Monday, October 12, 2009

Plan B




Plan B was a project of Unpubbed Island inhabitants in the fall of 2007. At that time there were still 8 of us on the island. This was a six week reality check and shake up, evaluation, and motivation BLITZ!



Today we'd like to share an inside look at our Plan B boot camp.




We began with a self-examination session. We asked ourselves these questions and honestly submitted our answers:

How bad do you want to sell?
Can you still see yourself selling?
How close are you to giving up?
What are your fears?
Where is God in all of this?

While we were already a close knit group, the answers in the essays we shared with the group surprised us. We shared secrets we had kept bottled inside and that we were afraid to share. Our disclosure was not only freeing but also was a realization we weren't alone in our fears and concerns.


Some of us really were ready to give up. Some battled fear of failure. Or possibly worse: fear of success.

The unifying factor for all of us was we knew God was central to our writing future and we were willing to at least try Plan B.

The next step was a review of our manuscripts. What was viable and what was the history on each manuscript (where had the manuscript traveled in the publishing world?) We shared this information with the group. We also shared our writing--actually not just our writing but our very favorite scenes. A bit of our writing that made our hearts sing.

Next came a brainstorming session. We discovered that others in the group were able to objectively suggest markets, contests and revision ideas for our stories that we hadn't considered. This really opened up a window of opportunity. Best of all we began to think outside the proverbial box of limited opportunities we were seeing for our writing.

One member of our group became the unspoken inspirational leader, sending the group inspiring quotes daily. I set up a schedule for our weekly meetings online via Windows Messenger.

A well known author who has recently changed her career focus joined us and offered words of advice and encouragement.

We also were privileged to have Margie Lawson lead a condensed workshop on Overcoming Obstacles to Writing. She established accountability buddies for us. This was a huge positive step for the group.

The Plan B group also listened to motivational workshops. We shared notes from classes and handouts, passed on market news and writing opportunities.

One workshop in particular that we all listened to was Brenda Novak's Overcoming Discouragement & Other Obstacles to Succeed, from the 2007 RWA conference audio.

We also enrolled in an online class together: 12 Easy Steps to Breaking In with author Suzanne McMinn.


At the end of our six week Plan B we evaluated what we had accomplished and we came away encouraged, mended, and willing to consider traveling down new and unknown roads with our writing careers.



Some thoughts on Plan B:


Myra Johnson-

The Plan B initiative came at a time when I desperately needed a fresh perspective on the writing life and a huge dose of encouragement. I still have Albert Einstein's quote on my bulletin board: "Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." It's too easy to settle into a rut--whether it's writing the same story over and over or targeting the same unresponsive editors. Sometimes we need a gentle nudge--or maybe a brick up the side of the head!--to push us in new directions. Also, intentionally praying for each of the other Plan B-ers specific needs reminded me that I wasn't alone on this journey.



Sandra Lee Smith-

Plan B got me to try new genres. Things that interested me. Retro. Older women.
It helped kick me in the behind to get stuff out there.


Ruth Logan Herne-Eventually we figure out that butting heads against immovable objects hurts. It takes some of us longer than others, LOL! By changing my direction, studying the market and zeroing in on the editorial staff at Super Romance, I improved my writing, tightened my story-telling capabilities, made new friends, impressed new editors, increased my marketability, garnered a wonderful agent and learned my way around the industry from a different vantage point. This not only increases my potential in a free market, but allows me the latitude to explore various writing options, and all for the cost of some extra time, ink and paper.

God allows us free will. He encourages us to take risks, embrace change. He never said it would be easy!


Tina Russo-
My personal belief in the God of Plan B has helped me through every single valley of my life. So creating a Plan B for those of us left on the island at a time when we were all having some doubts and challenges was the obvious thing to do. Plan B let me help others, and gave them an opportunity to help me in my writing journey.

