While I’ve never been the most prolific updater, I’ve been gone even longer than usual this time and I wanted to give an update or sorts and some kind of explanation.
I got my degree! It’s been signed, sealed and delivered. All that’s left is to frame it. I will get to that. Eventually. It’s still in the envelope it came in at the moment, but I’ll take that. Now I’m looking for jobs. I did a brief stint as a freelance proofreader and that was rewarding. Very rewarding, even. I’m not sure if I would do it again, but it was an experience I’m glad to have had. Amid my job search I’ve trained and qualified as a Wattpad Ambassador. That’s what I do now. I review submission to the website and make sure they’re categorized in the genre and language to which they’re most suited. Though there are other work areas covered by ambassadors I may be assigned to in the future, I like this so far. It suits me. (It’s volunteer, by the way. I don’t make a cent. Still a great gig.)
On Wattpad, I’ve had some further success. My story “Girls Chase Girls,” which was accepted as a Featured Story and chosen as an LGBT community favorite early in the year won a Watty! Yup, it was one of I believe 10 winners of the Wattpad Hot Genre awards for LGBT books. It was also added to the reading lists of several official Wattpad accounts. The feedback from all of this exposure has been lovely and I hope to expand this novellette into a full-length novel before the end of the year.
Now for the explanation. Yikes.
On Halloween of 2015, my computer crashed. I thought it had just gone wonky, so I tried to restart it and had no luck. I have a warranty on it and I’d backed up my work in two different cloud services for years after a similar incident in 2013, so I wasn’t worried. Except it turned out that both of my cloud services had failed. I’m not strictly sure what happened; something glitched and I didn’t catch it, twice. Either way, I no longer had any of the work I’d written for close to two years. I tried every tech trick I know. I googled madly. I subjected myself to some very expensive technical support from the manufacturer and bought some very expensive backup software to try and tunnel my way to my wayward documents. All for naught. By the time I had the right software and the right shortcut, my failing hard drive was fried and so, I thought was any hope I had of getting all that work back. I cried. Many weeks of costly yet fruitless efforts led me to finally send it in for repair and to try to start again.
But starting again is hard. When you felt nearly ready to show someone your work, starting again is painful. When you were just about to do finish that pesky draft 0 for NaNoWriMo and you’ve got all these details floating in your brain but no computer, no outline, no timelines, nothing but your faulty memory and ballistic hope clogging up your mind, starting again is just not happening. It’s been almost four months and I don’t think I’ve written anything more comprehensive than a synopsis or a cover letter since. I’m stuck. I acknowledge that for the fact it is, though it doesn’t really change anything.
My goal for the rest of the year is to become un-stuck. I need to write again and know that it isn’t just going to go up in flames. Part of that means being more proactive in ensuring that the documents I want to protect are going to be safe. The means regularly checking that my work is saved online someplace or backed up on an external drive. That means reviewing the contents of my cloud service accounts. If I want to keep from setting myself back like this, I have take responsibility for what went wrong in the first place to avoid it happening again. I do and it better not!
2016 is the year I try to get my writing groove back. Here’s hoping!