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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Beginnings (05/31/04)

TITLE: Where Do I Start? By Wendy D.
By WENDY DECKER
06/03/04

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Hi, Iím Anastasia and Iím a write-a-holic. Thatís right! Itís been one day and five hours since my last literary submission. Well, thatís not really my name, but the rest is true.

Anyway, isnít that what writers do? We pretend to be someone else and write about that someone as if it were ourselves; or we pretend to be someone else so we can write about us!

Iím not only a write-a-holic; Iím also an out-of-order writer. Now that sounds like an oxymoron doesnít it? Let me explain.

Iím a writer who wrote a book, then joined a writerís critique group and then started taking a writing class. Donít most people learn to write first, then write and get critique, and then write a book?

Actually, now that I think about it, I think the critique group could fit in anywhere, itís been invaluable.

Anyhow, things were going quite well considering the chronological line-up of my resume. Then I got a little too confident and took my focus off the very person who inspired me to initiate this project in the first place. The first placeó Gee that sounds familiar.

In the beginning was God. God gave me an idea, but I veered off onto my own path and stopped seeking Him for guidance. Just when I thought my book, or really, manuscript was complete, I found out that my middle needed to be my beginning and my beginning somewhere in between.

The fact is that send button is just a press away, and I am as impatient as the character I write about. So, I put my little finger on that button, held my breath and sent my manuscript to the in-box of a literary agent that gave me the above-mentioned advice.

Fortunately, I didnít press it too many times and squander anymore precious contacts for the future. Luckily, she offered me advice and not just a form letter.

The irony to this story is that one of the exercises in my first writing lessons was to write a page then take the middle out and move it to the beginning. But I had already written the book before doing this lesson and forgot to go back and apply this technique to my story.

Needless to say, quite often writers spend too much time setting the story instead of jumping right into it. Advice to remember!

In essence, I had to go back to the beginning to finish the end all over again. See what happens when you press before prayer!

I am about to push the send button again, but am hesitant this time. I wish my computer had a device that said, ďare you sure you want to send this story? Donít you want to look at it just one more time? Donít you want to let it sit awhile like your friend told you should? But it doesnít, so here goes!


Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Malley06/07/04
Wendy-That was a really cute article! You used a clever way with twists and turns pertaining to phrasing your statements. Are you going to take your friend's advice? Nice friend you have! :)
Dian Moore06/07/04
I loved this take on beginnings. All writers will truly appreciate this. How many times are we told to cut out the whole first chapter/page/paragraph, etc., and jump in where the action is. Well done! You should save this one to share with your critique group.
Kenny Paul Clarkson06/07/04
Interesting article, Wendy. I'm not sure you got it backwards. Sometimes the writing classes suck the creativity out of one's soul.
Gary Sims06/08/04
Wendy - Help me get this straight - the beginning is really the middle or sometimes the end and the middle can be the beginning or the end but shouldn't be the middle?

Okay, I think Iíve got it. Now for the life application part: I am 52 so in some people's eyes that is the middle but they are wrong because it is really the beginning and all those years before now - well they might be the end, or the beginning of the end, or the end of the beginning, or maybe the middle of the beginning of the end?

Whew! Math majors beware! Writers are on the loose!

Fun article, thanks for the chuckle. - Gary
Linda Germain 06/09/04
I love the line, "see what happens when you press before prayer." That should be on every billboard in America, perhaps the WORLD! Good post.
Deborah Porter 06/09/04
Wendy, you are a delight! I knew that when I read your book extract last week and you didn't disappoint me this week. Every writer will be smiling with you, I'm sure!

Good reminder about remembering who set us on our writing projects in the first place! You know we can get so busy writing for God that we don't have time to spend with God!

You shared your message with a wonderful sense of humour, using that lovely ability to poke fun at yourself to make a point. I enjoyed reading your challenge contribution very much. With love, Deb
L.M. Lee06/09/04
delightful! Completely enjoyed and it sounds a lot like my resume!
Mary Elder-Criss06/10/04
Are you sure we are not related? You wouldn't happen to have a lot of half finished craft projects lying around your house would you? Thouroughly enjoyed reading this piece. Great job! ~Mary
B Price06/10/04
very cute... enjoyed reading it.