Thursday, January 3, 2008

(humming) You Say You Want A Revolution. . .

Happy New Year, one and all!!

So, how are the New Year Revolutions going? Note that we are doing Revolutions this year as opposed to Resolutions. Reason? Resolutions are for sissies!! If you want to get something done, you need a Revolution!!

Besides the revolutions that I do on behalf of my family and myself, you know – I will cook edible dinners, I will fold laundry and match socks (yuck), I will lose weight – I came up with one for writing.

I will finish the book I’m working on before I enter it in a contest.

I used to enter contests with a partial, just to see how the concept would be received. I looked for direction, comments, and of course, scores : ) What I’ve discovered though, is that sometimes I’d develop doubts on the direction of my book due to some particularly insightful comment or insensitive barb throwing my entire writing timeline off course. You’d think after years of contest participation I’d have developed a thick skin, but oh contraire! I still cry over unnecessary harshness and question my creativity when unique ideas are presented.

Let’s face it. In order to sell a book, one must write a book clear through to The End, right? My New Year’s Revolutions for 2008:

I’m not going to get hung up on self doubt; I’m not going to rewrite my first 3 chapters a dozen times; I’m not going to envy another’s creativity.

I am going to read; I am going to research; I am going to write.

Write. Write. Write.


Many, many blessings to each and every one of you!!!
-audra harders


Mary Connealy said...

Great, now I've got the Beatles in my head.
You say you want a revolution????
I suppose it's better than The Wichita Lineman, which has been in my head for three days.
That is the most ridiculous song.
I am a lineman for the county
And I drive the main road
Searching in the sun for another overload

Good grief. He sounds like he's in the desert ducking Apaches or something.

Anyway, good girl, Audra. I've told my crit partners (CARA, ARE YOU LISTENING) they shouldn't show their books to the critique group until they're done because input from others can move you off your course, wreck the story you wanted to tell. A critique group is fine once the book is done, but before, it can be a real stumbling block.

And I need you more than want you. And I want you for all time.
And the Wichita lineman
Is still on the li-i-i-i-i-ine.

What does that mean anyway? He sounds so lonely. He's a lineman for the county for pete's sake, it's not like he's a long haul trucker. He can go home every night.
Or is his woman he's so lonely for in like....Louisiana or something? And if so, apply for a job down there. They need linemen everywhere.

Nice post, Audra.

Melanie Dickerson said...

What is a lineman? Maybe they're called something different in Alabama.
Here's my revolution: I'm actually going to finish this darn book I've been working on for a year!!! It's a hard book to write and I don't know why.
To be honest, I don't know what y'all are talking about when you say you shouldn't show your book to your crit buds until it's finished. Are you kidding? Mine would never get written if I didn't have someone reading it and asking for more. Seriously, I've never had anyone change my mind about how I wanted my story to go. That would just be . . . wrong. They might have a valid point, but it wouldn't change the whole story. Maybe my crit groups are just too agreeable. :-) Or is it that I just ignore them? Hmmmmm.

Melanie Dickerson said...

Wait a minute. Audra Harders? Aren't you the one who took first, second, AND third place in the Barclay Sterling contest last year? And finaled in or won several other contests? The Audra Harders who inspired me to say, "Someone please give this woman a contract." Oh, you have no excuse. You have to finish those books and submit them to editors and get yourself published.

Mary Connealy said...

Well, it may just be me. Not as someone who is influenced but rather as someone who is a wretched critique partner who keeps trying to rewrite my beloved crit partner's books.
So, in order to be safe from ME, they need to finish.
Keep in mind, Melanie that no one has ever obeyed me.
And also, I had about twenty books finished before I joined a critique group. So it wasn't exactly hard to find one to start working through.

Mary Connealy said...

And lineman is who fixed downed powerlines, right? Electric lines?

And searching in the sun? Hello, power lines go out in blizzards, not sun...but searching in the sun for another overload...well, okay, but can you see an overload? I mean don't the lines sort of look the same overloaded or not? They're not DOWN or anything?

