Write. Relax. Walk Away. Respond. Rewrite. Rejoice.

I realize this is not a proper sentence, nor a set of directions just anyone would fully grasp the deeper meaning of. Yet I do believe a writer – beginner or experienced will completely understand what I’m trying to say.

Now I am not in any way going to pretend I know enough to teach or guide or even imply I can help you write. But I can share what I’ve experienced and if it can help you on your journey to become a better writer, well then I am glad.

These past two months have been full of emotion. Changing editors was nerve racking. Am I doing the right thing? Dare I jump off the cliff alone? How much money do I invest in myself? Doubt. Doubt. Jump. Joy! Yes, joy, acknowledging the feeling that I must do something, but what is the right thing to do? Once you make the decision and you do jump, or just take one step – you are moving forward and I think that is very important in the writing process. Keep moving even if your moving away from what you’ve just written.

Wait, what did she say?  Yes. Step away from the page – the screen – the pen – the whatever you use to put thoughts down upon.

Okay, allow me to take a step backwards for a minute. I have learned SO much from having an editor who makes me dive into myself – she questions, challenges, points out, highlights, and pulls from me better stuff than I gave myself credit for being able to write.  She also will be the first to say, no, wait, what? Did you mean to say this? Cause it comes across as that.  She’s not just smart and knows the craft – but she’s honest with me.  She tells me when it isn’t right and gives me tools so I can then see for myself what I need to work on.

She held my hand for the first thirty pages of critiques – now she insists I work and cultivate and really see what it is I’m writing.  To do that meant, for me, I had to walk away.

For example. I reworked a chapter – took all her notes into consideration and trusted her.  The chapter became ten times better. It flowed, it caught me, it made sense, it became something more than what it was.  Now I will rewrite three, four, five chapters at a time, and again, walk away.  I’ll do something else I enjoy, which may be a walk, watching a movie under my dogs (I have dogs who do not know, they are not lap dogs and I do not have the heart to tell them, so when I sit down to select a program, they assume I need them snuggle with . And I do.) Or recently, I’ve taken out my paints and canvas and dove into the colors, the shapes and patterns of an art I did not nurture or give time to in my life – which I regret, but you know what, I may not have even picked up the brush if I had not walked away from the key board – and that would have been an even bigger regret.

After a week or two I returned to the words, the chapters, the story and reread what I wrote. It was amazing, I could see what she had spoken about. I could feel the current and see where I needed to place rocks to change the direction of the stream or speed up the action, or add narrative instead of describe for the reader what I wanted them to see. It was a reframing to the picture I am painting in my novel – and it was better, richer and much more opulent than my first or second draft. It had matured, grown and evolved into what I know the work can be.

Breathe Deep, Think Peace

Patty

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About Patty Young

Patricia Young spent most of her life in the Northeast. Before the casinos arrived and many of the safety rails installed, she would walk Bushkill Falls and enjoy time in a little cabin by Meadow Lake near the Delaware Water Gap. The school year was spent in New Jersey, but many summers were spent in Mississippi where she wandered in the woods, ride horses, reading comic books and played with cousins. After graduating from college with a degree in education, she taught fifth grade in Queens. When rent climbed higher than her salary she working for a defense industry in Yonkers before starting a small business called, The Giving Tree Day Care. For fifteen years she was fondly "held hostage by two year olds!" Writing every day for in a notebook for each child to keep communication open and flowing to the families. Fast forward to the spring of 2013 diagnosed with sever carpal tunnel syndrome (she does NOT recommend having both hands done at the same time! Often wondering "What was I thinking?!") Physical therapy and time slowly began the healing process and gardening strengthened her hands. After an unexpected, but deeply personal journey to Montana in the fall of 2013 she decided it was time to reinvent herself and embrace her passion for words. With renewed confidence, and a plan to do the work necessary to become a writer, she began writing every day (with the help of 750Words.com - thank you Kellianne and Buster!), submitting to a variety of magazines and contests to practice the craft. As well as participating in the Learning to See poetry programs offered at the local library. Attending writing retreats, workshops, lectures, taking classes, reading and immersing herself in the process. She began to work with writers and authors in the tri-state area. Presently living in Westchester New York Patricia lives with her husband of 29 years, two daughters – both attending college and grad school and a dear college friend – all under the roof of a little cape cod. Its snug – but the laughter and support is rich and full! Patricia is working on her first novel with her editor, with hopes and dreams and fingers crossed to find an agent in the fall of 2015. You are invited to join her on this journey of a writer. To experience her trials, successes and stumbles along the way. Perhaps it will help you find your brave, and if writing is in your soul - to join her. Share your stories and maybe together we will unravel some of the complexities of this life. To heal, hope and learn what we can from one another, in the time we have. To listen and hear one another's stories. Breathe Deep, Think Peace Patty
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