Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
As an aspiring author, I've heard time and time again from industry professionals that newbies should not only just “write the damn book” but that I should also keep up with what's happening in the industry and research and know as much as possible about the publishing house I'm targeting.
Now, I know for a fact from all the blogs, forums and tweets that there are TONS of writers out there writing away with no thought whatsoever as to which publisher they are targeting. It's almost like it's an afterthought and that they'll just sent out masses of queries without regard to if they are even targeting the right house for their work.
There are so many things wrong with this haphazard Russian roulette way of kicking off your writing career.
Although I think a writer should be true to their story, shouldn't they have at least a passing idea of if their idea has an audience and if so, what publisher is the best one to present it to that audience.
Most people wouldn't accept a job with a company without trying to get a feel for what the job entailed, who your boss would be, what the expectations are and finally, do you meet the qualifications of the job?
I know there are so many out there saying, “But you must write the book of your heart without caring about audience and who you are pitching.” This isn't the post to get into that whole book of your heart convo, but I wanted to point out that you CAN do both. There's no reason why knowing you want to sell to Harlequin Blaze and that they want stories at 55k words has anything to do with if the story you write is an emotional one for you.
Please authors, educate yourself! Treat this like the business it should be to you if you want to make a go at this being a full time career for you.
Follow any and all romance editors on Twitter, Facebook and blogs. You'll see them write about books they love, what they've acquired or are editing and you'll get an idea of what type of stories they are looking for. It's an easy way to get an idea of who might be your ideal target.
Oh and for goodness sake go to the websites of the publishers and look at their submission guidelines! I don't know of a single publisher that doesn't list them plainly online. I can't tell you how irritating it is to sit in on an editor chat and have question after question be about what the margins should be or if they take e-submissions. Do your homework!
Present your best face to an editor by knowing your business – the writing business!
Now get out there and learn all you can so you can make sure you have the best chance at not only finding the right editor and publisher, but also the one that will help you be the most successful.
OTF - (Off to Write)
Monday, April 11, 2011
Monday, April 4, 2011
My writing friends will tell you that I get caught up in the organizing, planning and plotting of a book so much so that the damn book itself doesn't get written. This is 100% true. So I've been thinking lately on how to keep myself focused on the actual goal - putting words on paper. That's not to say that organizing, planning and plotting aren't about getting the book written. It would be stupid of me to remove those aspects of my personality from writing. I need the process, but I have to make sure the process doesn't take over.
So, the first step I'm taking is right here on this blog. I'm going to post my daily word count and any other writing efforts here every day for the previous day's activities. Check out my first report at the top of this blog post. Not only will I be tracking this for myself, but the feeling of publicly posting my progress should help me stay more focused on the actual words on paper. I mean you can't fix a blank page is a common (and sort of annoying) phrase for a reason.
Secondly, I've committed myself to an April Writing Madness Month. Again, I did this publicly with my fellow writers over at The Romance Writer's Revenge. See a pattern here? I know myself. Something about feeling like I owe it to other writers not to drop the ball on this thing really helps me focus. Yes, I know I'm not writing for them and shouldn't feel like I have to prove something to anyone, but I'm not stupid enough not to know that if something pyscological will work to push me along then I should totally use it! And it's not really about proving anything, but instead feeling like others are going through this same process with me.
Those are my first two steps toward hitting my goal of finishing this first book. You'll see more as the weeks go by, although I hope this book gets done and I can move forward with editing goals.
What about you? What do you do to stay focused on putting words on paper? Not just the process, but the actual butt in chair words on paper goal?
Monday, March 21, 2011
I can’t finish the damn book because I’m scared it will prove I don’t have the talent. If I never finish the 1st one I’m never letting myself down.
That's the really big enchilada right there folks. There are nights when I do have the time I could write and I'm actually even itching to do so, but that fear keeps making me second guess going in to write. I will push through this. I know I will, but it's just taking some personal pep talks and the constant reminder that a shitty first draft is what I'm doing. IT IS GOING TO BE SHITTY! It's my first freakin attempt at writing. I'm sure even my favorite authors didn't write a perfect book right out of the gate.
I'll keep telling myself these things and eventually, I'm going to hit that 60k words goal and there will be no looking back. If I can just write this first one I think I will totally move past this.
But, will I just fill that fear with something else? Given the fact that I constantly see writers talking about how they just HAVE to write or they would die, it makes me question am I really a writer at heart?
What does that really mean anyway? Must one feel like writing is the very air we breathe in order to ever be not just a good writer, but an exceptional one?
Maybe once I get past this first book I will feel this way too. I can say that creating stories in my mind are as much a part of me and breathing. Will that translate to the page as soon as I get more used to the actual writing process? I sure hope so.
