Thursday, September 29, 2011

I'm in Deep Reflection Today. Be Forewarned.

I've been experiencing quite a bit of interesting thoughts this week. My main contemplation is on the issue of pride (my stinkin' pride *fist shaking at self*).

This business is a tough one. I've had many friends published (either e-pub or traditional). Some of my friends have changed (not everyone, but some. And I'm not talking about changing from human to vampire or something like that. That would make for a much more interesting story). 

Two acquaintances of mine have been published and both have had national successes. But the way they have responded to their success has been so different and at such opposite sides of reaction, that I couldn't help take note.

Not only have I seen it in the writing world, but I have seen it in my person life. Just because someone is skinner than me, prettier, had different responsibilities...does that make them better than me? More important?

But it didn't stop there. I was in a meeting with a group of accomplished women, one of whom kept bringing up her past achievements, who she worked with, how she went the extra mile. I started to feel...well...jealous (and to be honest, a little bit small compared to her). So then I went off, embellishing in my past (honestly, if I was going to go off and feel terrible for it, I should have made it more interesting...like I had super powers or something-j/k It was bad enough).

By the time we were leaving, I felt awful.

This is not the person I wanted to be. My pride and jealousy was getting in the way. Too far in the way.

I spent the next few days trying to sort things out, how to stop my mouth from vomiting such things in times of weakness (Why does it happen like that? Why can't my logical mind say..."Hey wait, if you say that you'll be eating a pint of Ben and Jerry's tonight." I'm just saying).

I'm still struggling with it. I hope it works out in the end (struggling with the words, not the Ben and Jerry's...well, my weight is, but that's a whole different story).

I guess it comes down to who do I want to be in the end of it all? The friend who thinks they are the best or the one who humbly accepts whatever may come their way?  

It's a slippery slope, one I hate falling down (And Ben and Jerry's is getting rich off me...curse that delicious ice cream).

So tell me, what do you do when you find yourself tackling tough issue like pride? What do you do when you get into a sticky situation? (Okay, and honestly, I don't eat a pint of Ben and Jerry's...it's more like a gallon of the generic stuff. It's good too. *wink*)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I Have Ten Minutes to Write this Post

Seriously, only ten. I've written this post twice already, only to erase it. Why?

I don't know. This whole day is  little off. I slept through my exercise time, I sat on the couch when I was supposed to be cleaning, and I haven't had anything nutritious to eat (Wait! Does chocolate count. Anti-oxidants...it does. sweet! I'm good on that one.) 

I think my day is out to get me. 

Oh no...only six more minutes. 

Plus I have a long list of things to do (remember the dead washing machine? There's a pile of laundry waiting for me. Curse you stinky socks & smelly towels).  

Great...now there's only four. I'd better get to my point.

If you are going to be a writer, time becomes very important to you. You need time to write, time to revise, time for crit buddies, time to communicate with agents,  time to eat (mmmm....eat...). 

Sorry, I got carried away thinking of food.

So to cure the time monster...you must block out time to get things done. Make your time work for you and remember...don't wait until the last minute to write a post (do what my friend Elana J does and  write your posts on one day for the entire week. Brilliant! And have you seen her blog? I bet she's not counting down minutes until she has to throw her socks in the dryer. Just saying.) 

If you are going to do it...plan it and do it. That's all there is to it. (Of course, it's probably the hardest thing, but still.) 

Okay, I have thirty seconds. Eck! So what do you do to keep yourself on the writing track? 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Seriously? I mean...Really?

I wrote a whole post about how my dinner spilled under the oven and now my house smells like a warm dairy, my wash machine breaking down (no clean undies is a terrible thing), and how my mouse died (the computer mouse, not a real one).

But then I erased it, because I realized something.

Bad things happen to people.

Bad things happen to characters.

I have a scene where my main character gets into trouble, but her consquences aren't that bad. (have you heard the saying, once your character gets stuck in the tree, start throwing rocks at them...or something like that?) When your character is in a bad situation, make it worse.When your character thinks they are okay, make something happen.

Well, my character got in the tree and there really weren't enough rock throwings. Meaning, I have to make her consequences real. Right now...they aren't so bad. I have to take aim and make the situation...um...worse.

This will bring more emotions to the scene and keep the reader into the story.

So today my goal is to pull out the oven and scrub the floor, buy a new mouse, and get my throwing arm ready to sling some lemons, or rocks, or something like that.

What about you? How do you make the consequences worse for your characters? (Stinkin' smelly kitchen...you are so getting the evil eye!)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Why Didn't They Tell Me Before?

When I first started writing, I thought all you had to do was write something and get it published. HA! There is so much more to having a book get published!

Have a great critique group. If you don't have one in your area, there are some online (because sometimes you will think it sounds perfect, when it just sounds like pretty gibberish).

Go to writing conferences. Not only will you meet awesomely-cool people, you learn the tools to have a great book! (Plus you can go to pitch sessions and meet uber-ific agents and stuff.)

Remember you will have to write, rewrite, rewrite, rewrite......(why didn't anybody tell me this when I started?)

Get a good writing snack. Why? Because most writers will start eating when they are thinking. I snacked on chocolate chips for years. Bad idea! I'm still working at getting off those last ten pounds (I hate you skinny Pilates instructor.  hee hee...Just kidding...please don't kick me off the stretchy team.)

It takes time. This is the biggest newsflash I can give you. It takes time to write, time to revise, time to edit, time to query, time to .... Oh the list goes on and on. So keep yourself busy with new projects and stay excited for those stories.  

Wish I had known all these things before. Now I know.

So my writing friends, anything I forgot? Anything you wish you would have known about before picking up that creative bug?