Monday, November 11, 2013

Are You Rowing as Fast as You Can?





Are You Rowing As Fast As You Can?
Terri Weldon

Let me start by thanking the Seekers for allowing me to guest blog! I love my daily visit to Seekerville, so when Missy Tippens sent me the invitation I accepted so fast it probably made her head spin.

My journey from Unpubbed Island to publication was slow. Painfully slow. In fact, there were times it seemed like someone had stolen my oars. Imagine my surprise when I realized both oars were firmly attached to my rowboat. I just wasn’t rowing as fast as I could. In fact, there were times I didn’t row at all.  So today I’m going to share a few of the obstacles I encountered and discuss how I overcame them.

Obstacle:  The dreaded day job. I have a love hate relationship with my day job. The Lord has blessed me with a good job and it pays the bills, but as an analyst I use the computer a ton. So much so, that many days when I get home from work, the last thing I want to do is spend several more hours staring at a computer screen.

Solution: I wish I could say I took an early retirement offer and I’m writing full time, but remember my job pays the bills. So instead, writing is squeezed in during the evening, because I’ll never be one of those people who write for two hours before they leave for work. But back to the real problem, spending more hours on a computer. Hmm, let’s see, I need a few minutes after work to unwind. So I’ll play Candy Crush, logon to Facebook, maybe check my email, or spend time surfing the web. Whoa, wait a minute – those activities are all on the computer! If I take that same amount of time and channel it into my manuscript then I’ve managed to meet my word count goal for the day. And when all is said and done, that’s a great deal more satisfying.
                 
Obstacle: Treating Writing like a Hobby. Guilty! For far too long writing was my hobby. If I wanted to write, great. If I didn’t, no big deal. Well, we all know you don’t finish books that way. Much less get published.
                  
photo credit: Crestock/Alexmillos
Solution: The turning point for me came when I joined OCFW, my local ACFW Chapter. The gals and guys in OCFW are talented, dedicated, and determined. It didn’t take me long – ok blatant exaggeration – I’m a slow learner. It took me longer than it should have, to realize I could keep playing at writing or I could buckle down, give it my all, and hopefully achieve publication as many of my friends had done.
                  
This is the perfect place for me to mention the importance of a good critique partner. I’m sure you’ve heard this a million times, but a good critique partner is invaluable. In the past I had critiqued with various people, yet somehow things never clicked and the partnership would fall apart. In OCFW I met an awesome critique partner. She is an amazing author with the talent of an editor, who graciously puts up with me.

So keep looking until you find the right critique partner or group. It will take your writing to a new level.  

Obstacle: Procrastination. I wish I could find a way to sugar coat procrastination. I can’t. The hard truth is procrastination will suck the life out of you. It can single handedly keep you from ever leaving Unpubbed Island. If you can’t conquer, or at the very least, tame this beast your journey to publication will be like rowing through a storm. You’ll be heading for the shores of success and then a wave of procrastination will hit. Next thing you know the date to enter that contest will have snuck up on you and you didn’t get your pages finished. Or the opportunity to submit your work to an editor will present itself and your manuscript won’t be ready. How do I know? Sad to say, I speak from experience.


Solution: Confession time, I still battle this beast. And it bleeds over into every aspect of my life. Several things help me - a schedule, an accountability group, and a goal. Do you see a common thread? As a procrastinator you can’t wait for the muse to strike. It is imperative for me to have clear cut achievable goals. However, be cautious. When I’m setting a goal, I tend to be a tad zealous. Then at the end of the week, if I haven’t met my goal, I feel like a flop. Don’t do that to yourself.

Does that mean I never set a big goal? Absolutely not! I had maybe three thousand words of my Christmas novella penned and wrote the remaining twenty-two thousand words over a three day weekend. By the last day of the weekend, I wanted out of my chair so bad I could hardly stand it. But the joy I felt when I wrote THE END far outweighed my tiredness. And that manuscript led to my first sale!

So tell me, are you rowing as fast as you can? What are some of the biggest obstacles you face as a writer and how have you overcome them?

Leave a comment for a chance to win one of three copies of Mistletoe Magic and I’ll ship you an Amazon voucher for a copy the minute it’s available. I promise not to procrastinate!
About Terri: Terri Weldon's debut Christmas Novella, Mistletoe Magic, releases 1 December from White Rose Publishing, an imprint of Pelican Book Group.

She claims her regular life is really pretty mundane, but refrains from saying dull! She and her sister, Cynthia, share a house in Oklahoma. They’re the best of friends and share many of the same interests.


Terri enjoys gardening, reading, and shopping for shoes (a habit she really needs to break). She has three dogs – a lovable mutt and two adorable Westies. She volunteers as the librarian at her church – she actually gets to shop for books and spend someone else’s money. Plus, she gets to introduce people to Christian fiction.

Terri is a member of ACFW and RWA.