Glynna Kay-
Even though I'd won "prestigious" awards for my unpublished inspirational "murder lite" romantic mysteries, I was uncertain where my books fit into CBA. No longer certain that I even wanted to write about murder and mayhem. I was losing steam. Losing the joy of writing. No fun anymore. Finding it hard to keep my head around a single-title 100K book while working a more-than-full-time day job. Seriously considering putting the dream aside until a time in the far distant future.

Then Tina rounded up the unpubbed Seekers in the fall of 2007 for a month or two of Dr. Phil-style "therapy" -- challenging us to prayerfully re-evaluate where we were, where we wanted to be, and to ask ourselves some hard questions, including "is it working?" To ask God what he wanted to do with our writing. It didn't happen overnight, but by summer 2008 I started writing a story targeted for Steeple Hill Love Inspired. I had so much FUN writing it! I entered it in the Golden Pen for feedback and, well, the rest is history -- the finals judge asked for a full, I got "the call" in January 2009, and today my first book, "Dreaming of Home," is sitting on a bookstore shelf!






Quotes From Plan B
Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Albert Einstein.



The people who reach their potential, no matter what their profession or background, think in terms of improvement. If you think you can "hold your ground" and still make the success journey, you are mistaken.

You need to have an attitude like that of General George Patton. It's said that he told his troops, "There is one thing I want you to remember. I won't want to get any messages saying you are holding our position. We are advancing constantly." Patton's motto was, "Always take the offensive. Never dig in."


John Maxwell (The Success Journey)




What have you done today to make your dream come true? Karen King


The key to overcoming fear and growing in your potential is ACTION. It breaks the cycle of fear.

Fear --> Inaction --> Lack of experience --> Ignorance --> Increased fear

But when you replace inaction with action, look at what happens:

Fear --> Action --> Experience --> Wisdom --> Decreased Fear --> Increased successl George Patton. It's said that he told his troops, "There is one thing I want you to remember. I won't want to get any messages saying you are holding our position. We are advancing constantly." Patton's motto was, "Always take the offensive. Never dig in."

John Maxwell (The Success Journey)


Timing is a factor concerning manifested answers to prayer. We can pray for something that is the will of God but until his timing is right in our lives, we won't see the manifestation. If you have the Word of God to back up your requests, stand in faith until you see the results. Joyce Meyer.
Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things we hope for, being the proof of things we do not see and the conviction of their reality (faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses). (Hebrews 11:1 AMP)





Achievers possess 7 qualities that keep them from being failures:

1) Achievers reject rejection - they don't give up, but keep on trying because they don't base their self-worth on performance.

2) Achievers see failure as temporary -- seeing failure as permanent leaves you stuck where you are

3) Achievers see failures as isolated incidents - a momentary event, not a lifelong epidemic

4) Achievers keep expectations realistic - they know achievement takes time and effort

5) Achievers focus on strengths - they concentrate on what they CAN do, not what they can't

6) Achievers vary approaches to achievement - They keep trying, keep changing, until they find what works

7) Achievers bounce back - They keep moving forward no matter what happens

-from John Maxwell's "Failing Forward" - Thomas Nelson Publishers-



God's grace will never be available to you to become another person. He created you to be you-- the best "you" you can be! Forget about trying to be someone else. Joyce Meyer.

But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Eph 4:7 KJV




















As we close the Seekerville BIAW and head into another year of Seekerville blog posts on the journey to publication, ask yourself if you need a Plan B. And then don't be afraid to ask us for help.




Thank you to Jenny Matlock for this final quote:
To be all that is possible, we must attempt the impossible. To be all that we can be, we must dream of being more.


Happy Birthday Seekerville! Thanks for being a friend of Seekerville.

56 comments :

  1. Wow, Tina, there's a lot to that post. a few courses at least.

    To be all that is possible, we must attempt the impossible. To be all that we can be, we must dream of being more.

    What a quote. simple but profound.

    It reminds me of the little book about the Dreamer who sets out to find and live the dream that God had for him, because he was tired of being a nothing from nowhere. And when he realizes that God had something set before him he becomes a someone. But he had a lot of doubts and obstacles along the way

    We get so hung up on our own plan and perhaps everyone elses that we begin to believe the naysayers.

