Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Hoops and Loops

Occasionally, I miss the basketball hoop the children had. I like dribbling and shooting even though I miss more than I sink. In school I was good at a few sports. Anyone who knows how klutzy I can be may find this surprising. But in junior high and high school I managed to participate without significant injury or humiliation in hurdles, basketball, volleyball, modern dance, and swimming.

These days I rarely swim; have less occasions for one-on-one and probably could only clear successive hurdles with a gun pointed at me, a big, mean automatic. In college I wanted to take a fencing class but ended up in modern dance to solve a scheduling problem. Things change, often not by intent or declaration; the changes are quieter, more seamless or as the case with fencing are practical.

These days sans hoops I have discovered loops. With that discovery comes a deliberate and calculated decision/change.

A fellow writer referred me to a loop, an online general discussion by writers that covers many subjects, like contests, conversations, points of grammar, new works, publishing trends, angst, Q&A, and blogs. This is an amazing and vast resource. It is an active, thriving, online community of writers with subjects as varied and in depth as individual writer's interests.

Following an extensive postmortem on my Golden Heart entry and several revisions, FROZEN brain and writer's block have been huge issues for me. I have several other novels I can revisit but that was also not satisfying.

It is time to move in a different direction, romantic-suspense. After more thought, I am finally committed to take the plunge. I do not do this lightly. My last two years and the pursuit of contemporary led me to place as a finalist in the RWA's Golden Heart contest as a first time entrant. I have done a lot of work yet remained restless and dissatisfied.

Changing directions requires a basic shift in mindset, a new learning curve, and an immersion into the genre particulars. This is a little overwhelming. I probably would not have considered this pre-Internet. The wealth of information and postings via loops helped me make the decision. In the isolated writer's world, networking, fellow writers, and the Internet are one of the most valuable resources.

Growing and taking chances is one of the exciting and disquieting aspects of writing. I feel energized. There may be a time in the future when both hoops and loops are part of my day. Who knows maybe I'll finally take that fencing class. En Garde!

1 comment:

  1. Melissa, congrats on your decision to write romantic suspense. Looking forward to reading your work! You have a knack with villains, so I know it will be good. As for the networking thing, you know I believe in it. Wish you were going to be at RWA this year. I will miss you.