About Mistletoe Magic: Mistletoe Joy (Misty) Winslow is determined to find her prince charming. She meets the man of her dreams through an internet dating service. Or is he? Because the new dentist in town sets her heart aflutter.

It’s love at first sight for Tyler Davenport, but before he can finish his first root canal, Misty is involved in an exclusive online romance with Wes99. Tyler begins to get jealous of Wes99, his online persona! Soon he’s pulling out all the stops to woo Misty.

As Christmas approaches Wes99 and Tyler both ask her to meet them under the Mistletoe. Which man will she choose?

138 comments:

Helen Gray said...

Welcome, Terri.

It's always fun to read about a new author's journey to publication. Congratulations!

Coffee's brewing.

Vince said...

Hi Terri:

Please put me down for a chance on your book. I just have to know how you are going to work the story out. It has really captured my interest!

I know how I would write it: when the two men show up they are identical twins – who never knew the other existed. It was their mutual interest in the heroine that finally brought them together. This is a real identity crisis. Both men are perfect for her. Both men love her. Both men could be said to be her soul mate. Who does she marry and whose heart does she break? Is happiness even possible? (This sounds just like the problem in Julie's Emma story.)

Now, I don’t have a solution for an HEA to this situation. That’s the best kind. If I don’t know the answer, then the reader sure won’t know it either. I’ll bet the pantsers on Seekerville can come up with dozens of solutions. As a plotter I’m stumped.

BTW: have you thought of using a tape recorder with the lights off and soothing music on while you sit in an easy chair? Perhaps a foot massage machine would help. ‘Write’ this way and then let voice recognition software put the words on your computer for you.

I can row the boat faster or slower but what I need most is a sure way to navigate to the right harbor. I need to learn to read the stars. That takes a high level of skill. Slow rowers can get there really fast if they can steer right to the target.

Build the skills.

Vince

Abbi Hart said...

Great post!
I absolutely love the cover for Mistletoe Magic! Before I even read the synopsis I wanted to read it and after I read the description I want to read it even more! Would love to win a copy!

Virginia Carmichael Munoz said...

Sweet! This sounds like 'You've Got Mail', one of my favorite movies!

And I'm a terrible procrastinator. I'll find myself sitting at the computer, having clicked every link I can think of, trying desperately to find one more place to visit before actually working. It makes me so frustrated with myself.

I've learned to ease into my work time. I warm up my coffee. do some stretches. Write a list. All very enjoyable things, and I do them in order so... when the last one is done, it's time to write.

I hate that I have to treat myself like a toddler getting ready for bed (ten minutes 'til bedtime!!) but it works.

Great post!

Terri said...

Good morning, Helen. Thanks for making the coffee. I'm not a good coffee maker, besides coffee by Helen at Seekerville is a must! I did bring some piping hot blueberry muffins.

Terri said...

Vince, you made my day, er middle of the night, comparing anything I wrote to Julie! And your suggestions sound marvelous, almost spa like.

Definitely, we need to find the right harbor for our work. Once we do, we just don't want to miss our window of opportunity.

Cindy W. said...

Thank you for the post Terri. I am in a huge battle right now with procrastination. It is really difficult for me right now. I work full time and am a caregiver to my 85 year old mother (my husband helps there as well) so my time at night is limited but I'm working at carving out a slot just for my writing. In fact, I've taken a week off beginning on my birthday, the 21st until the December 2 and I plan on doing a lot of writing during those days. We have no big plans other than Thanksgiving so I plan on making no excuses to not write.

I would love to be entered for your giveaway. I love Christmas themed stories.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

countrybear52 AT yahoo DOT com

Terri said...

Abbi, I'm thrilled you like the cover. Nicola Martinez designed it and I think she does great work. I've got your name in the hat for the drawing.

Terri said...

Virginia, we must be secret sisters! Sometimes I'll "reward" myself when I reach a specific word count by checking email or looking on the web. Love the analogy of a toddler.

I'm thankful the book sounds good to you and I've got your name in the hat!

Terri said...

Oh Cindy, your plate is full. Your mother is fortunate to have such a caring daughter. Happy early birthday, take full advantage of your week off work.

I don't know what kind of job you have, but there have been times where I write during my lunch hour. Not the perfect solution, but it can help.

Jackie said...

Hi Terri,

I struggle with the day job that helps pay the bills too. One child is still in college, house payments, etc etc etc.

I've tried both ways to write, early before work and late at night. I know my least productive time is as soon as I get home and after I walk the dog.

I need to find a way to make this quiet time more productive. Thanks for the suggestions.

Your book sounds great. Congratulations for sailing away from unpubbed island.

Mary Hicks said...

Good morning Terri! Your book sounds fun and exciting! Put my name in the pot.

You've identified some of the problems that plague all of us creatives—we love what we do, but the getting started is like pulling teeth. Once we're in the throes of the story, it's great! We don't want to stop for anything. No, nothing. My sister walks in and takes one look, I know what she's thinking... I look up and say, "I live alone..." and I go on typing.:-)

I used to marvel that after I'd pressed my kids into cleaning their rooms, they were so happy with the result. They would make me come admire the good job they'd done and act like it had been their idea all along! :-D

People!! We so funny...

