Thursday, August 14, 2014

But it is not this day!

Fellow writers, my brothers! I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. A day may come when the courage of writers fails, when we forsake our works-in-progress and break all bonds of critique partners and beta readers. But it is not this day. An hour of despair and shattered hope when the age of inspiration comes crashing down. But it is not this day! This day we write. By all that you hold dear on this good Earth, I bid you take up your pens, writers of the West!*

However, today is the day when I shall say: time for a short blog break.

Most of the time writing my blogs and checking in with other writer friends provides me inspiration and motivation to keep writing and revising and querying.

But it is not this day. This day... or week, or two... I shall not be blogging.  I need a bit of a break.

I will be back in late August or early September.

* Since the quote I've personalized above is from the movie version of the Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (not the book) I feel it is acceptable to mangle it. If it was from the book, I would never desecrate Aragorn's words, even for the sake of writing inspiration and fun. (Hmmm, maybe I'll pull out my much worn, tattered and beloved copy of the book just to make sure!) 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Insecure writer: five things for fighting insecurity

The first Wednesday of the month
 is time for Insecure Writers Support Group,
hosted by Alex Cavanaugh and his
excellent team. 
My methods for fighting the insecurity of the querying process:

1) "passes" sounds so much better than "rejections"

2) I have started a "surviving the querying process document" for my YA SF, Star Tripped. I went back through all my critique partners' and beta readers' comments and collected all the compliments, copied and pasted them into this document. That way when I get a "pass" and I need some encouragement, a reminder to keep going, I have instant access to some positive words.

3) I have links to other authors' posted statistics to remind myself that offers do appear even after fifty or seventy rejections. After first, second and even third books have been shelved, the fourth book gets an offer. Or the first book gets dusted off and revised and then gets an offer on its second round.

4) I remind myself of the best, most concise advice about publishing I've heard: "it's all about the timing" - from our IWSG inspiration, Alex Cavanaugh.

5) Keep writing. Start another project. Free write. Journal. It reminds me of why I love being a writer: because I LOVE TO WRITE.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Ready, Set, Write: from passive to active

Ready. Set. WRITE! is a summer writing intensive that encourages goal-setting and accountability, and provides an opportunity for us to cheer each other on wherever we’re at in our writing—planning, drafting, revising, or polishing. This year, your RSW hosts are Alison MillerJaime MorrowErin Funk, and Katy Upperman. Find the rest of the details HERE.

* How I did on last week's goals: 

Fail. FAIL. I knew it was going to be a tough week, but I wanted to get a few hours of writing in, squeezing them in somewhere between the camping, the travelling, the visitors, and the kids competing at county fair.

Bunny hop fail (if only writing fails were so cute)

I didn't get any actual writing in but I did stew over my story in my head, though, especially the weak points that still linger in its opening chapter (see the Biggest Challenge part below).

My other goal is read-one-book-a-week  and last week was Like No Other, by Una LaMarche, which just released. Billed for fans of Eleanor and Park and the Westside Story. It was quite a bit tamer than either of those, but still wonderful and  it satisfied my #WeNeedDiverseBooks craving. Highly recommend!
* My goals this week: 

Aiming for 6 hours of writing this week. Another busy week with travel, but I have three "normal days" where if I can't spend 2 hours writing at some point during the day, then I can be officially branded the lamest writer ever. 
* The biggest challenge I faced this week:

I had an agent pass on my first chapter for Star Tripped, but she took the time to give me compliments on what she liked, and what didn't work for her: she didn't quite connect with my characters.

So, I went back to reading some really good opening chapters and studying the characters.  Came up with three things the characters all had:

1) they are actively DOING something (something interesting. Whining and self-pitying does not count)
2) they express strong opinions, out loud or at the very least, in their thoughts
3) they have a unique view of the world and their circumstances.

* A favorite line from my project OR a word/phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised.

Changing my main character from passive to  active:
original version - Camria's friends surprise her by floating a bunch of candles in the pool as a memorial to her sister
new version: It's Cam's idea to float a bunch of candles in the pool instead

* Something I love about my WiP. 

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