Friday, January 27, 2012
Friday, January 20, 2012
I have to say, I thought that when my first contract showed up for my fiction work--and from competitive Highlights, no less--I'd feel this tremendous validation. And hey, when I opened the letter, I definitely fist pumped the air. Yes!
I'm ashamed to admit how soon it took me to go from elation to "I can't believe I haven't finished the next scene in my novel, I have so much revision work to do, I wish I was a better, faster writer!!"
So here is a message to my internal editor: Look, you stupid internal editor, Highlights wants my fiction story. Say "congratulations," internal editor. I know it's killing you, but say it anyway.
I think many of us feel this way. If I get an agent, if I get a contract, I'll be a "real writer." Then the goal we work so hard to achieve happens, and we're like, huh, I have a lot work to do. In a way, it's a good thing that the work itself is our true validation. If we waited for encouragement from the publishing world to keep us going, we'd never get books written. The thing is, the story was just as good before I received the contract. I was simply fortunate that an editor liked it.
Thank you very much, Highlights, for liking my story. And thank you for teaching me a small lesson about motivation.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Higher and higher until hanging at the crest of the peak.
Flying, stomach dropping, lungs screaming.
Back into dark tunnels, sharp corners, unexpected turns.
Until the end is reached. The ride has finished. Leaving me breathless and wanting more.
I don't know about you, but this has been my journey as a writer. Sometimes the tunnels feel too dark and I don't know if I can keep writing. But that's why I have my writing friends. To encourage me and keep me from giving up.
Then there are other times I'm standing on the peak and I don't want that feeling to ever end. But it's during those times that my writing partners are there for me, cheering me on.
How about you? Have you ridden any roller coasters lately?
Saturday, January 14, 2012
Thursday, January 12, 2012
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
How do I find the time?
1. Determine set times in the day to write and stick to those. So for me it's an hour and half in the mornings before I have to get ready for work (unfortunately that means 5-6:30 am) and then again at nights, usually from 8 until I can't see straight.
2. Trade kid time with my supportive hubby. We do special kid times on the weekends. So I take the boys for a few hours so my hubby gets his stuff done, and then I'm in charge of the kids for a few hours. I try to make those moments with my kids special so that when I hand them over to my husband, I can get back to my writing guilt free.
3. Babysitter- I haven't used this yet, but it's definitely in my arsenal!
4. Always on the brain!- this means that I'm planning what to write while I drive to school that morning or when I take a shower or cook dinner. Because when it's time to sit down and write, I don't have the time to mess around.
5. For us MiGs we did check ups and on each other during the month of NaNo to motivate each other to keep writing. We'd email each other our word counts for the day and that helped me keep accountable to staying focused.
I can't tell you how much I would love to have the luxury of writing full time, but that's not an option right now so instead of complaining about it, I'm trying to stay positive and remember that I'm doing what I love more than anything else.
Any ideas that you'd like to share?
Monday, January 9, 2012
Setting goals is a writing philosophy. Some writers are die-hard goal setters who draw up action items and timelines. Other writers think yearly goals change too fast and think in terms of months instead. But what is your real big ticket, huge priority for the year?
Here's where we MiGs are putting our energies in 2012:
Kate: I have many goals this year, including a goal to keep setting goals all year round. My main focus is to be POSITIVE--positive thoughts and positive actions. I want to focus on novel writing and not get distracted by short stories and contests. There's not enough time in the day to do it all, and being a novelist is what matters most to me. I have three novels I want to work on this year: one
revision, one rewrite, and one deep outline of something new.
Andrea: My goals this year haven't changed much from last year: finish a revision (Novel #4), finish a rewrite (Novel #3) and start a brand new project (Novel #5). I don't let myself work on something new until the revisions are done and in a resting or submission phase, so I want to push myself to get to that new project, even if it's just a detailed outline. I've also posted about my goals on my blog, since I find that helps me stay accountable
Car: My writer's goals for the year are very simple: Finish a draft of the book I'm working on and start revisions. OR - if the MG that's about to go out to editors is immediately snatched up and they want to offer me a two-book deal (hey, a girl can dream big, cant' she?!) - write that story's companion book. :-)
I also plan to read a book a month.
Christy: This year I've decided to focus my goal around a single word. My word for the year is *STRENGTHEN*. Ways I intend to make this happen:
1. *Read*- focusing on diversifying my reading choices and going beyond my standby favorites
2. *Attend conferences*- to build my craft and network
3. *Finish revising my current WIP* and transforming it into a book that's even better than anything I've ever written yet.
4. *Write another book* (grin)- but for this one I'd like to try a genre that I haven't written in yet. I'm excited about this one too!
I did a blog post over at my blog as well:
1. Minimize my online time during the mornings so I can get more creative work accomplished first thing in the day. I posted about this on my own blog ( http://inkygirl.com/inkygirl-main/2012/1/2/virtual-housekeeping-and-r... ).
2. Finish and send out more book projects, including my YA novel, an illustrated chapter book and two picture books.
3. Read more! Sounds weird, but I realize I need to actually schedule in reading time, else it takes a back burner to other stuff.
4. Find fun & interesting ways to promote I'M BORED<https://www.facebook.com/boredbook> and
TOMO <http://tomoanthology.blogspot.com/>, both of which come out this year.
5. Post more regularly in the MiG Writers blog! :-)
What's your focus this year? Let us know in the comments what your priorities are so we can cheer each other on.
Thursday, January 5, 2012
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
I bet you’ve heard the saying that goes something like: you must write a million words before you can consider yourself a writer. I’ve also heard it as “You must write a million words of crap before can write something publishable" and a few other variations. The author of this wisdom depends on which source you check. But the sentiment is the same - a writer must write. A lot.
Just for fun - and not because I’m procrastinating again or anything - I decided to guesstimate how many words I’ve written. You know, not including grocery lists, high school essays, love poems, and the like.
Let’s see…. I have:
1 parenting guide 50,000 words
4 activities books (x 30,000) 120,000
3 activities (younger readers) (x25,000) 75,000
2 teacher resources (x25,000) 50,000
1 MG novel (unpublished but done!) 40,000
1 YA novel (unpublished but done!) 45,000
At least 40 articles/essays (x750) 30,000
That’s come up to (hmmm...stupid math...carry the one, add to the next column…)
*fist pump* Cool! I’m (sort of) almost half way there!
How many words have you committed to paper since you’ve decided to get serious about writing? I think it’s always valuable, especially when we’re struggling to get where we’re going, to go back and see just how far we’ve come. Seems like a new year is the perfect time to do this.