Annie Rains said...

Hi Terri,

I'm rowing as fast as I can, but I think someone has dropped an anchor on my rowboat. It's not moving, lol.

I have 2 wonderful CPs who are invaluable. I have my writing schedule firmly in place. What I am guilty of is going too fast. I submit before it's ready. So instead of rowing faster and missing the mark, I need to slow down and take a good look at my map again :)

Happy Veteran's Day, Seekerville!

Marianne Barkman said...

Hi, Terri. I would love to read your novel...I'll be wondering about it till I do! Even those of us who are not as talented, focused as you writers are can be procrastinators! I am...I love reading, but instead of writing that review immediately after I'm done, I'll pick up another book!!! Then I have a stack of books to write reviews for! Please add my name to the hat, and congratulations

Tina Radcliffe said...

Love the premise of your book, Terri!

And welcome to Seekerville on the other side of the podium!

Pass those muffins!!

Missy Tippens said...

Welcome, Terri! I'm so glad to have you here today! :)

Missy Tippens said...

Happy Veteran's Day everyone! And thank you to those who have served, who are serving, or who have members of their family serving our wonderful country!

Missy Tippens said...

Helen, thanks for the coffee! I wish you could be here in person to make mine each morning. :)

Missy Tippens said...

Vince, I like that idea of a foot massager. Maybe I'll ask for one for Christmas. :)

Missy Tippens said...

Abbi, her book really sounds good, doesn't it?!

Virginia, I agree! I loved You've Got Mail and thought of it as I read the blurb. :)

LOL on the toddler getting ready for bed. :) But what you do is such a good idea. We should all try that. Years ago, I even heard of one writer who had two computers: one for getting online and one for writing (no Internet connection). That way when she was on the writing computer, she was conditioned to only write.

Missy Tippens said...

Cindy W, enjoy your week off! I hope you have a really productive one.

Missy Tippens said...

Jackie, it's good that you've found your most productive time. I think getting out and walking really does clear our heads. Now, if only I would do it! :)

Missy Tippens said...

LOL, Mary Hicks! I'm in that phase right now--right before a book deadline. My house is a disaster. And I'm having my book club over tonight! I hope they, of all people, understand. :)

Missy Tippens said...

Annie, it's a balancing act, isn't it? Can't go too slow, can't go too fast. :)

Missy Tippens said...

Marianne, I'm with you. Reading and writing both make us procrastinate! We may put off getting started, but once we get on a roll, they totally absorb our attention.

Janet Dean said...

Welcome to Seekerville, Terri. Congratulations on receiving The Call and the upcoming release of your debut!! Your novella Mistletoe Magic's premise is intriguing!

Thanks for the excellent suggestions for rowing faster to achieve our goals. Time is not renewable. Once we spend it, it's gone. We have no way to get more so must use it wisely. That reminder is for me.

Janet

Sherri Shackelford said...

Excellent advice, Terri!!

Janet Dean said...

A shout out to all the men and women who serve or have served our country. Thank you!!!

Janet

Kav said...

I think I'm reduced to one oar so I'm rowing in circles. :-) Ergonomic logistics are my biggest stumbling block right now. I can only work at the ocmputer for short periods of time so I bounce between keyboard and pen and paper which makes things kind of disjointed, hence the circling with only one oar. :-)

And seriously -- you wrote a romance around a root canal and a dentist?!

Terri said...

Good mornIng everyone. Let me echin Annie and Janet in thanking everyone who has served and those who continue to serve our country. My niece's husband is in the Army and I know those who love our military folks sacrifice as well.

Jackie - I'm with you. Immediately after work is tough. My favorite time, and most creative, is late late at night. However , I can't really do that because then I'm too exhausted to get up and go to work.

Mary, we creatives are kindred souls! Sounds like you have a supportive sis. Mine is awesome and really encourages me to write.

Oh Annie, you brought up an excellent point! Absolutely we have to make sure our work is as good as possible before submitting. Having those CPs will help. Ask them to slap you back when you try to go too fast!

Linda Goodnight said...

Hey Terri, I think we all struggle at some point with the issues you discussed, but good for you for overcoming. Now where is that other manuscript? (Evil grin)

Terri said...

Hi Marianne - what a great point about writing reviews! I'm glad readers as well as writers can relate. And I know I've been remiss about posting reviews myself! I'll have to add that to my to do list. Your name is in the hat!

Terri said...

Thanks Tina, it is awesome to be here. I told Missy being invited to Seekerville ranked right up there with getting the call!

Good morning Missy! Thanks again for inviting me.

Terri said...

Missy - we're supposed to clean?! LOL

Sherri - Thanks for stopping by!

Janet - so true, time is not renewable. Let's pretend I put that gem of wisdom in my post! I'm glad you think the book sounds intriguing.

Jeanne T said...

