I came across this old post the other day and thought it was both a timely reminder and a message worth re-sharing.
It’s easy to fall into the comparison trap. I’ll be heading off to RWA nationals soon and, although I’ll undoubtedly come back with a lot of useful information and a renewed commitment to my writing, it’s very likely that I’ll also come back with thoughts of “I’ll never write as many books as Author X” and “I’m not nearly as far along in my writing career as Author Y.” It doesn’t help when I see notes from ghost-writer friends about their 10,000 word days or how they drafted out a book in a week. Though I intellectually know better, and it tends to take the shine off my own progress, it is regrettably easy to do.
“Comparison is the thief of joy” ~ Theodore Roosevelt
I had planned a completely different post for today, but it’ll have to wait for another week. Instead, I’m going to share with you my major SNAFU (you do know what that acronym means, right? If not, read this) that happened just this evening. I think most of us have been there at one point in time — drowning in a major screw-up — and when we have, we’ve just wanted to bang our heads on the table over and over again.
As many of you know, I’ve been working towards the Golden Heart contest sponsored by RWA, as have a few other Ladies, for several months now. Well, today was “due day” for the final version of our manuscript. Because of a variety of reasons, which I’m not going to go into (but they involve kids, laundry, and a new puppy who’s gone from “charming” to “Cujo” in a matter of weeks), I still had some final finishing up to do on my MS, which I planned to do today. We’re talking minor stuff, like making sure it looked good in Word and making the PDF. This evening, after getting the kids at school and taking them to tae kwon do, I finished the changes, logged into the website, and when I clicked on the Register link to upload my revised manuscript, I got this message:
Yep. You’re reading that right. I missed the deadline. Continue reading
As 2014 vanishes in the dust, I’m sitting back and reflecting on what has happened in the past year (or not happened, as it were) and what may come in 2015. I’ve spent a lot of time inside my head, wondering what I’m doing, wondering if my family can survive this path to publication I’m on, wondering if I’ll ever escape this yet-to-finish-the-first-book hell. As a result, I find myself at an uncomfortable and confusing crossroads in my writing career.
Should I continue writing? Continue reading
If you’re a writer and have ever attempted to get your work published then you probably have more than a passing acquaintance with rejection, in all its guises. As I mentioned in my “What Can You do in 100 Words” post a few weeks back I’m in the process of trying to get a few of my short stories out into the world, so rejection has been on my mind recently.
I heard thriller novelist Steve Berry, who has more than 11 million books in print around the world, speak a few years ago at a conference where he said that he worked for 12 years to produce a novel, accumulating 85 rejections on 5 different manuscripts along the way. That’s a lot of rejections, countered by a lot of perseverance to get to that 86th submission, which resulted in an acceptance. Continue reading
I had a different topic planned for today, but then I saw this blog post by Chuck Wendig about comparing ourselves to others and thought it was a message worth sharing.
Take a look. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
Great post, right? Continue reading
Years ago, I started hearing voices in my head. After months of trying to block them out, I finally decided to start writing them down. When I got them all down, it was about 50,000 words. I thought, “Wow, I could write a book.” I turned to the internet for information. I probably searched on something like “how to publish a novel” (talk about naïve – as if 50,000 words would instantly put me in a position to be published). I did find this thing called a writers conference. I went to a Maryland writers’ conference and apparently met Nancy as I have her business card with a note written in her handwriting on the back. Neither one of us remember this meet.
I. Must. Write.
And I haven’t been. I am stuck on a scene that comes next in the story and it is pivotal so I don’t want to go around it because it will set the course of the second half of the story. Some of the second half of the story is already written, but the dynamic of the two main characters will be determined by this scene. I also don’t want to toss this manuscript aside and start on the next one that is hammering at my brain. That feels like quitting. But not writing is certainly a form of quitting. Continue reading
If you’ve been following Eight Ladies recently, you’ll know I’m finally finished my first draft…it’s time to revise and polish.
This is the first time I’ve done revision. On my first book.
Translation: I’ve never done this before.
(Embarrassing admission: I’m afraid of the magnitude of changes I have to make, so I’ve been procrastinating.)
When I’m faced with something I’m not sure how to tackle, or if the “something” is huge and intimidating, I procrastinate. For instance, I’ve spent a lot of time lately working on my timeline (necessary, but not required…I have plenty of scenes that I need to write that are not really timeline-dependent), I’m creating a “bible” of notes, observations, characters, settings, facts, etc. about Napoleon and the Regency to support my story (could definitely do this later), I’ve been jotting notes for the next book (um, hello? Finish the first one!), and of course I’ve been doing the usual household stuff like laundry, paying bills, cleaning and de-cluttering the storage closet, organizing receipts for taxes, and scrubbing the grout in the kitchen with a small toothbrush. Continue reading
Staying motivated as a writer is sometimes difficult. One of the things I’ve done in my office is post motivational quotes to keep me going. As I am in a bad writing spot at the moment, I need them. Here are some of my favorites:
- “You can fix anything but a blank page.” Nora Roberts
- “The first draft of anything is shit.” Ernest Hemingway Continue reading
For participants in National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo for short, today is the two-thirds mark. That means those who are on schedule to reach the 50,000 word goal have a little over 33,000 words on the page.
Some, like our own Nancy, have hit one out of the park, reaching the 50,000 goal several days ago (Yay! Nancy). I, unfortunately, have been a bit less successful. According to the helpful statistics on the NaNoWriMo site, at my current rate I’ll be hitting my goal sometime in 2014. Continue reading