    We think the Plan is wrong simply because they said so, or we think we're not good enough to attain it.

    So we lose sight of the dream God already had for us, the one he planted in us from the beginning.

    And when we focus on the truth, we actually see the dream we are heading for. The one that was laid out before the ages.

    and maybe just maybe

    Plan B was Plan A along.

    Don't know whether I'm making much sense but...

    Thanks

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  2. Tina,

    What a great message, coming off of BIAW.

    I was discouraged over the weekend and considered quitting. I haven't ruled it out but this gives me some concrete ideas.

    I think the part about the fears makes the strongest point. After awhile, you feel afraid and pretty stupid for investing so much time and money, let alone energy, hopes, and dreams...

    Thanks.

    Cathy

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  3. I came in this morning ready to admit Ruthy's superioty last week. Now I'm thankful for all I accomplished (not that I wasn't before, but I moreso am now).

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  4. And I still can't spell.

    *superiority

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  5. Tina, this rocks. Both Tinas.

    And Tina P, what a succinct summation:

    Maybe Plan B was Plan A all along. You pegged it, girl. God's plan, his timing, his path is always Plan A, we just don't always SEE it.

    Cathy, we've all considered quitting. I could cite so many times, places, etc. it boggles the mind.

    But here's what happens. The little voices return, tweaking a writer's brain with hints of dialogue and quirks of character. I've never figured out a way to silence them. Now I'm glad I didn't.

    :)

    Walt, you cutie, I strung you along because it was GREAT FUN!!! but the reality is I had to pause on Tuesday and switch to revising a book for Steeple Hill. So I started a fun new book last weekend, made great progress, and then screached to a halt to revise, but the good thing is we worked our butts off. That's the only thing that matters, right?

    I love what Seekerville is. A place to come where we all understand the mindset of a writer and a reader, where we want to please others, where we pray one another into success.

    What a great way to celebrate a birthday!

    I brought birthday cake to celebrate our week of hard work, chocolate, white and a side carrot cake because carrot cake in October is a must.

    Coffee. Lots of it.

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  6. Tina Pinson, I have that book. Now to dig it out. I forgot the name of it. Hang on a second....found it. The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson. I need to read it again.

    Don't forget to take the survey that is in the right hand column!

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  7. Ok, this post brought tears to my eyes. Incredible message. Thank you. I was struggling with doubt this weekend--this story sucks, these characters are flat, description was trite....blah blah blah. Cry me a river! Those doubts are of Satan. God doesn't pull us down like that. He gives us hope and encouragement to move forward.

    Writing is a very subjective business. One editor or agent may not like what you have to offer, but another one will. The key is to keep going and do not allow Satan to tell you you're worthless. To God, you're worthFULL. Yeah, I know it's not a word, but it fits here. :-P

    I loved doing the SBIAW and hope to participate in the future. It was the incentive I needed to move forward on my revisions so I can get the full manuscript in the hands of the agent who requested it. Thanks for the opportunity!

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  8. Comment - part 1 - holy moly, my comment was too long too post

    I wish I could claim that quote. It is a quote I have on my bulletin board behind my desk and one of my "life quotes" and I don't know where I read it or paraphrased it from. I always write down the author when I know it...

    So I would give credit but I have no idea where credit is due.

    I'm going to jump in here with something. The only book I have published is a little self-published silly quilt book that I wrote in honor of my sister when she passed away several years ago. Her death was my catharsis to actually following my writing aspirations instead of just dreaming them.

    From prior ventures I personally have always found that self-promotion is the most uncomfortable part of the creation process.

    The creation of something, whether it is a painting or a craft kit or even the written word is so ultra-personal that it is frightening to take it out into the light of public view.

    It feels so much like I imagine walking naked to get the mail might feel.

    And it is uncomfortable.

    But many, many years ago when I started painting folk-art dummy boards I had some amazing advice from a woman who designs high-end art kits and projects for Better Homes and Gardens and other publications.