Hi Terri, what a great post! I've dealt with all three of these. At the moment, my struggle is with feeling of being overwhelmed. I've got a 116K behemoth to trim down, and the task feels big. Add to that hubby is uber busy with work and the two little men in my home are depending a lot on me at the moment.

Yes, they are excuses. I see that now. :) I need to buckle down and git 'er done. Sooo appreciate your post, Terri. Your book sounds good!

Terri said...

Kav, so sorry about the problems you are having. Is it your back? I know that can cause people misery. The root canal is just an analogy, but yep for some reason I picked a dentist.

Sharon Srock said...

Terri, I loved your post, LOVED the story. I know this is the beginning of great things for you!!

Terri said...

Good morning Linda! Everyone, Linda Goodnight is my friend and mentor which is why she sending me an evil grin and asking about that next manuscript! Remember, I admitted to still battling procrastination. Obviously I had better get my own oars moving a little faster!

Missy Tippens said...

Kav, I'm sorry you're struggling. Have you ever tried a dictation program?

Missy Tippens said...

LOL, Linda G! You'd be a good accountability partner. :)

Missy Tippens said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Missy Tippens said...

Jeanne T, it does get easier when the kids get older. :)

Terri said...

Jeanne - I admire those of you with small children who manage to write. Trimming down a manuscript is tough. In my current WIP I had a scene I liked that my CP had told me wasnt needed. So when the time came to trim my word count out it sent. That hurt! I saved those words in another file. Couldn't bring myself to just delete them even though l'll never use them.

Terri said...

Great idea. Maybe some of that voice activated software Vince mentioned.

Julie Jarnagin said...

Great post! Right now having a full-time job, a five-year-old, and another baby on the way is making it difficult to row too fast. But I'm doing the best I can and trying to remind myself not to get so busy that I miss this special time in my family.

Robin Patchen said...

Great post, Terri. Lately, I've been battling all of those things. Well, not the day job, but my 3 kids have kept me busier--and more emotionally drained--than any day job I've ever had. It's been a real challenge to get words on the page lately, but you're right about one thing: I can either choose to do it, or I can make excuses. Today, it's not writing that needs to be done, but marketing. And by the end of the day, I'll have crossed off a few things from my list, because I'm deciding right now to do it. Thanks for the kick in the pants.

Oh,and no need to enter me in the contest. I've had the privilege of reading this book already, and it's excellent!

CatMom said...

Welcome Terri! I am THRILLED to see you posting today, sweet friend!

Congratulations on your book--I definitely plan on ordering it. Love that cover and description--oh my! Sounds like a wonderful story.

I enjoyed reading about your journey, and confess I nodded my head several times as I "recognized" some things I'm doing now *sigh* - - MUST get those oars moving faster!

And that is so awesome that Linda Goodnight is your friend and mentor--LOVE her books (and the one time I met her at ACFW she was a sweetheart--just like YOU).

Thanks for sharing with us, Terri, and I've baked a fresh Georgia peach cobbler to enjoy when you need a snack. ;)

Hugs, Patti Jo :)

Terri said...

Sharon - thanks for stopping by and for your kind words. I'm so glad you enjoyed Mistletoe Magic. Sharon and Linda G. are a couple of those inspiring OCFW members I mentioned.

Missy Tippens said...

Julie J, you're wise. The time flies by, and they're grown before you know it.

Missy Tippens said...

Robin, making a list and checking things off is always a good idea! I need to do that more often. I do check things off on my calendar, though. That's helpful.

Missy Tippens said...

Yum, Patti Jo! Thanks for the cobbler. :)

Janet Lee Barton said...

Great post, Terri! And I really love this story!!! No need to enter me in the contest, because I've had the pleasure of reading it and I know your readers will love it as much as I did!
I also love the cover!

Terri said...

Hey Julie - thanks for stopping by! I think you do amazing and I know you have a writing schedule, not to mention people interested in your latest manuscript.

Spending time with your family is so important, especially now and when your new little one arrives.

Lacy J. Williams said...

Hi, Terri! ::waving::
I'm so excited about your new book (don't enter me--I'll be buying my copy!) and can't wait to read it. I felt the same way when I worked a day job--drained so many times. My trick was making those learning nights. Even though I was too tired to be creative, I spent the time learning craft or industry updates.

Terri said...

Robin - thanks for stopping by and for the kind words about my book. Hey, hands down, 3 kids are tougher than a day job. Im glad I was able to give you a kick in the pants. You've had to give me a million. Good luck on your marketing tasks.

This is my awesome CP that I mentioned.

Terri said...

Patti Jo - thank you do much for the kind words about my book. I hope you enjoy it. And I'll take some of that peach cobbler now!

It is tough, but I hope helpful, when we read about things we know are slowing our writing down.

I missed ACFW this year and seeing you. Ive got to make it next year and we can get together.

Terri said...

Janet - thanks for dropping by and for the kind words about my book!

Terri said...

