Unfortunately, Victoria Curran has had to reschedule her blog date with us. She will be back on January 31, 2011—the day of our AmazonKindle drawing. But I’m hoping you’ll stick around so you can see we’re not only fun, we’re flexible.
Adaptable. And any other ible and able you can come up with.
And if that doesn’t work, I’m not beyond begging. Please, I stayed up all night writing this. Psst—I really don’t know yet if I stayed up all night. I’m just getting started. I’m hoping I don’t have to because I have a day job L (Oh, and we're still giving away that six pack of books)
Okay, setting my timer for one hour. Just write something. Don’t over think it and you can still be in bed by midnight. Ugh. Midnight.
Ugh? Or Uug? Ugg?
Stop it! Write!
Aren’t you sorry you didn’t listen to Tina (insert shameless promotion here for http://www.seekerville.blogspot.com/ and best friend’s first book ~ The Rancher’s Reunion by Tina Radcliffe) when she told you to have a couple back up blogs on hand?
Ohh, I could go over to seekerville and steal one of my older blog post (inser older blog here)
Before the Call-Disable Your Call Blocking!
I will always remember June 1, 1998 as my First Sale. But I didn't get "The Call" in the traditional sense. It all started with an email late on a Friday afternoon. The Senior Editor for Harlequin Super Romance was trying to get a hold of me, but couldn't get through because of call blocking.
This was in the early day of phone features. The email instructed me to call in on Monday because the Senior Editor was going to be out of town for two weeks. So if I didn't get a hold of her then I wasn't going to get a hold of her for awhile. It was the longest weekend of my life. I tried not to get my hopes up. By that point in my career I'd received calls from both an agent and a publisher which amounted to nothing. But it was hard not to hope.
Monday arrived. I called. And got a busy signal--all day long. As the day slipped away I knew I wasn't going to last two weeks. In a last ditch effort I called the editorial assistant who had emailed me. She patched me through to the Senior Editor.
And we were cut off.
I called the assistant again. This time the Senior Editor took the call in the assistant's office and our game of phone tag ended with the sale of my first book SEAL It With A Kiss. That phone call came 10 months after my first and only contest win. That contest win garnered me an 8 minute appointment with the editor who eventually bought my book--10 years and 5 books later I can hardly believe how much time has passed.
In a way it's never gotten any easier than that first missed phone call. But wishing I knew then what I know now is kind of like wishing for a 20 year old body to go with this 40 year old brain. With experience comes wisdom. And someday I'm going to be wiser. But for now here's my wish list...
...I wish I had focused on my writing goals more, instead of on the broader goal of getting published.
...I wish I had entered more contests and submitted more manuscripts--full manuscripts.
And here's the biggie
... I wish I had made it less about the rules and more about the writing.
Write something today!
So much for that trip down memory lane. Forty-five minutes and counting…
Writing doesn’t come easy for me. I imagine there are a few of you out there who struggle to get the words down on paper as well. Some days it’s a gift. Like the ten page prologue I wrote in one hour for Midway Between You And Me. Virtually unchanged from my brain to printed page—one draft.
I didn’t even think that scene would make it into the book. She's fifteen. He's twenty-five. It was a love scene. Okay, a sex scene. Enough said.
So I wasn’t writing to please anyone except myself. And shocker, my editor threw out the first three chapters and said, write the rest like this (meaning that prologue). Why can’t every scene, or story for that matter, be that easy?
Yet other days it’s a curse. Like tonight staring at the screen. Struggling to get anything out.
I choose my topic: desks, deadlines and other disasters, coming off a deadline for my May release Mitzi’s Marine. Nothing about that book came easy to me. I even started it four years ago, then set it aside to write The Marine’s Baby. It’s not that it was difficult writing about a Marine hero who’d lost his leg in Iraq—he was easy to fall in love with.
It’s that I put a lot of pressure on myself to “get it right.” Ever do that to yourself?
Perfectionism, I think, can be a fatal flaw.
What are some of the things you do to hold yourself or your writing back?
Looking around I think my cluttered desk makes for a cluttered mind. I clean it up all the time and by the end of a project it’s always a disaster area. Or maybe it’s the other way around and a reflection of what’s going on inside my head. Either way I find it a distraction. Just like the day job and the family, as much as I love them, sometimes I just have to shut it all out and write. But that’s so much easier said than done.
A timer is something I use every now and again to make myself let go. Time’s up. I got about a page and a half in an hour. Not as much as I would have liked. I average four or five pages if I free up my mind. But one to two pages are more than I would have gotten done if I’d continued to sit here worrying all night.
Something else usually happens when that bell goes off. I don’t always feel like I have to stop. It’s not quite midnight yet and I’ll probably finish out these two pages before I go to bed. I guarantee you I’ll think every word I’ve written sounds stupid.
But that’s one good thing about deadlines. They exist to make you get things done. Gotta get this done becaue if you can't come through for your editor when she really needs you, then as any author here can attest, you won't last long in this business. I've hung on for twelve years since that first sale. It hasn't been easy. But I'm hanging in there.
Now if only I could do something about this desk.
Rogenna - muddled mind, messy desk and all.