    She told me to step outside myself and look at what I was doing honestly and truly. And if I was honestly and truly charmed by my product that I needed to "showcase" it to potential customers like it was the product or design of my dearest friend.

    She said it is difficult to be objective about our own work.

    And it was. And still is.

    Whenever I put a thoughtful piece of writing up to public eye it scares the be-Jesus out of me.

    The other advice this woman gave me is that your product means nothing if no-one sees it. If you are doing it for fun then who cares. But if you feel the need to make money or to spread your idea or to share your design then it is your responsibility to make sure people see what you are showing them.

    I asked her what she meant, she told me I would figure it out.

    What I figured out is that people in any industry are besieged with same-ness. And if you can make something, anything about your product or idea stand-out at least they will take the time to notice.

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  9. Comment part 2 (so sorry for this blathering on)

    You may get the letter or call saying "gee, we loved your ____ but it won't work for us." To me this is so much better then silence.

    And this may not apply to the serious publishing world.

    Many years ago I attempted to get a little series of childs books published based on a simple, whimsical concept. I presented the manuscript in a really unusual way and actually had three major publishing houses call me! At the time the method of illustration was not readily available (it is now and I'm reworking those manuscripts) but the point is by catching their interest they read what I wrote, said they loved it, said "how in the world would we illustrate this?" and we had dialogue.

    I have used that technique to get products into Country Living, Colonial Home, the US Army! and most recently Paula Deen's magazine.

    It is all about not being afraid and taking the step to wave your flag ... loudly and proudly and in such a way that the right person stops, looks and listens. After all, wouldn't you do this for a close, talented friend? Of course you would!

    If I was writing a novel about a girl set in Victorian England I would package up a sample chapter on lovely old looking paper, wrap it up in a scrap of vintage ribbon, tuck it into an antique high-topped boot and send it in a box wrapped in old lace.

    And maybe this doesn't apply to this serious world of publishing.

    But maybe by having that publisher unwrap the manuscript all the while thinking "what the heck?" you will at least get your words where they need to be. Read!

    OK, and now I am done.

    And I don't know if this type of self-promotion is even acceptable in your industry.

    But you know what? I'm going to find out.

    Although to be honest the book that is almost finished (other then my childrens series) is about a loved ones battle through heroin addiction and I'm not really sure what to send along to get a publisher to take a look at that!!!!!!!!!!!

    Thanks for reading.

    In closing I'd like to share another kind of obscure favorite quote by George W. Cecil.

    "On the plains of hesitation bleach the bones of countless millions who, at the dawn of victory, sat down to wait, and waiting - DIED!"

    Not cheery, but so true.

    Signing off from a super early morning here in Arizona.

    PS Now I can return to mostly "stalking" ha!

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  10. We like it when you come out to play Jenny. You have lots of important words to share. Thank you.

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  11. That's an awesome post with awesome quotes. I really like the breakdown of action-experience-wisdom. Very true.

    Plan B sounds awesome! Thanks for sharing it. ;-)

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  12. Wow, what a great reminder, that God is the God of Plan B. When things don't go according to our plan, something even better could be around the corner, something our God has planned.

    Honestly, I hope and pray I'm already past the most discouraging times in my writing life. But I don't know. I also can't imagine quitting. There have been so many ups and downs, but right now I feel like I'm just waiting to see what God does.

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  13. Incredible post, Tina, incredible encouragement. I had NO idea as to the extent of Plan B! I am in awe -- of the Plan B'ers AND their amazing God! I echo Lisa in that you brought tears to my eyes.

    And, Lisa, come to think of it, your comment brought tears to my eyes too. You are SO correct when you said, "God doesn't pull us down like that. He gives us hope and encouragement to move forward."

    AMEN, sister!! God is the God of Hope, something I remind myself almost daily with one of my favorite quotes in the whole world:

    Romans 15:13: Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

    May we ALL "abound in hope" from this day forward.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  14. Wow and Wow,

    Just the heart in the posts since I've been away are worth the read. But I had to go read the Plan B all again.

