Wednesday, May 22, 2013

100 Writers Project: A Sigh of Relief

Introducing Heather McCoubrey!

I've always been a reader and a writer.  My father worked in construction, so we moved around quite a bit when I was a child.  I was always the new kid, it seemed, so I escaped into stories.  In middle school, I took a few creative writing classes, and fell in love with creating my own stories.  Throughout the rest of school, I wrote short stories and poems.  I wrote my first novel, Emily's Choice, as a senior in high school.  Writing for me has always been my creative outlet.  Emily's Choice has gone through several drafts but it never seems to work exactly how I want it to, so it sits on the back burner.  I work on it every so often to see if I can make it work, but it's frustrating for me when I have to put it aside.  I've started several different stories throughout the years and I work on each of them sporadically.  When I get "blocked" on one, I move to a different one, back and forth - these are kind of my in-between projects.  I work on them when I don't have a major story fighting for attention.

A friend of mine is also a writer and he and I share our stories with each other.  I'd been playing around with my writing for years, participating in free contests and dreaming big dreams.  In 2011 he suggested, for the third time, that I participate in NaNoWriMo.  He'd participated for 2 years prior and thought it would be something good for me.  Thinking that this would be a good opportunity to get Emily's Choice rewritten again and maybe even published, I asked him if I could do that.  He said No, had to be a new idea.  That was the point of NaNoWriMo.  So in between life, school, kids, husband and my mom visiting for Thanksgiving - I managed to put down 21.5k words that month.  It was hard to concentrate on one story for a whole month.  I had no outline, no character descriptions, nothing but a vague idea of what I wanted the story to be about.   Once November 2011 was over, I put it away and got busy with life again.  Christmas came and went, 2012 rolled in and I picked it up again in February.  I worked out some of the back story, some character development and I wrote a few more chapters.  Then, letting it go so that it could germinate in my mind, I picked up a new project.

When November came back around in 2012, I became a NaNoRebel and I finished To Love Twice.  It was quite a feeling to have a novel finished, one that I could actually see publishing!  I sent it off to my writer friend, and a couple of other people.  I asked them to read it and to get back to me with a critique.  Everyone loved it and three came back with ideas and ways to improve.  I implemented some of the ideas and went through it myself with a fine tooth comb.  By the beginning of March, I felt the book was ready to be published.  I bought a picture that I felt enhanced the story and created my book cover.  And then on 3/19/13, I uploaded the entire thing to Amazon Kindle and blew out a sigh of relief.

I currently live in PA with my husband, two children and our chihauhau, Rex.  I'm a SAHM who does event planning on the side when the opportunity arises.  When I'm not providing a taxi service to my children, I can be found at the local Panera or Eat'n Park or hiding down in the basement at my desk - working on my next novel.

Twitter: @h_mccoubrey

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