Publishing and Professionalism

I read a lot of blogs from great (mostly ladies) authors who challenge me with their thoughts AND who say the most profound things in the world. Really. Things that I need to hear, never knew or just love reading about.

Today, it's these two.

Kim Harrington
has a new post this week (one a day) with everything you need to know about being published.

And, the lovely Hannah Moskowitz posted a blog about professionalism.

Read it. Absorb it. Pass it on.



Difficult Dreams

Today, I'm plagued with insecurity. Can I really do this? There are so many people who have already done it, who are farther along in this process than I am. What if no one likes my story? What if there is no chance I will ever get an agent or worse get one and then spend years never getting published--just being tossed back and forth? I couldn't handle that. Is it worth it?

Yes. I mean, it's hard sure. And I'm insecure right now, frustrated by what I'm not doing, by how quickly things are not moving with the story. And my, how I change things every day. It is all a lot to figure out. Yet. Yet I can't imagine not doing it. I had a late start to this. It took my a while to figure out it was my dream. There's nothing wrong with that and it doesn't mean I have something to prove. It only means that I have to work harder and write.

I am literally, starting from nothing. That's all writing is: a thought or an idea and a blank page. Then, you put those ideas on the page. You have nothing when you start and something when you finish.

Not one author friend that I have out there has EVER said it was easy. In fact, they have all expressed the difficulty of this dream. They have all also expressed the joy of the craft. The acceptance that comes with failure. The freedom in the words finally being out of your head. The people that you meet along the way.

To me, no matter what is happening right now and no matter how much I feel like I can't do this, that is worth it. The truth is that I can do this. Dreams aren't easy. When we are kids we think they are. We can be whatever we want to be. No one tells us how it hard is going to be. If they did, we wouldn't dream. Even faith is lined with difficulty. But at the end of all those things there is something beautiful.

Difficult dreams make for exuberant rewards. Those rewards may be small accomplishments that feel like the world but I keep saying it's going to be worth it.

Am I scared? YES. Is this hard? YES.

But I am not alone. There are so many people who keep me going--some who I've never really met. I have encouragement in my difficult dream and that makes me want it even more. For them. For those who said (and will say) I can't. For those who will be affected by what I write. And for me. Definitely for me.


It's my sister's birthday tomorrow..

She will be 12. It's weird and exciting all at once. It's one of those moments you anticipate and get thrown by at once. I told her I would spend the day with her, which is only a big deal because I write on Thursdays. (And yes, I do realize that only writing one day a week will make my August goal impossible but it's what I have.)

This is important because I have not been present for a birthday since I went to college. That's five years, folks. Five. She comes to me last night and says I can take a couple hours away if I want to. "I know you need to write," she says. "It's the day you always do and you can if you want to. I don't care." I was floored--and despite my selfish wish--said it was okay if I missed a week. She smiled, the relief obvious.

I tell that story because she gets it. She gets (maybe not fully but somewhat) the importance of what I am doing, that I am not just spending hours in the corner at Panera Bread each week because I have nothing better to do. She gets that is important to me and that I am passionate. There are so many people that don't. There are some, who when I say what I am doing and what I am going to study in grad school, get this look.

If you're a writer, then you know the look. The look that says, "Oh, that's not going to pay you" or "WTF are you thinking?" or "im glad you wasted all the money on school." The Look can say many things, things that usually are reflected in our own insecurities, but it is typically there unless someone knows you very well.

I am going to work on replacing that look with the one my little sister gave me. Her look was one that was understanding, supportive and ready to sacrifice something she really wanted so I could write. That look is the one that should affect us.


Taking a stab

I'm taking a stab? At what? Query.

Well, not the full-out, official query, but a summary. Why? B/c I have nothing to say when people ask me what my book is about. So, this should help.

I also need a query for my writing conference in October. This is a step in the right direction.

I feel as if this will help me narrow my focus and even, develop my story. I'm in a place now where things are muddled, never-ending. I know what to do and even how to do it, but there's something missing. The clues are all there but this query summary will help. I know it.

This part of the process is kind of disheartening. I so badly want to finish. The rest of my novel is in my head just dying and fighting to come out. I want it to come out. Now, is the time to make it happen.

So, onward friends. Let's go query, part one.


I have a writing blog... now, what do I say?

I don't know what the purpose of this blog will be. That's not entirely true. I do know something.

I know that this blog will be to talk about writing. It's for me. It's for you. It's for my characters. It's so one day I will look back and remember what I was working through at that moment. I want this to be regular but knowing myself, it probably won't be. Not yet anyway.

I've been meeting/communicating/learning from many great authors over the last few months. What a crazy few months it's been, too. And all of those authors have some kind of blog. I decided that I want a blog. Not to be like them (well, a little) but to document this journey that I'm going on. It has already been an exciting one.

Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go. ~E. L. Doctorow

I found that quote tonight and I knew I had to incorporate that into this blog. The more I write, the more I realize how true that is. It is now my theme. If you are reading this for wisdom and insight, then find another page. Check out the authors I follow and go look there. I can't help you. I know nothing. (Yet.) I'm literally making this up as I go.

But I sure enjoy it.

I enjoy the frustration, the blockage, the movements, the new things that I think of 20 chapters later that make the story great. And believe me, it happens often. It's sure to be a fun adventure.

At least, I hope so.