Happy Holidays

December 20, 2012

Happy Holidays, Everyone!

We’re going to be taking a break from blogging until after the first of the year. Wherever you are in this great big world, we hope you’re surrounded by loving family, supportive friends and an endless supply of books.

Elley, Tari & Nicole

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Writing: Where I Stand

December 12, 2012

Sometimes I feel like a pseudo-expert on a topic simply because I’ve written about it. When I think of all the research I’ve done in order to write compelling articles and characters, it makes sense. Of course, I’m not going to change out old knob-and-tube wiring using knowledge gained from a scene I wrote. Yikes! Still, I know things because I write, and that’s pretty cool.

Another thing that’s pretty cool…I’ve been on a writing high, and not because I’ve sold anything. Frustrating as that is, I now understand it’s hard to sell something when I have nothing out there. (Thank you, Nicole!) For the first time in my life as an active fiction writer, I have three different manuscripts on submission, one a requested partial. I’m feeling very hopeful, but more importantly I’m feeling very accomplished.

To celebrating, I’m writing something new. And after months of being bogged down with worries about what the market wants and staring at a blank page because I couldn’t translate those wants into words, I’m writing what puts a lump in my chest—a good lump, a big ole ball of excitement. Certainly that may backfire in terms of reaching my publication goals. But I have to say I’m writing and enjoying more this way.

I spend months inside a manuscript. Months. It takes mere minutes to read a rejection letter, less if it’s a form. Over the past two years, I’ve spent miserable months inside a couple manuscripts I plotted and planned around submission calls and market trends, only to end up with rejections. If I’m going to get rejected anyway, I’d rather enjoy the months I spend writing. Of course, I’m oversimplifying this, looking for poetic justice maybe, because I’ve read stories about writers who didn’t sell until they “threw caution to the wind.” Maybe 2013 will be the year I join those ranks?

How about you? As the year winds down are you happy with where you’ve been and where you’re going in terms of writing? Successes to share? Rejections you’d like to whine about? I’d love to know.

Elley

Finding Time to Write

December 3, 2012

Is it really three weeks before Christmas? I’m not sure. I spent Halloween at training in Arizona for my new “real job,” and Thanksgiving was something of a blur. Normally, this time of year, I’m busy wrapping gifts, decorating and my kitchen becomes a cookie factory. Instead, my kitchen is a little lonely, gifts are piling up in the spare room waiting to be wrapped, and the Thanksgiving decorations still grace the mantle and piano, looking a little less than gracious now that it’s December.

But, I’ve finally gotten into a little routine, and I’m making time to write. I get up in the morning, do my chores, occasionally throw some dinner in the slow-cooker, and then I spend some time with my manuscript.

Okay, last week, I spent most of my writing time transferring files from my PC to my laptop, then rereading my previous work, but at least I was able to find the time to write.

I’m learning to reprioritize. It isn’t easy. For twenty-three years I’ve stayed home and taken care of the house, finances, kids, shopping and cooking. Sometimes doing a better job than others! We’re down to just three of us in the house, Hunky Hubby, Middle Son and me. So, I’ve realized that although the housework has to be done…well, needs to be done, I could save 10+ hours a week if I limit or eliminate cooking. Between the shopping, actual food preparations and clean up, I spend a lot of hours in that kitchen.

So, I’m reprioritizing. Writing has moved up the list. I no longer have small children to feed, no helping with homework, no chauffeuring kids to activities. Middle son does his own laundry, and Hunky Hubby is stepping up and sharing the chore load now that I‘m working full time. I’m a little sad about some of that, but it means I can write.

It feels strange when I realize I haven’t made a menu, I have no idea what’s in the food ads, and there’s nothing simmering on the stove, and there’s definitely guilt involved. Yes, in addition to being the Queen of Run On Sentences, I’m the First Lady of Guilt. I’m trying to let go.

I will get those Thanksgiving decorations put away this week, finish wrapping gifts and make a few batches of our favorite Christmas cookies, but Hunky Hubby and I may be grabbing tacos from our favorite taqueria, chicken kabobs from our favorite Mediterranean restaurant, and clam chowder from our favorite diner, so that I can finish this manuscript, get it out into the world, and start on the next story which is lurking in the shadows, waiting to be put on paper.

I know I’ve asked before, but what do you do to make time for your writing? How do you prioritize? And are you baking cookies for Christmas?

Tari