Did you find it hard to finish that first book? What helped move you along? Do you think a REAL writer can't live without putting words on the page or is a trait that will come to you as you feel more comfortable with your process?
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Congrats to my very best writing buddy and awesome lady Maureen on the release of her debut book! I was honored to be a beta-reader for The Kraken's Mirror and think you'll really love it - it's a pirate-punk romance with an older hero/heroine I loved.
Here's the scoop:
Treated by our youth-oriented society as invisible and sexless, Emily Pawes is ready to move on with life. She attends a pirate festival, hoping to recapture the make-believe magic she knew as a young woman. Lucky to win an interesting bit of booty at a brick-a-brac stand, she finds herself transported by the Kraken’s mirror through a magical portal to a land of Hollywood piratitude, where swashbuckling heroes own iPods. With little choice, Emily embraces the madness. Playing pirate has to be safer than falling into the arms of handsome Captain Silvestri, right?
When they meet, sparks fly, passion flares. He needs her to be free, but more than that, he needs her to be whole. Setting sail and uncertain of who actually controls the wheel, they seek ways to defeat his curse of good luck and discover the Kraken’s mirror has plans for them. Will Emily stay in this pirate haven to fight alongside him or will he lose her because of his curse?
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
One of my favorite Tweeters Bria Quinlan does a really in-depth hand-on workshop about setting goals and achieving them, but you should do it with a group you'll work with moving forward - say a critique group. I'm not there yet, but I've still always wanted to take her workshop.
Low and behold, Bria is doing an intro / abbreviated version of the workshop for free over the past week on her blog. You can join in at any time - just go to Day 1 of "Goaling to Success" and start there. We are still only up to Day 3 and I'm still working on my first set of goals list. Wish me luck and join in to help yourself set some personal or writing goals!
Bria's Website is here.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
If you are interested in writing, reading or having a few laughs I hope you'll follow my blog and check in and chat every so often! Nice to meet you!
Check out all the blogs in the hop here:
Monday, January 10, 2011
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
I've been MIA from this blog for quite awhile and you'll see that it's part of my 2011 goals to make sure I'm posting here regularly. What better way to kick-off my first post of 2011 with a real look at both my short term and long term goals for my writing and hopefully my "writing career." These lists are not all-inclusive - I'll be updating and adding to them as I achieve goals and move forward. I've tried to keep them around 10 or so goals for now. Please let me know what you think and what are your goals for 2011?
2011 BIG Goals:
- Finish 1st draft of A Passion to Protect (30,000 words to go)
- Edit & then complete 2nd draft of A Passion to Protect
- Fully participate in new online critique group
- Submit A Passion to Protect to Harlequin Intrigue
- Begin writing 1st Book in new Urban Fantasy series idea (This one has been begging me to work on it)
- Consider writing a Novella for E-Pub (Determine if any current story ideas would work well with this)
- Join RWA & RWA local chapter
- Find 2-3 local writers to meet face to face at least 1x monthly
- Further develop my writing skills
- Build my writer's platform - Exp. Build up followers on Blog & Twitter, connect with other writers/readers & start building an audience before publishing 1st book
- Identify who really could be my writing Mentor and build that relationship
2011 small Goals to Reach the BIG Goals:
- Commit to writing at least 5 days per week. Any amount of words - just ass in chair.
- Work-up to writing at least 500 words a day on those 5 days per week. (at 2,500 words be week minimum, It should take NO LONGER THAN 12 weeks to finish A Passion to Protect - hopefully I can write more than that but let's work on AIC first)
- Sell boxed-up books (HUNDREDS of them) on Amazon to pay for RWA fees
- Continue putting writing samples out to the world for feedback
- Finish reading GMC by Debra Dixon (Thanks to my AWESOME secret Santa who gifted me at Christmas!)
- Commit to at least 2-3 Blog posts each week. At least 1 should focus on my writing progress & lessons learned that week.
- Commit to posting to online critique group 1x per week.
- Join local RWA chapter to find those 2-3 writers who would meet separately from that 1x per month.
- SUCK IT UP & find a way to connect with those big name authors who you KNOW live in your area. (yeah, I have a few that write what I want to write and I need to connect with them)
- Communicate more with those writers who could become mentors. Since I was slacking on the writing I didn't want to approach someone and not be ready, but I have a few authors who have reached out and I think would make great career mentors. I'd like to develop this and reach out and see who fits best and honestly how much they want to really help. Maybe it's more than 1 writer - one for different parts of my writing/career?
What do you think of these for a start? Have you created goals for your own writing? If so, what small goals or steps are you taking to insure you reach them or stay on track? Please share - I need all the tips and help I can get!