I've wavered back and forth about just how honest I wanted to be in today's post. In the end I decided a little public humiliation was okay if I helped someone else on their writing journey.
Let me tell you a bit about my trip to Tulsa with Ruth and Mary.
Day 1.: I opened my eyes and peeked into a dark room at 6:30 am. We went to bed around midnight so sleeping in until 6:30 seemed reasonable. The room was silent. I rolled over for a few more zzzz's so as not to wake my roommates. Thirty minutes later I decided I was getting up anyhow. What I discovered is that they were gone.
Apparently they'd been gone...for hours. Being, productive.
This scenario was repeated the next morning.
While on vacation, Ruthy hung out in the business office in the wee hours and wrote a gazzillion words a day (did I mention while on VACATION?) and Mary wrote a novella in the bathroom waiting for the flat iron to heat up.
What did I accomplish in Tulsa? Well, I ate fried pickles, cherry lime-aides, and pizza.
And I realized it was time for me to dust off my framed Albert E photo again.
On occasion we all need a little kick butt in areas of our life just to get us back on track. Don't get me wrong, I've had a good year. I applied the Albert E. Theory to my health and lost 70 pounds and lowered my cholesterol by numerous points.
But I've been floundering in my writing productivity. I could give you excuses, but I won't, and I won't let you go down that road either.
The bottom line is, if what you're doing isn't working or isn't producing the results you want then it's time to STOP. Do something else. ANYTHING ELSE.
By the way, the moral of this story isn't for me to become a Ruthy or Mary clone.But hanging with Curly and Larry made me realize they had developed a plan that worked and they were sticking to it come Tulsa or high water.
So I'm rethinking my boundaries, the hours in my day and the best use of my time. Do you know how difficult it is to kick yourself in the butt?
Today, I've invited a few friends to share their kick butt words of writing wisdom for all you aspiring authors in the Seekerville audience:
"The only time you fail is if you quit. The only sure way to get published is to write and submit as many times as necessary. Insane? Maybe. Persistent? Absolutely. :-)"
“Remember getting the message/story across in the best possible manner is what’s important. Your feelings and your ego is not. Develop a teachable, humble spirit and embrace opportunities to grow.”
"Read the instructions and do as the editor says, asks, suggests, etc! Don't be so in love with your book that when you get that letter that looks like a rejections BUT has "suggestions," :advice," "requests" that you crumple it up and toss it away thinking, "what do they know?". That little piece of paper says (in essence) "make these changes the way I'm asking you to and I will reconsider this work for publication." This is a test. Do your very best to pass it."
Don't ever demean an accomplishment by saying or thinking, "I was just lucky" or "Anyone could have done it." Don't look at a project as too large. Break it down into steps and accomplish them one at a time. If it's helpful, record your page/time goals and accomplishments in your planner. Check them off as you reach and overtake each one. It's like that joke, "How do you eat an elephant?"
One bite at a time.
This isn't a business for the faint at heart. It is tough and often hard on your ego, but if you are meant to be a writer, you can't walk away. It is part of who you are. If that is the case, toughen yourself to the disappointments and celebrate the highs.Your attitude is everything.
You cannot write on your novel until you open the document. I don't know how many times I've sat down at the computer and read blogs, updated Facebook, tweeted some stuff, checked email, clicked links, and suddenly the two hours I had set aside for writing is gone. Open the document, read what you wrote last, and start putting some more words down.
Write. Write. Write.
Do not feel you have to necessarily pick one genre, but you must FINISH projects. There is no success waiting for you with unfinished work. Prove that you've got what it takes by getting the job done every time. Editors, agents and fellow authors respect that because they know how hard it is.
Ruth Logan Herne
Believe in yourself. Work hard to improve your craft. Don't listen to the Negative Voice. Trust your writing will improve the more you write, so write something everyday. Celebrate each small success along the way. Ask God to bless your work. Set publication as your goal...and never give up!
"If you're serious about a writing career, go a little INSANE EVERY DAY and 'do the same thing over and over again' by WRITING every day. That is the single most important advice that I have heard over and over and over again. Just do it."
"Being a published writer is a demanding business, not a hobby. When a publishing house signs you on it's because they recognize your potential to earn their company money. Staying published can take a ton of time away from other things you may want to do. So you really, really, really need to believe seeking publication is the direction God wants you to go and be committed to it for the long haul."
That's a lot of wisdom!
Finally, today I challenge myself and you to put on your game face. If you're doing NaNo, if you're working on your next manuscript, proposal, query or contest entry, and you aren't reaching your goals and feel like you're constantly treading water, remember...
If you always do what you always do. You'll always get what you'll always get.
Don't make me bring out the wet noodles.
Today one honest commenter will have the opportunity for a five page critique and for another commenter..well, let's talk. Seriously. Let's talk about where you are and how to get to where you want to be. You, me and the phone. Thirty minutes.
Winners announced in the Weekend Edition.