    Amazing that The Seekers sought and this is what their prayers have wrought. Okay... I'm done with that.

    But through the whole process of putting the Seekers together, of writing, of life is a testiment to the God who choreographers the winds and still moves in his people.


    "On the plains of hesitation bleach the bones of countless millions who, at the dawn of victory, sat down to wait, and waiting - DIED!"

    Thanks for that Jenny.

    That is one mind boggling analogy.


    Miss Tina,

    Thank you for finding that book. I hunted and hunted for mine I just it last week I'm certain and it disappeared. Did a word search for Dream seeker, Dreamcatcher, Dreamwatcher, and lo and hold

    It's the Dreamgiver. Duh!


    Thanks for the challenge last week. And everyone, thanks for the thought provoking, tear invoking posts.

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  15. BTW in case anyone is overly curious...

    My little fingers danced like Fred Astaire on the keys, they tapped out colorful paintings of scenery, two stepped doubt and tangoed with conversations, with every twirl, dip and slide new life was given to the pages of my book

    and I managed to


    Drum roll Please


    get down 40,000 words.


    Whoo hooo,


    go Tina, go Tina


    okay that parts not true, the forty thousand, but I put some wordage to the page.


    And the dance felt fine.

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  16. Plan B is a radical splinter group within Seekerville.

    FYI

    :)

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  17. Mary,

    A radical splinter group huh?

    That explains so much.

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  18. Take my word for it, Tina planned an awesome Plan B program. I participated for all of 1 week. Not because it wasn't working or viable or interesting... NO!! I had just returned to working full-time, and baby that I am, I couldn't do everything AND include the wonderful program that was Plan B.

    Believe me, if I had been able to stretch time to encompass the exercises, I would have.

    Thanks to you, Tina!! Help, encouragement, inspiration and the occasional swift kick in the pantaloons is what it's all about.

    Don't give up on the dream--even when it looks like a nightmare at times : )

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  19. Thanks for the inspiring reminder of our so-called "splinter group" experiences, Tina! Maybe we should have had those--what do you call them?--the little matching scarf thingies the Survivor teams wear around their foreheads (or some of the women as bra tops).

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  20. Okay, WOW!

    Tina, you may not know it, but you are a mentor and catalyst for writers far beyond the Seekerville girls.

    Wow.

    All the Seekers are so inspiring.

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  21. I hate to continue with the same reaction, but, WOW!

    Tina, you have no idea how much i needed this today. I've been in such a writing rut. I finished a trilogy, wrote a query and now...nothing. I've not sent the query out, I've not even found agents to query! The books need to have my pen and pencil edits put into the computer but everytime I look at them I think, "Is this really what I want to put out in the world as my number 1?"

    So here I am, a finished trilogy under my belt and numerous ideas floating around in my head. Do I dive in, do I tread water? Do I wander about aimlessly for a few more months, wondering blindly what to do, what to do? Or do I hitch up my pantaloons and take all this fear and doubt to Boot Camp? Hmmm, answer is pretty obvious, huh?

    Happy Monday and thank you :)
    Jen

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  22. Glad that our RADICAL SPLINTER group experiences were helpful.

    It's always most helpful to find out YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

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  23. Tina, your post spoke to me--yesterday, as I was reading my friend's draft for her book that's releasing next year, I felt discouraged. I could never write like THAT--so rich and beautiful that the scenes breath life into the imagination.

    Then I answered an email from a friend (who is published) who was writing out her writing plan. A writing plan? I'm just waiting for a phone call that's not going to happen because I don't have anything out there. I'm not proud of this, but sometimes, when I talk to those girls I started out with all those years ago, I feel ashamed that I'm still struggling to get off unpubbed island and that in some way, I've let them down.

    Then I looked back over my SBIAW challenge. Last week, I learned a lot of things, first and foremost is that I can put my backside in a chair and write. I managed a little over 10K last week but it's 10K more than I had the week before. I'm eight scenes shy of being finished with this book which is a heck of a lot better than I was before. And I learned the best way for me to construct a book without wasting a lot of time.

