The life of an author ain’t easy. When I’m not actually writing new words, I’m revising or editing already-written words. But that’s only half the job. The other half is trying to get my books into the hands of readers.
The mother of uphill battles.
The good news is that I’m not alone in my travails. The community of romance writers is the nicest group of people ever. Always willing to share advice, experience, ideas, or just a kind word.
I’m so lucky to have wonderful critique partners to provide feedback, bounce ideas off of, and hold the occasional bitch session.
I’m also lucky to have close friends who are also fellow authors. The fact that they live in a different country in a different time zone matters not. We chat online daily. But it’s not just idle chit-chat. We chat with a purpose, which is to be successful as authors, self-published and with traditional publishers.
To that end we took advantage of the new year – with that whole resolution malarkey – and we set goals. Not wishes, not dreams (become the next Nora Roberts AND land a movie deal), but sensible, achievable goals. (I won’t turn down that movie deal should it arise.)
The key to sticking with goals, for me, is to break them down into manageable chunks. Saying I want to have the first draft of a new book written by April 30 does me no good. But with a little math and a little cogitating, I can set the goal of writing two thousand words a day, Monday to Friday. That will get me to my goal of a first draft by the end of April even if I have a sick day, or I take a day off to choose paint colours for all the white walls in this house. I know I can write 2K words in a day because I’ve done it many times.
Another thing about goals, they work better if you’re publicly accountable. Which is where my author friends come in. We “meet” online every Sunday at 8:00 pm AST to report on our progress for the week. Some weeks we applaud and cheer everyone’s success. Some weeks we discuss what went wrong and brainstorm ways to make the coming week better. We are not alone.
This past week I read a fellow writer’s blog (my apologies for not remembering who that was) in which she recommended including a word count widget on one's blog to keep track of writing progress. Another way to be publicly accountable. So I’m going to dig around on this blog thingie and try to come up with a suitable widget. (Heavens, the newfangled words we use nowadays!)
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Are we all ready for the weekend? Any big plans? Exciting adventures?
Tomorrow I’ll be at a one-day writing workshop called Romancing the Writer. Here’s the link to the description and the venue. Doesn’t this look like a wonderful spot to spend a few hours? I’ve not been there before even though my mum lives basically around the corner.
Spending time with fellow writers is—well, I’ll be with my own people, talking the same language, sharing similar tales of woe and, hopefully, success. It’ll be rejuvenating, validating, and necessary. Other writers understand that the voices in our heads are nothing to worry about. <grin> Unless the characters decide the plot you’ve outlined in excruciating detail just won’t work for them and they go off in a totally different direction effectively trashing half your book. ARRRGGHHH!
After the workshop Hubby and I will be packing and preparing for a camping trip next week. We’ll be in the backcountry, canoeing and kayaking to the campsite. Best of all, our boys (and the eldest’s girlfriend) will be joining us! I’ll tell you more about the park on Monday.
Enjoy your weekend!
Many moons ago our good friends, Janet and Ron, told us of a regular feature in their weekly menu planning – namely, Wine Wednesday. Supper is wine, of course, and two or three appetizers. Both my hubby and I thought this was freakin’ brilliant and we adopted the ritual. And, man, is it so much fun! And not just because of the wine. I love cooking and I love trying new recipes. Making a meal of appetizers is the most fun you can have with your clothes on. Ha!
For this Wine Wednesday I’m—actually, I’m attending the wedding of my oldest friend. She’s getting married for the first time! How cool is that? There will be wine, joy, tears, and dancing.
Do you have the same supper on a particular day? Turkey Tuesday? Salmon Saturday? I know lots of people eat pizza on Fridays, as do we.
Wow, what a weekend! Of doing absolutely nothing!
Not strictly true but it feels that way. Do you ever feel like you’re spinning your wheels? I kept adding things to my to-do list.
I did cross off a few items. Starting this blog on Saturday was a huge accomplishment for this Luddite. I also sent out a newsy newsletter. (The tab that’ll take you to the sign-up form is right up there in the header thingie under Contact. Or click here.) And I did promotional stuff for Love & Mayhem. I was featured in a book spotlight at Romantic Historical Reviews, complete with a contest. (Here’s the link if you wanna take a gander and enter to win a copy of the ebook.) The thrill of seeing your book being touted on the web never gets old. I even got some editing done on the third book in the series, but not as much as I should have.
Ugh, those “shoulds” can be a downer, can’t they?
The biggest downer was not getting the old washing machine in this old house to work. It filled, it agitated, it drained, but it didn’t spin. I wonder if that puddle of old grease on the floor under the machine was a clue. So I’m spending a good portion of this morning at the laundromat. Double ugh!
I hope you all had a satisfying weekend. Did you do anything fun? Exciting? Different?
Fear not, Monday comes only once a week.
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