perfection doesn’t come on the first try. I have to use this as a stepping stone to the next project. And after reading countless links, excerpts, articles, etc…, I’m so much better equipped for the next thing. And I’ll only get better, no matter what I decide to do! OK to be honest, I feel weird writing this so positively, because I know that I’ll be pretty crushed. And I don’t necessarily feel all uplifted and accomplished. But these words are the truth no matter how much rejection and everything else affects me.
What’s Left
1.    The book isn’t done yet! And I have to be mentally prepared for whatever comes, even if it means more rewrites or chapter additions.
2.    I have SOOOOO much more to learn. The learning curve is very fast at first, so I feel I’ve grown a ton in the last several months. Like anything, getting to the next level will be harder. I will feel like I’m learning less and it’s taking longer. But the next plateau will be so rewarding. I just have to continue working hard!
3.    I have to get into the whole publishing thing. Again, I am not expecting a publisher to pick up the book. But it’s not going to stop me from trying. And then I’ll look at self-publishing. Ultimately, if I can get the book into the hands of a small group of people and a few of them like it, I have to consider that a success. From the research I’ve done, though, any type of publishing looks fairly daunting. I have a lot of reading to do!
The Accomplishments
1.    I’ve now sang in front of people fourteen times. Considering the last time I sang alone was at my mother’s funeral over 3 years ago, that’s pretty huge! I’ve received lots of nice comments and one lady said she comes just to hear me sing (I’m not sure if that’s the right reason to go to church, but it was nice to hear, lol).
2.    I’m in the middle of my first singing video. We have recorded several takes and will be at it again tonight. Hopefully I’ll have something to release soon.
3.    I’m already thinking about a Christmas concert here in Page. I’d LOVE to perform carols to a small group! Windy said I might be able to perform for her clients. If so, that would be super fun. Hopefully it will be better than Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey’s variety show…
What’s Left
1.    I still need to keep on keeping on. I admit I’m still not comfortable yet and long for that day I can just show up 15 minutes before Mass and actually enjoy myself. It’s getting better but I’m still nervous and ready to be done. I need to change that attitude… It will just take more time.
2.    Even though I’m excited to be making the video, it’s running way behind schedule. Mostly because of me. I’ve procrastinated and need to get on the ball. Once it’s finished, I’d love to start the next one and eventually build up a decent pool of videos. And after they’re famous, I can sneak in an infamous sex tape. That’s what people do, right?
Enjoying the Area
The Accomplishments
1.    I’m still taking weekly walks out to the Hanging Gardens trail. The hikes have become my balance in life. Wow that sounds cheesy, but it’s true. Spending those few hours alone and just thinking through things is actually pretty amazing. Do I have all the answers? Of course not. But they give me food for thought. Usually, I walk away with tidbits I need to work on. Or I end up with a different perspective on things. I’ll probably be talking about one of those “things” in a future blog post.
2.    Other than my private walks, we have visited Horseshoe Bend (look for more on this in a future post), the Thousand Pockets, Lake Powell, and the Rim View Trail. Not too shabby! Windy and Chris love to get out as much as I do so we usually find ourselves somewhere on the weekend. And, when we don’t, we’re sitting in the back yard drinking wine. Yeah!
3.    As I mentioned before, my kayak is here! I should be getting on the lake any day now.
What’s Left
1.    I still haven’t written outdoors yet. I’ve meant to take my stuff out to a trail and see how it goes. Part of me thinks the experience will be amazing. I won’t get that cooped up feeling I sometimes experience at the house. However, the other part of me worries I won’t be as productive because there will obviously be more distractions. The thing is, I’m not going to know unless I try. So I really need to get going.
2.    The lake! I haven’t been out yet as it’s been too cold. I really plan on spending several days a week on the water as it’s so beautiful. I will definitely be posting updates!
Random Learnings or Stories
Overall, how do I feel about everything?
You know, it’s really a mixed bag. On one hand, I’m quite proud. I’ve accomplished a lot in the last four months. I think it’s definitely more than I expected.
But there’s another part of me that feels like it’s not near enough. Even though I usually work fairly full days, I sometimes think I need to be doing more. Especially because I’m seeing more and more gaps in my knowledge. I tell myself I’m on a limited timeline with a limited budget and need to be cranking.
Currently, I’m putting in about 6-7 hours of solid work/research a day (not including weekends). Sometimes I find myself writing or researching late at night, so maybe the average is a bit higher. And I also have to take into account the hour work-outs, singing practices, writers’ group meetings, etc… Still, it seems low even though I feel busy.
The big question is, is that enough? Am I doing everything I can to make the most of this year? Honestly, I think I’m close but not quite there yet.
Honestly, I think some of the uncertainty is due to the fact that I don’t know what happens next. I could work 18 hour days but, until something is a bit more solidified, I’d still be worrying.
Anyway, wish me luck over the next 1/3 of my journey!


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