Audra Harders said...

A lineman, you say?? Hmm, I suppose a few well placed snips to significant high strung lines and Voila!! Said Lineman could hold the country hostage more effectively than any stinkin' Revolution : ) Man, when you want to make a point, you don't mess around, do ya, Mary??

Audra Harders said...

Yikes, Melanie, you've got me blushing here. Thanks for the kudos, and I'm not saying winning contests isn't fun : ) BUT, somethings got to give! Some years ago, I was doing pretty well with secular short contemporary, then God nudged me to write inspirationals. Nope, nope, nope, wasn't going to do it, look at how well I'm doing in SC!!! Well, I finally listened and harboring a whole lot of doubt, I jumped into inspys. Now, I'm being nudged into another direction and I think I'm going to listen way sooner than I did last time. Nope, not entering a single contest until this book is finished then sending off queries. . .Sheesh, do I need prayers!!! LOL!

Jess said...

Great post, Audra. You're too good not to be published so just hang in there.

Mary, I like the idea of not showing my book to my crit partners until it's finished. What you say makes perfect sense to me but I'm afraid they'd kick me out of the group if I didn't produce. We've recently decided to submit 3 chapters at a time for crit... talk about producing!! But I do tend to "hear" unsaid things or "read" disapproval or dislike sometimes in what crit buddies say...or don't say. I guess that's just my paranoia though. I honest believe that . . . Humpty Dumpty was pushed. :-)

Jess said...

Another thought from that paranoid side of me:

Some of you will probably be happy to know that I'm taking Margie Lawson's class on Defeating Self-Defeating Behavior. I look forward to the day I can march into this comment section and holler out, "I'm cured! I'm cured!"

I hope each of you have a wonderful, prosperous, blessed 2008.

Julie Lessman said...

WONDERFUL post, Audra, and sooo good to hear from you, my friend! Getting those queries out there is a GREAT idea! Especially for a multi-award-winning writer like you! It only takes one, and the odds (and the force!) are with you if you send tons. Out of 25 queries I sent to agents, only one responded, but I repeat -- it only takes one!


Tina M. Russo said...

Write a book to the end. What a concept. Thanks for the revolutionary reminder.

I am going to ignore the Glen Campbell ditty and add my own Beatles lyrics--Paperback writer

Paper back writer (paperback writer)
Dear Sir or Madam, will you read my book?
It took me years to write, will you take a look?
It's based on a novel by a man named Lear
And I need a job, so I want to be a paperback writer,
Paperback writer.

It's the dirty story of a dirty man
And his clinging wife doesn't understand.
His son is working for the Daily Mail,
It's a steady job but he wants to be a paperback writer,
Paperback writer.

Paperback writer (paperback writer)

It's a thousand pages, give or take a few,
I'll be writing more in a week or two.
I can make it longer if you like the style,
I can change it round and I want to be a paperback writer,
Paperback writer.

If you really like it you can have the rights,
It could make a million for you overnight.
If you must return it, you can send it here
But I need a break and I want to be a paperback writer,
Paperback writer.

Paperback writer (paperback writer)

Paperback writer - paperback writer
Paperback writer - paperback writer

Melanie Dickerson said...

LOL! I love that song, Tina!

Audra, you go, girl. Finish that book! It will feel so good!

Myra Johnson said...

I have to agree with Mary--it's dangerous to show your wip to a crit group too early. My crit philosophy has always been NO FIRST DRAFTS. That's from a selfish point of view, too. I firmly believe a writer should be her own first (and second and third) editor, not burden crit groups with that job.

Audra Harders said...

I can't say I love Paperback Writer, but it seems to have continuous feed in my brain at times. Thanks for all the words to the silly song, Tina!!

Kathie said...

Revolution! I like that. I've never been very good at the resolution thing anyway.
Blessings from Costa Rica