I’ve been keeping this blog since 2008
Yeah, that feels like a long freaking time. I vividly remember starting it. I was beginning my first year of law school and refreshing the Absolute Write “No news is no news” thread once every three minutes. Literally. I was obsessed with Miss Snark then and I mean, obsessed. And having a blog was, like, the most important part of writing ever because I needed to have an online presence. Everybody told me so.
And to some extent, it really was true. The blog helped tremendously. I met some of my best writing friends (to this day). I practiced writing daily. Shortly thereafter I signed with an awesome agent from Writers House. Editors contacted him based on my blog looking for my book. And I got to track this crazy writing journey. I mean, I still love going back and reading those old posts.
I kept it diligently and enjoyed receiving emails from readers of the blog and fellow writers. The blog was just something I did. Part of my almost daily routine. I imagined announcing that I’d signed with an agent (which I did and that was great fun) and announcing my first book deal here. I was sure I’d announce that I was engaged and that I’d gotten married. That’s how connected I’d become to the community and how much it meant to me.
Well, spoiler alert: I got engaged (although not to the guy I’d thought I would back in 2008!) and I’m married now. In fact, my name isn’t even Chandler Craig anymore! Whoa. I’ve had 3 books that I wrote published. I’ve signed 5 writing contracts. All this happened and I didn’t even post it up here and, you know what, that made me kind of sad. And not because I needed some online presence for publishing (although I’ll get back to that in a second), but because it was always part of the story I’d imagined. One of the little mini celebrations that I’d enjoy once each of those things happened.
But I guess it’s not surprising that I didn’t celebrate exactly how I’d imagined, since basically nothing in my writing career has gone how I’d predicted. The book I signed with my agent for didn’t sell and then somehow (and very happily, I’ll add) I became a ghostwriter, an author like I wanted, but under different names. I didn’t really need any online presence for books that weren’t under my name in the first place and I had crazy deadlines and a more than full time job as a lawyer to contend with. So I’m happy to report that although I wasn’t blogging, I was writing, which is ultimately the point, right?
But I’ve still missed it. I’ve been sad that I haven’t documented this part of my journey. I haven’t posted since February and this year has been crazy! So much has happened–what was I thinking? what was I doing? Who knows.
But I think one reason this year has been the one that resulted in so much neglect to the ye olde blog is because I’ve been really focused on craft. I’ve stretched myself by doing samples from YA historical to Contemporary Tween to YA horror and Adult non-fiction. I even took a Mediabistro class to dig in in earnest. It’s also been a year filled with reading. Lots and lots of reading. All in the name of learning (and maybe an unhealthy love of, yanno, reading, too, but whatever) and I hope it’s started to pay off. My batting average for landing jobs is certainly improving. While rejection is still and always will be part of the publishing biz, I’m no longer terrified of the audition. I feel like I have about as good a shot as anyone, which is a huge improvement in my writing self-confidence. I can’t yet talk about everything that’s now in the works–though soon, soon, I hope. I’ve connected with some of THE most amazing people in show business and I can’t tell you how excited I am by certain projects on the horizon.
So there lies one third of my motivation in reviving the blog. See, one such amazing show business person who shall not be named googled me and stumbled upon this site and–eek!–it hadn’t been updated in forever! Of course, she was kind enough not to mention that. Remember this call is with someone who I never in a million years would think would bother to look me up. Now, imagine my surprise in my first call with her when she says that she loves that I research serial killers and never leave the house without waterproof mascara. Well, after I ruled out the theory that she was stalking me and/or living in my spare bedroom, first my brain exploded and then I realized I had that info in my “About Me” section, which, yes, meant she’d clicked over to the sad abandoned carnival ride that is FWF.
The second third of my motivation comes from the fact that I have a book that is going on submission under my name sometime in the hopefully not-so-distant future. Yes, I’m freaking out. Yes, I’m excited. Yes, I’m tempted to hide under my bed. It’s been years since I’ve had a book under my own name ready to go out to editors. *flail* This book is YA and it’s a collaboration of sorts with a former ICM film agent-extraordinaire who has started a company that has paid me an advance and will be immediately marketing the film rights for said projects.
The last third is more touchy feely. I remember the angst and the worrying and the sheer anticipation that came form submitting to agents and then to editors and I would hate not to document that as I re-start down this path come January. So for now, I’m in the middle of edits with the team that’s bent on making this book as awesome as possible and then polishing up the synopsis and then reviewing pitch letters with my agent and nailing down a title and THEN it’ll be time to sacrifice a goat to the universe or something for good luck, because, as you know, you can never have too much of that.