    But most of all, I learned that there are others like me, willing to share their hearts. God bless you for that.

    So I will add one more saying to the collection Tina put together. As a writer of WWII fiction, it's the one that I have pasted to my keyboard, the words I remember in those moments when I consider surrendering.

    "We will never, never, never give up!" Winston Churchill

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  24. Morning Tina, Great post and I need to get to yesterday's and report in. We were on the road yesterday. 500 miles from Lake Tahoe to Las Vegas. whew

    Back to the post. Plan B wasn't as critical for me at the time as it was this summer. I really, really needed it and you gals helped at the ACFW conference.

    And you're so right. It is God's plan for us and why do we keep on bucking it? LOL All I have to do is look back at my moments of discouragement and see that God's plan was at work. For example, at about the time Plan B was started I can look back and see how much better for me that I hadn't published yet. In the winter of 2008 I lost both moms, mine and my mother-in-law, two very special people to me. And all I can say is thank God I didn't have deadlines that winter or the year prior for that matter. I was able to be there for them.

    So I just keep reminding myself of Proverbs. There is a season for everything under the sun. And what I've learned on unpubbed island is necessary to my growth and development. And I wouldn't have all of you friends. smile. So here I am, keeping my hut clean, cycling around the island every day and writing, writing, writing.

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  25. Thanks for the great post, as usual Tina. You're splendiferous!

    I'm with Mel, as discouraging as it can be at times, I can't imagine quitting. It's a part of God's call...and...I picked up the phone. Can't put it down, now ;-)

    I'm so thankful for it. And...even with the hard-to-hear responses from contest judges, writing is the little island in the middle of the ocean of my life. I love my life - but it's certainly nice to stop swimming for a while and rest on the beach (or unpubbed island...as it might be ;-)

    And (as I keep saying) I agree with Ruthy...what a wonderful group of spins...sisters/brothers in the Lord to encourage each other along this writing road.

    I hit a bend in my road yesterday with a nonfiction book idea. That's new. Kind of weird...but cool too. I prefer my imaginary friends adn putting them into print, but hey - that's the cool part of the writing life...you never know where God might lead.

    Blessings to you all,
    Pepper

    P.S. Ruthy, my word identification was 'jus sayin'...I thought of you :-)

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  26. Great post, Tina.

    I must say that I haven't felt as discouraged about my writing since I started visiting Seekerville because your posts and insights alway encourage, tickle my funny bone or put things in perspective.

    Just wanted you to know that your efforts and knowledge are appreciated.

    Rose

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  27. This was extremely encouraging! Thank you! Even with a head cold I'm feeling rejuvenated by this and wanting to make major changes.

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  28. Patty, I am going to tell you something that Julie told me at our Seekerville reunion.

    She was praying to God about getting the rest of us off the island. And to paraphrase, God said I would be okay with being last. I could handle that.

    Not a day goes by that those words don't well up in my spirit.

    I get discouraged like anyone else but you know by graduating Summa Cum Laude from the school of hard knocks I have come to realize that timing is everything. And living in the moment --being present in today is everything.

    So if I end up last on Unpubbed Island I will know that I am exactly where God wants me.

    I'm proud that he trusts me with that.

    Of course I don't plan on holding down the whole friggin island by myself FOREVER. LOL

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  29. Rose, thank you.

    Mel and Pepper,

    Okay, I fess up, once I considered quitting...(2004)before Seekerville-- but meeting the Seekers made that pass quickly. But it wasn't out of anger or bitterness. There are so many things I want to do in this life (and losing a loved one early in life makes you really appreciate every moment). Thanks to Jenny Matlocks quilting book I have now figured out how I am going to fit quilting in. HEEHAW!!

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  30. Tina,

    Quilting's fun and sometimes I solve plot problems or get a fresh idea when I'm working on a quilt. Just completed two for my almost ready to be born granddaughter.