Lacy - thanks for stopping by! What a great idea, when we are too drained to be creative we can still learn. And learning ultimately improves our writing.

Julie Lessman said...

Oh, Terri -- BULL'S-EYE!!!

And ... OUCH!! :|

You nailed it, girlfriend, especially about the procrastination! I find fasting emails and Amazon REALLLLLLY helps cut out a lot of the stalling, so to speak. And the #1 cure for stalling for me is a combination of Nike and Joyce Meyer.

Just do it. (Nike)
and
Just do it afraid (J.M.), meaning face the fear head-on by just diving in to what you have to do. I find when I do this, the pump is eventually primed (albeit slowly), and I'm back in the saddle again. :)

LOVE your cover AND your title -- looks and sounds soooooo good!!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

LOL, Vince ... it's actually my "Lizzie" story, but I don't really care -- I'm just grateful you read and remember my stories in the first place!!

And, DOUBLE LOL ... I actually tried a foot massager for a while, especially during the winter since it was also a foot-warmer!! VERY nice ... until I traded in my clunky desk computer for a laptop. :) Now I just use a blanket with my feet propped to keep my tootsies warm. :)

And, Terri ... LOVE your reference to Vince's suggestions being "spa like." I definitely feel like my mind is always massaged and invigorated after I read something Vince writes! ;)

Hugs,
Julie

Missy Tippens said...

Janet B., thanks for stopping by! I can't wait to read it as well. :)

Missy Tippens said...

Lacy, that's a good suggestion. I do that sometimes last at night. Save blog posts and articles to read then.

Missy Tippens said...

Julie, I do the same thing. Warm, fuzzy blanket wrapped around my feet, propped on the coffee table. But I still think a foot massager/spa might be nice beside the couch! :)

Myra Johnson said...

Thanks for being our guest today, Terri, and for sharing your insights into overcoming these very typical obstacles in a writer's life.

Terri said...

Julie - thanks, I actually have a laptop without Internet connection so I can't be distracted as easily.

Love the Nike and Joyce Meyer references!

Connie Queen said...

I'm the Queen of Procrastination.
I used to work outside the home and thought when I quit I'd get so much more accomplished. Not true.

My house is still cluttered, if not worse. I have to set a time to write or it doesn't happen. It's amazing how your time can get sapped w/errands/projects.

Like all your suggestions as I figure this is something we all struggle with at times.

Congrats on your debut book.

Terri said...

Myra - I'm having a great time and appreciate you guys letting me be here.

Terri said...

Connie - yep, procrastination is a killer and something I figure I will be fighting forever. I think acknowledging the problem is half the battle, so we are both on our way to overcoming!

Meghan Carver said...

Perfect post for me today! Definitely procrastination here. I always have an excuse -- I have six children, I homeschool, my husband gets home from work in the middle of my writing time, I just need to check in on this one more blog, etc., etc., etc. But now it's almost the middle of November, and I haven't reached my goal yet. Your story of writing 22,000 words in a weekend was inspiring. And I can imagine the feeling of accomplishment would be amazing! Thanks for this today.

Missy Tippens said...

Connie, I have clutter, too. Was going through a pile today and found a graduation card I never sent! It's in the outgoing mail now (with an apology!). :)

Pam Hillman said...

Man, Terri, you sure do know how to sink my boat!

I've faced all these obstacles, and it's not easy to overcome some of them.

We just keep rowing, rowing, rowing.

Missy Tippens said...

Meghan, wasn't Terri's word count inspiring?!

Mary Connealy said...

I'm at that point I always reach in a book where I start to think the whole book is dreadful. What am I thinking? Why did I write it like this? I have no story! I have nothing to offer humanity!

That's a prime moment for procrastination!

I soldier on.
Great blog Terri. Thanks for being on.

Mary Connealy said...

VINCE!! Love today's picture!

Mary Connealy said...

Did anyone watch Castle last Monday night. Castle was sitting at his desk chair, head back, seeing how many pencils he could balance on his face, and the screen saver behind him was flashing the words, "YOU SHOULD BE WRITING."

Classic

Missy Tippens said...

Mary, I always feel that way in every book, too. I absolutely sure it's the worst thing ever written. So I empathize.

And YES! I saw that on Castle!! LOL

Erin Taylor Young said...

Great post, Terri. You're definitely an inspiration, and I love your honesty!

I'm so excited for you and for your book coming out. Don't enter me in the contest 'cuz I'm looking forward to getting to buy your first book. : )

Dora Hiers said...

Great post, Terri. Local writers groups are invaluable, aren't they? Not just for networking and writing related events, but for accountability and friendship. Just love my ACFW-Charlotte chapter friends.
Mistletoe Magic sounds delicious! Congrats, Terri!

DebH said...

Awesome post today. hit me between the eyes on where I'm not rowing, but drifting. Thanks for the proverbial kick in the keister. I would love a chance to win your debut book -- CONGRATS!!!

