Two days ago I commented on the arrival of November and the approaching end of the year in 60(no less)days. Which means the demands of the holidays is upon us. Every year, it seems the turkeys and the holiday songs arrive before Halloween. And that means many of us fall into the “I have to make the holidays perfect for my family ” belief, leaving little or no time for your writing. I’ve worked (my day job at any rate)in the mental health field for over twenty years, so I’m here to say, TAKE CARE OF YOUR HEALTH! Which means making sure you find time to write. I don’t mean carving out a few minutes here or there, but sticking to your schedule as much as you can. Modify, yes. Give it up, no. Be as creative as you can, but be sure you are writing everyday To be sure you stay focused, I ask you to consider these tips. Be sure you are getting enough sleep. Don’t indulge in everyone else’s culinary creativity and overeat. Say no from unnecessary or unreasonable requests, and make sure your family knows that is your desire. OK, I only have dogs, but I promise the world will not end if you don’t make five dozen brownies or promise to decorate the school cafeteria for the Holiday Dance or promise to stuff 2000 envelopes. If any of these demands leaves you too tired to write(one of your greatest loves, right?)then gently but firmly say “No.” Cut back where you can and do NOT let anyone try to fill you with guilt for your decision. Many of you(like me)still have to have day jobs(Simon and Schuster, where is that five book contract and the seven figure advance?)so we write when we can. So it becomes particularly important for us to be able to say no when we can with a clear conscience. Saying no, like writing, gets easier with practice. So remember what PITCH stands for. Put It in The Chair! And what comes next, class? WRITE!
And now, I am proud to do my first Cover Reveal for fellow BTGN author, Amber Daulton for her soon to be released story, A Hero’s Heart. How would you like to find him under your mistletoe? Or Christmas tree? Or waiting in your front yard? Sigh. isn’t being a writer fun? Amber has promised to let me read this story very soon, so keep watching for a review on this post! Good work, Amber!
In Mel Brooks’ classic Blazing Saddles, the late, great Harvey Korman(who can forget him with C. Burnett in Went With the Wind all those years ago?)speaking as the dastardly Hedly Lamarr, says, “My wind is a whirl with burning ideas(or something close to that)Do you ever have that dilemma? More ideas than you can possibly nail down or chose from? Or even worse, half a dozen projects that all got off to a good start and then fell by the way side? Sagging middle, tired plot, stale characters? Who knows? So one of my goals for November-no matter how many great ideas leap into my gray matter, is to FINISH WHAT I’VE ALREAD STARTED! For example, I have an almost finished traditional contemporary romance that is requested by a publisher whose house I would love to a part of. Now, granted, some computer problems(at least until I replaced my ancient one last week)slowed me WAY down from finishing edits for my new novella(more on that later)and put me off track for finishing the other one. So today, I’ve kept it in the chair(have taken the WonderDogs out twice for big walks, so I won’t feel guilty for not going to the gym)and gone over the manuscript. You know what? Even though it’s several years old, conceited or not, I still like it. And I’m up to the middle of going over it to be sure pacing still flows, it’s not too wordy or repetitious, and the characters don’t seem to be cookie-cutter types. And as soon as I finish reading what I’ve already done, my goal for the next two weeks, is to finish it and get it off to the editor who requested it. THEN I’m going back to another story that has been truly floundering for months and it’s still in its infancy. But I’m determined! No excuses. The other ideas will just have to wait until these other projects are done. Now if only I could justify using that for not finishing swapping out summer clothes for fall/winter ones…. Happy writing!
NEW MONTH, NEW GOALS
Well, November is here and there are nearly 60 days left in the year. What can be done in sixty days? A great deal I hope. There is a barely started novel that I told myself would be finished by the end of the summer(HA!)Losing a lot of weight(HA HA) and starting to blog three times a week.(HAHAHA)Ah, the slogans i hear in my head about the best intentions and all that. But now I have this trusty NEW computer, so at least as far as blogging goes, I have no excuse. I know my trepidation about anything technical is what’s holding be back. but I have to get over that fear. So all of you out there, please help me be accountable to my self. Or otherwise, take up a HUGE collection of money so you can endow me and and I can quit my day job to stay home and write all the time.(BRRAAHAHAHHH!-Can you hear Bart Simpson laughing?) Please check in next Monday when I am going to feature (the first time ever)a BTGN author. So stay tuned! Now I’m off to take Buddyand Febe the Wonder Dogs for a very long walk!