    I hope you enjoy it too.

    Rose

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  31. Wow! Wow, wow!

    Amazing post. Tina, you rock!

    The Seekers--all of them, Plan A, Plan B, Plan whatever--are an amazing, wonderfully supportive and encouraging bunch of women. I can see this community growing and growing, because I know I'm not going anywhere and I suspect I've got loads of comrades-in-arms who will be here as long as you are, sharing in your successes and wisdom and hopefully giving back some of what we learn along the way.

    After SBIAW, I was already psyched, but now I'm really motivated to continue developing the discipline of writing every day. I can see now what I couldn't see when I finished my first novel almost two years ago, the one very neatly, and very deeply, tucked away.

    That the first, rough draft is gravel, and that's okay. That I can turn it into something shiny with a little patience and elbow grease. That if it doesn't pan out to be anything more than Fools' Gold, that's okay too. I'll just keeping mining for the good stuff.

    Happy Birthday, Seekerville!

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  32. You know what they use gravel for Patricia? Foundation.

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  33. Oh, I've thought about quitting in the past, too, Tina. I just couldn't do it.

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  34. I brought tissues.

    And chocolate.

    And hugs.

    And hot, spiced cider with a side of apple pie.

    Let's get homey.

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  35. Tina,
    Gravel isn't just for foundation anymore, it's also the word you use to give someone a deep, raspy voice.


    Ruth, Ruth, Ruth,

    Tissues, chocolate, hugs, hot apple cider and pie

    I was right there with you.

    then I read on and gasped and laughed.

    I had to do a double take then another, squint my eyes and blink so they would come into focus and affirm what I thought I'd just read...

    thank heaven I was so wrong.

    Because there for a moment I thought I'd stumbled onto something from Austin Powers

    And then I realized it was LET's GET... H O M E Y

    and that's all I have to say about that.

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  36. Plan B was actually Plan A all along ... so true.

    Lots of good stuff to think about it.

    This just in:

    I'm done!

    I was putting along trying to finish The Great American Novel Remix.

    Now it's done. Now I have to revise but at least I have something to work with.

    BIAW came at the right time!

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  37. LOL Tina.


    WAY TO GO ANN!!!! REally. Congratulations!!!!

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  38. Nice post! Plan B is always good, no matter what you're doing! Lol...

    I thought along the way that I was going to need a Plan B for Hannah's READ Program. I did not honestly think that it was going to make it to see the light of day : ) However, I'm starting tomorrow and Wednesday! I am so nervous, but very excited also that I'm able to live this experience. I have a new blog post if you want to read it...

    Guess what!!?? I won a blog award! I know that they're kind of cheesy, but I haven't won anything for my blog....didn't know that anyone really cared to read it to be honest with you! Like you guys, you had very encouraging words(don't get me wrong), but I'm sure you don't actually like reading it! Lol...Seekerville is a much more fun place to be...anyway, I'm psyched!

    Guess I better get back to writing my AP English essay on The Scarlet Letter. : / Anyone want to finish it for me? I can give you the thesis! Lol...
    Hannah

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  39. Okay...I just barely finished my essay... : / I feel pretty good about it. The final word count is 1169 not including the date, title, and question I was answering(that are all typed at the top of the page too).

    Just wanted to let you know! I think I'm the last person up in Seekerville tonight : ) Not bragging though! I'm going to be dragging in the morning for sure!
    Hannah

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  40. Congratulations Hannah. You night owl.

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  41. Dear friends,
    Sorry, I don't know how to get my picture on here, but trust me, I'm old and grey. I just had to write again, b/c I loved Biaw and wrote 27,000 words which just kept Coming!! It was like I could HELP but write them. I've always known I needed to write but only finally made it a priority about a year ago.
    But I loved this post even better, and to show you where I am, someone mentioned asking for help from you all. How does one do that? You are already helping me a lot, but how could I find someone to give advice about what Plan B might mean for my particular manuscripts (2 finished, one I'm working on). thanks, whoever answers, and thanks for the wonderful words of encouragement,

    Gail Kittleson gkittleson@omnitelcom.com

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  42. Philosophy Alert.

