Are You Rowing As Fast As You Can?
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?