The internet can be a be time eater. I do always make sure at hit Seekerville though. It's NEVER a waste of time. It's always a place for wisdom and inspiration. Your post today has both.

thanks!

DebH said...

Awesome post today. hit me between the eyes on where I'm not rowing, but drifting. Thanks for the proverbial kick in the keister. I would love a chance to win your debut book -- CONGRATS!!!

The internet can be a be time eater. I do always make sure at hit Seekerville though. It's NEVER a waste of time. It's always a place for wisdom and inspiration. Your post today has both.

thanks!

Susan Anne Mason said...

Hi Terri,

Congrats on your debut! Love the premise of your story.

My debut novel with White Rose will be coming out sometime next year, so I may need to come to you for advice! LOL.

Now to stop procrastinating and get back to work!

Cheers,
Sue

Terri said...

Meghan, 6 kids is the best excuse for procrastination I've heard. I was number 7, I'm not sure how my mom did it.

To reach 22,000 in 3 days I did nothing but write. I'll be rooting for you to make your NANO goal.

Terri said...

Pam - you've rowed yourself pretty successfully, girl! Makes me feel good to know others face the same problems!

Debby Giusti said...

Terri,
So good to see your sweet smiling face on Seekerville as our guest blogger today! Loved your rowing story!!!

I'm raising my hand to the procrastination problem. I'm always busy doing something that's writing related, but if I'm not paying enough attention to my WIP, then I fall behind on my page count.

Picking up my paddles and rowing faster...

Congrats on your new release. The story sounds delightful!!!

Debby Giusti said...

Sending a big thank you to all our Veterans and their families!!!

Hubby and I spent the morning at the grandchildren's school attending a tribute to our military. When all the kids said the Pledge of Allegiance and sang "God Bless America," I choked up. So touching to see such patriotic fervor!

Vince said...

Hi Julie:

I can see you took my comparison literally about the situation in Emma’s story. This is totally my fault. I was not thinking in terms of a heroine choosing between two guys. In that case I think I would have selected “A Light in the Window” where there was a strong mixed message as to what the heroine liked about each hero.

I was talking about a ‘situation’ where the resolution of the conflict was so predictable that to do something unexpected would take great creativity. In my example, the stock Hollywood solution would be to have one twin die saving the heroine’s life in the firm belief that he loved her more than he loved is own life and with the assurance that she would be well taken care of for the rest of her life by his identical twin brother. What a tear-jerker that would make. (Isn’t that the theme in ‘Tale of Two Cities’?)

In Emma’s story it looked like you had only the predictable Hollywood type resolution which I did not think could come up to your standards. I really did not want to finish the book because I was afraid the magic spell would be broken. But that didn’t happen – you topped even Lessman on that ending. It’s like a Greek god came down (a deus ex machina) and wrote the ending of the story. : )

Wow! Just as I was writing that last sentence I pantsered a complete ending to my twin story. Here it is: all through the story the heroine is texting her BFF about her extreme liking for each of these two guys. She wants her BFF to secretly watch the meeting to get her opinion of how they react when she is not watching them. She even suggests to her BFF that maybe she’d like to have the guy not selected. But BFF says, “I will settle for nothing less than a Marine or Special Forces Army hero” – she reads too many military romances. (In fact in one scene she is reading Debby's "The Soldier's Sister" as she is texting her BFF.)

When the meeting takes place BFF sees one of the guys is wearing a dress Marine uniform. Of course, BFF breaks cover and claims the Marine for herself. Turns out BFF is actually the heroine’s identical twin!!!

This pantser stuff is not bad when it works.

Vince

P.S.Terri: the suspense is killing me. I went to buy your book so I could read it today but it’s not available until December first. At least I can get it read before Christmas.

Cara Lynn James said...

Hi, Terri! I have to admit procrastination is probably my biggest problem -- although I have several others. I also let my 'real life' interfere with my writing and I'm afraid I have to be in the mood.

Terri said...

Oh Mary, I wish I had seen Castle! Now it is hard for me to imagine you or Missy thinking you are writing a bad book.

Me in the other hand, I'm always thinking this is so boring! But I plod on through and when I go back it is usually better than I remember.

Terri said...

Hi Erin - thanks for stopping by! I appreciate all the support and inspiration you guys throw my way!

Vince said...

Hi Mary:

So happy you liked my picture. If you liked that one, I think you’ll like this new one even better. : )

Did Castle tip you off? I think one can layer a photo with many different meanings. Like in my picture. It has six layers. A picture should tell a story. It’s like backstory that never makes it into the book. It can still make the book better.

Some people like to layer characters -- I like to layer pictures. : )

Vince

P.S. I have a character layering request.

Physical – how the physical reflects the personality of character. (Completed.)

Behavioral – how the character reacts instinctively without thinking

Psychological – why the character acts the way he does after reflection

Metaphysical – character’s world view – is he a determinist – are people basically evil

Spiritual – character’s belief in god and any after life

Just a suggestion.

Terri said...