    I’ve been thinking about Plan A and Plan B and the idea that: "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

    I’m not sure the military/war paradigm of ‘Plans’ is the best model. In a way, could it be said that: "Insanity is using the same paradigm over and over again and expecting different results?"

    If you were climbing a cloud shrouded mountain and you were only half way to the top but didn’t know how close you were to the summit, would you really need a new climbing ‘plan’ or would you need a rest and more motivation?

    A good old fashion Revival might be a better paradigm. I believe that ‘getting the call’ on a particular manuscript is not the answer. I don’t even see it as the goal. The answer is the acquisition of the requisite skill-set required of a writer so she can do those things by habit that the unpublished author must be continually reminded to do.

    This publishable skill-set, once achieved and integrated into the author’s psyche, is what allows debut authors to follow-up with book after book. They have earned the skill-set.

    Go to a revival, work on your skill-set, look to the clouds, keep the faith, and be ready when the call comes. It’s not a plan, it’s a way of life.


    Vince

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  43. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you! I so needed this post right now. It really is about putting one foot in front of the other even when it looks like you're making no progress...

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  44. Vince, only you could rewrite Einstein and make it work.

    I live for military strategies.

    When something doesn't work I stop, regroup, restrategize and attack. Been that way all my life.

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  45. Thanks, Cathy. Good to see your smiling face in Seekerville.

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  46. Lol thanks Tina! However, I definitely know that I will not be up that late tonight...!!
    Hannah

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  47. Vince, after having a chance really read your post, I humbly disagree. If obtaining the requisite skill set were all it took 90 percent of us would have sold. Timing is everything. So is a sprinking of magic. The right place at the right time. And in fact many would tell you that some who have sold still don't have the requisite skill set.

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  48. Gail, you arrived! Yahooo.

    The best thing to do is join RWA and a local or online chapter or join ACFW and a local or online critique group. (rwanational.org or acfw.com)

    RWA has a virtual chapter called FHL, Faith, Hope and Love ( the inspirational chapter) that pairs people who want to critique together. Some critiquing is done online, some groups meet in person.

    Or if you like I can put a snippet in the weekend edition that you are looking for someone to partner up with and they should contact you.

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  49. And when I said some don't have the requisite skill set I don't mean that as a negative comment on their writing. I mean writing is a journey and we are always learning, growing and improving. There is no stagnant. I don't personally believe that once you get in the secret club that's it, sit back, kick your feet up and rest on your skill set.

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  50. I'm still sniffling over that post, Tina, even after reading through all the comments. LoL Thank you. What a post.

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  51. Hi Tina:

    I believe that obtaining the requisite skill set is a necessary condition for success but it is not a sufficient condition. Not everybody who can read music and play the violin without error will make the philharmonic. That’s why I said the goal may not be the call. One lucky book does not a career make.

    In addition to requisite skills, one needs talent, the right story at the right time, and perhaps a little divine intervention.

    I think the success equation would look like this:

    skill x talent x luck x persistence = success.

    Changing the talent part or the luck part is often out of our hands; however,the persistence part and skill part are conditions that are under our control.

    Keep climbing the mountain and working on those things we can affect and if success is to be, then it will be.

    Unless I’m wrong, I think we are in basic agreement. I do appreciate your response.

    Thanks,

    Vince

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  52. skill x talent x luck x persistence = success.

    We are in agreement lol!!

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  53. Patty W!!!!! Long time no seee!! How are you? Thanks for the kind remarks.

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  54. Although I'm coming in late to the party (yep, that's been the story of my year!), I wanted to wish The Seekers a very, very happy birthday with much success--whether Plan A, Plan B, Plan C, etc. in origin... May God and every force of good in the universe bring to you all an even better realization of your dreams than what you've imagined.

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  55. Marilyn, you sweet thang. Thank you very much.

    May the force be with you too!!!

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