Saturday, December 31, 2011

2012- Keep My Priorities Straight

My 2012 New Year's Resolution: Keep my priorities straight.

 I will start this new year off with a bang by beginning my new role as president of my writer's group. It promises to be a fun challenge. I have already been working hard to prepare by selecting committee chairs, writing a couple of articles for the newsletter, setting lunch dates with fellow officers, and preparing for my first board meeting and regular meeting. I have several ideas for making our group even more fabulous than it already is and I hope that they are amenable to them. The closer January has come, the busier I have been.

My MS has taken second fiddle for three of the four weeks of December. Not. Good.

Despite this fun new adventure, I must keep reminding myself that my writing is the most important goal for this year. Definitely, I want my term as President to be successful, but not at the expense of my writing. Those revisions won't make themselves. 

Do you also have an issue with keeping your priorities straight? Rather than waste your time on another useless weight loss resolution, let's use this year's resolution to remember important priorities. 

God. Family. Friends. Writing. *grin*


Friday, December 9, 2011

Trusting Yourself

Like most new writers, I struggle with uncertainty and lack of self-confidence. I listen to what other people say instead of trusting myself. While it is ok to listen to what others with more experience have to say, a new writer can't be afraid to follow their own instincts.

One of the most important lessons I am learning these days is how to trust myself.

While some of the technical stuff needs other people's advice, my instincts for story are pretty good. Thank goodness my friend, Ang told me early on not to delete early copies of my writing. I have some good stuff that's pretty awesome once I correct all of the technical grammar stuff, or put it in a better location within the novel.

I admit to being amazed. Until it was pointed out to me, I had no idea that some of what others had told me was wrong for my novel. It may work well for theirs, but their advice left mine boring. So boring, that the last two months have been a struggle. Something about my novel left me dissatisfied. Gone was the feeling of elation and excitement I felt early on when I would think about working on my book. Rather, a sense of dread filled me when I would even look at opening the manuscript.

My excitement is back. I realize my error and am working to make my novel into what makes me excited. Sure much of the advice I have received is beyond valuable, but I now plan to listen to my instincts. If I am told something that doesn't feel right then I will simply thank them and do what I want.

So simple, really.

Trust yourself as a writer. You have an instinct for what you want your story to be. Listen to it, even if someone you feel has more experience, says otherwise. Those people aren't writing your book. They aren't all-knowing gods. They are human, and as such, are capable of being wrong.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Motivations Killers

Staring at my computer, my eyes drift over my current work in progress. As I read through the scene I am working on, a blinking icon at the bottom of the screen distracts me. Someone has pinged me on facebook's instant message. I click on the icon. My facebook page pops up. I proceed to have a 30 minute conversation with a friend. The scene I was working on is totally forgotten.

A motivation killer has struck again. This time it is named Facebook.

My motivation killers have many names. Facebook, twitter, email, and my cell phone being a few of them, though they seem to be the worst. I sit down at my computer with good intentions. I get on the Internet with the intention of checking emails and other messages for a few minutes and before I know it I have been sucked into the black hole that these motivation killers create.

 Do you have issues with these same motivation killers? Will you take a stand against them with me? Let's pull our motivation up from around our ankles and hook it with a good pair of self-discipline suspenders. It is time to take a break from social networking, to set a timer on all those distractions that we let take us away from what we love doing best: writing. I am looking forward to resetting my priorities, and I am sure you are too. Good luck and happy writing!

Friday, December 2, 2011


Wiping sweaty hands on my pant leg under the table, I waited for the announcement of the contest winners. Backwards from honorable mention to first place, four names were read. Mine wasn't one of them.

Disappointment, the first of my writing career, washed over me like an arctic wave.

Knowing that most writer's first submissions are rejected many times before they make it anywhere if they make it at all did not help the sinking of my stomach. My mind kept repeating the reality of what I should have expected, but my heart didn't care. Telling myself that my submission hadn't been perfect changed nothing. My heart didn't want to hear it.

It wanted to win.

Doubts, clawed monsters looking to make holes within my self-confidence, whirled inside my mind. Am I meant to do this? Do I really have what it takes to be a writer? Am I smart enough? Am I being delusional? Like superwoman trapped in a cage fight with kryptonite hanging around my neck, I faced off against these clawed monsters. Their words ripped at me, shredding my confidence. I stumbled. My defeat near at hand. I looked up and saw my dreams floating outside the cage. With each swipe of doubt's claws, they became more translucent. They were fading. So. Not. Happening. With a surge of my formidable will, I shook off  the kryptonite and sprang free from it's cloying weight. With freedom came the instant, monster killing, realization.

I don't write to win contests. I write because writing is fun and I love it. Why would I give that up because of one contest? How dare these doubts tell me otherwise.

Not having a nature that dwells on disappointments, I quickly reminded myself that another contest waited just around the corner. I have work to do if I want my submission to have a chance in that contest. But I am determined. I will revise, edit, and keep entering these contests until I see results. I am no quitter.

I am a writer. And I don't listen to clawed monsters.