Dora, so glad you dropped by. Yes, local groups are such an inspiration. I'm glad you have one close to you. Of course you Pelican authors are great too!

Thanks for the kind words about Mistletoe Magic.

Missy Tippens said...

Erin, that's so true. She said what a lot of us are struggling with.

Dora, you do have a great local writers group!

Missy Tippens said...

DebH, we're glad you come each day! :)

Sue, I'm really looking forward to your debut!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Wow Terri great message. Love your honesty. You have brought up good points about procrastination. Thanks for joining us today.

Terri said...

Deb H. - I'm glad the post gave you the kick you needed. And you are so right, Seekerville is never a waste of time! You are in the hat for a book. Thanks for your kind words about the post and my book.

Let's see, Ruthy uses a cat bowl. I have three Dogs, maybe each one will choose a name!

Terri said...

Sue, thanks! The story was a lot of fun to write. I'm looking forward to your release.

Now get to writing! LOL!

Terri said...

Debby - being on Seekerville puts a smile on my face. Thanks for the kind words about Mistletoe Magic.

And I totally agree, hearing those kiddos would choke me up as well.

Terri said...

Vince - you made my day. You tried to buy my book!!!

Chill N said...

TERRI, have you been watching me? I'm into editing for the final time (please, please, please) and have decided this is possibly the worst story ever in the annals of fiction writing. How easy it would be to procrastinate, you know -- like dust and vacuum. I've procrastinated before (not so desperately that I dusted much less vacuumed!) but it got me nowhere fast. So I've read your words about procrastinating -- several times -- and I'm headed back to the editing now.

I know this can not possibly be the worst story ever written in the annals of fiction writing -- that was my third book :-)

Nancy C
P.S. Your book sounds wonderful. Wishing it lots of good things.

Missy Tippens said...

My book club is coming to my house soon! Must get ready, so I'll have to catch up later. :) (And did I mention earlier how much a disaster this house is right now due to deadline this week??!) :)

Terri said...

Well Cara, whatever you are doing it is working for you. I will say it makes me feel good to know there are so many procrastinators out there. Keeps me from feeling all alone.

Terri said...

Sandra Leesmith, I've had a blast today. So nice of you to call it honesty. I call it a lack of filter between brain and mouth! LOL

Maria Michaels said...

Great advice, Terri.

As your PBG "sister", I'm going to take your advice to heart.

Terri said...

Nancy C (Chill N) - your third book can't possibly be the worst. That was my second, trust me because you do not want to read it.

I love how you said the worst in the annals of fiction writing. Definitely made me laugh. Now get in there and finish those edits. And let us know when you're finished. I'm rooting for you.

Thanks for your kind words about Mistletoe Magic!

Terri said...

Hey Maria Michaels, it is great to see a PBG sister here. I hope the advice helps you out.

Terri said...

Love the picture of you and your dog!

Terri said...

Missy, I would love to learn more about your book club. I think it would be a blast to be involved in one.

CaraG said...

Love the cover, love the name, love the story line, and I’m in awe of anyone who can write 22,000 words in a three day weekend. What’s even more impressive is that manuscript led to your first sale. Even if I did match your output, it would be drivel. How did you do it?

Am I rowing as fast as I can? After reading these posts, I don’t even think I’m in the boat. But I have a better idea on how to find it.

Congrats. Debuts are inspiring.

Audra Harders said...

Terri, I love how you addressed the obstacles in our path AND you offer solutions! I have at least a touch (in some cases, a whole fist full) of each of your obstacles and it's a constant battle to overcome them.

What's up with that? You'd think they'd give up preying on me and go pester someone else. LOL! Oh we should be so lucky. Still, I enjoyed your solutions and may have to incorporated some of your tricks...I'm always looking for new ideas to stay focused.

Congrats on your sale! I hope for many more to come!

Terri said...

CaraG - you are most definitely in the boat, you're at Seekerville, right?

I had sketched out my story prior to starting my writing. And I had to change the opening to make it more in the moment. As always a first draft is a first draft.

Somehow this story was just really fun to write.

Thanks so much for the encouraging words about Mistletoe Magic!

Terri said...

Audra, I do wish those obstacles would go visit someone else. Especially Pesky Procrastination!

You know, once you sell there is that new fear of will I sell anything else, so thanks for the good wishes!

Rogenna Brewer said...

Hi Terri;

I like how you set up your post with obstacle / solution. Made me think ahead to my own solutions.

Sadly, I had the same day job issues in data entry. My entire day was on a computer. And when it wasn't entry it was email.

I don't have a game or facebook addition (though I do have other online time sucks), but my first thought before I read your comment was pen and paper. And now I'm wondering why I never put that into practice.

Happily writing full time now. But I think I might make up my own list of obstacles and find their solutions.

Rogenna

www.rogennabrewer.com

Terri said...

Rogenna - pen and paper. So obvious, yet it never occurred to me!

Lucky you, writing full time. That is wonderful. I'm glad my post inspired you to make your own list of solutions.

Missy Tippens said...

Terri, our book club is with a group of ladies from my church. We often talked about books and reading and decided to start meeting monthly (or thereabouts). We have such a good time! We take turns hosting and picking the books.

If there are discussion questions in the back, we typically use those. Otherwise, we just chat. :)

Missy Tippens said...

Cara G. I could never write that many words in 3 days either. Amazing! I think it's interesting, though, that it led to her first sale. Maybe getting in the flow like that is a technique that'll work well for Terri.

Terri, we want to see you repeat that! :)

Missy Tippens said...

Rogenna, I know several writers who do still use paper and pen. You'll have to let us know how you like it.

Terri said...

Missy, believe me, I want to repeat it!

Your book club sounds fun. We need one of those at my church.

Regina Jennings said...

Great post, Terri! I'm guilty of coming to the computer to unwind before I start writing. 45 minutes later I've checked my email account a dozen times and read news articles that I passed over the first two time. Ugh! Such a time vacuum.

Thanks for the great article and congratulations on your book!

Terri said...

Hey Regina, thanks for stopping by and the congrats. I know what you mean about those news stories. And they always offer a link to yet another story!

Terri said...

Well, the day is nearly over and I just wanted to thank Missy Tippens for inviting me to guest blog at Seekerville. And thanks to all the Seekers and everyone who posted for making this such a great day. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Now tomorrow I'd better take my own advice and get back to writing!

Mary Preston said...

Generally in life I am not a procrastinator.

Missy Tippens said...

Terri, we're glad you were able to visit and share your post!

We'll announce Terri's winner in the Weekend Edition.

Jackie McNutt said...

Hi Terri,
I am a reader but enjoyed your post. Love Christmas stories and Mistletoe Magic sounds like a good read.
Thank you.
mcnuttjem0(at)gmail(dot)com

Anna R. Weaver said...

Thanks for sharing with us, Terri. Your book sounds like a great read. :)

Shel Harrington said...

Thanks for putting in print that you're published IN SPITE OF the fact that you're not the type to get up 2 hours before work to write - I felt SO alone. And guilty for not being one of those REAL dedicated artists. You have some great points here, Terri - I think I'll trade in my row boat for a speed boat!

Leona Loller said...

Wow! Terri, you hit that nail on the head! Except for the day job (I'm a retired grandma with 20 grandchildren and five great-grands who occupy a lot of my time), I have to plead guilty to all of the other rowing handicaps.
Seekerville helped me overcome procrastination and helped me start taking my writing seriously.
Now, you have provided me with a formula to solve my biggest oar-eater: I try to be all things to all people within my family. That' the obstacle; now, I'm thinking about the solution. I know I need to learn to say "no" more often. It goes back to treating writing like a real job. If I had to go to work, I wouldn't hesitate to say "I'm sorry, I have to work" when someone asks me to babysit. It won't be easy, ut I am going to try to carve out even more time for writing. Thank you; and I would love to win a copy of Mistletoe Magic so, put my name in the hat, please:)

Leona Loller said...

BTW: I also meant to say that I really need a good CP. I plan to check out ACFW to see if they have a chapter near me. I live on a farm and have not had much luck finding any sort of support group (other than Seekerville) in my community.

Missy Tippens said...

Leona, we're glad we can be a support group! Thanks for being here with us. :)

Barbara Thompson said...

I enjoyed reading your post. I'm not a writer, I love to read what you write. Your book sounds great. Thank you for the chance to win this giveaway and please enter my name.
Barbara Thompson
barbmaci61(at)yahoo(dot)com

May the K9 Spy (and KC Frantzen) said...

WESTIES!!! And a K9!
Yay Terri!

This was a wonderful post. Thanks for sharing your journey with us. May sends special sniffs and greetings to you.

And congratulations on your book - VERY exciting - another Seekerville success story!!!

Terri said...

Mary Preston, impressed by anyone who isn't a procrastinator!

Terri said...

Thanks Jackie - since you like Christmas stories I'll make sure and enter you in the drawing.

Terri said...

Anna, thanks for stopping by and for your kind words. I'll enter you in the drawing.

Terri said...

Shel, I've just never been a morning person. Like you, I've felt guilty about it in the past. Good luck in that speed boat - you'll do great!

Terri said...

Hi Leona, I'm so glad you found the post helpful. I think saying no is a problem we all have. But you will be so glad when you have more writing time. Hopefully there is a local ACFW chapter near you. If not, lots of people use their online critique database. I'll enter your name on the drawing!

Terri said...

Hi Barbara, thanks for stopping by. I've got your name in the hat for the drawing!

Terri said...

May the K9 Spy and KC - I'm thrilled you stopped by and enjoyed the post! Crosby and Nolly Grace, my Westies, are so excited I heard from a K9 celebrity!

Thanks for the well wishes!

Diana montgomery said...

I would love to read this. Sounds wonderful
Blessings
Diana
joeym11@frontier.com