Posts Tagged ‘NARWA’
I recently discovered the blog of Nathan Bransford — Literary Agent. He’s both witty and wise … and rumor has it that he responds almost immediately to queries, whether he wants to see more or not. I’ve yet to test that myself because I haven’t quite perfected my query for “Blind Date Bride” and he doesn’t do category romance.
Anyway, after reading his latest entry, “The Greatest Strength of a Writer: Willpower,” I was inspired.
The last line, in particular, spoke to me:
If writing is always fun, you may be doing it wrong.
So simple, yet so true. For years, I’ve been one of those “I write when the muse inspires me” people. As a result, I haven’t gotten much done. Several partial MSs lurk in my computer files — all about half finished.
Now that I’ve committed to writing more regularly, first preparing my Golden Heart entry, then in the NaNoWrimo and now through our NARWA Word Count Club, I’m accomplishing a lot more.
- I entered a revised version of my very first MS (Operation Snag Mike Brad” in the Golden Heart, didn’t final and just found out my scores were solidly mediocre.
- I wrote about 25K of the 40K I wanted to get done during the NaNo, finishing the complete MS in early December. I’ve done some revisions and just shipped off the first 55 pages to the Orange Rose contest. (Blind Date Bride)
- I finished the first draft of another category-length MS. (Beauty and the Ballplayer)
- I’m almost done revising and expanding the second story in my “Women of Willow’s Grove” series. It was about 10K too short for category romance … now it’s just about right. (It’s tentatively titled “Daring to Love,” but I’m thinking it needs a new title.) Next up: fixing all the head-hopping in the third book in the series, “To Catch a Wife,” and expanding it. (It’s also about 10K too short for category.)
- I’ve started querying on my GH entry (receiving about 5 e-rejections in response to my e-queries). I also just finished a query and synopsis for “Blind Date Bride,” but haven’t started querying yet because I’m not sure it’s ready.
Whew! That’s a lot of work in the last seven or so months. And I owe it all to commitment. Sometimes I even sit down to write when I’d rather be doing something else.
OK, that’s rare. These days, I don’t want to do anything else. Our NARWA guest speaker back in January, Jennifer Ashley, lit a motivational fire under my behind when she said, “Treat writing like your day job and it will become your day job.” (You can read my post-meeting blog post here.)
Tomorrow is a day off from work. I’m planning to get in some more quality writing time … after I sneak in a workout. I’ve been neglecting my health/fitness goals lately and need to get back on track.
That whole “butt in chair” thing works in a healthy lifestyle, too — except it might better be phrased as “feet on pavement” or “butt in gym.” The point is, you have to do it regularly to get good results.
Now that I’ve submitted a new batch of queries on “Operation Snag Mike Brad,” the goals I set to reach before my next NARWA meeting are complete.
That’s right: I finished the rough draft on Meg & Matt, wrote a synopsis for Kari & Damien and sent not two but FIVE queries on Brad & Erin. (You might remember the goal I set forth was two.)
Talk about being an overachiever — we don’t meet until mid-May! But when I’m on a roll, I want to keep up the momentum.
What’s next on my agenda? I’m preparing an entry for a contest with an April 10 deadline. Like the Golden Heart, it judges the first 50 or so pages plus synopsis (55 total) — and you get feedback from the judges. I’m going to enter my next GH entry to get tips that I can use to improve it so I have a better chance of finaling next year.
Aside from that, I’m a little torn. Do I go back to editing and expanding Cassie & Dustin’s story (next in line after Brad & Erin in my “Women of Willow’s Grove” series)? Work on finishing a first draft of Drew & Lainy’s story? Try rewrites on Meg & Matt? Do something to Kari & Damien?
I need to figure it out soon, because I have a week of vacation coming up. I want to use my time off work wisely.
I figure there’s one sure way to beat Golden Heart anxiety: By keeping myself too busy to think about the elusive Call that I could get sometime Thursday.
That’s at least one of the reasons I’ve set down not one, not two, but THREE goals to accomplish before our next NARWA meeting. (Our chapter has a “goal book,” in which we write goals. The entry fee is $1 per goal, and if we accomplish our goals, we’re entered in a drawing for the goal book cash at the next meeting.)
The goals I chose are fairly straightforward:
- To finish the first draft of Meg and Matt’s story. (I’m so close it’s not funny. I figure the only way this won’t happen is if I get the Call and am too distracted by GH festivities to focus.)
- Send queries on Brad & Erin’s story to at least two more publishers.
- Write a synopsis for Kari & Damien’s story, “Blind Date Bride.
If that sounds overly ambitious, it’s because it probably is … but on its own, not one of those goals is too terribly difficult to reach.
I have less than 10K to write to finish Meg & Matt’s rough draft.
The query is written — all I need to do is find a few more agents I want to query (and maybe re-do my synopsis. Those contest judges said there wasn’t enough conflict. Maybe I just didn’t emphasize the conflict that’s there enough in my synopsis).
The toughest will be to write Kari & Damien’s synopsis. They were the reason I signed up for the RWA Online synopsis writing class, though. I might as well do the work and get my money’s worth.
All these projects should keep me busy until our May meeting. If I hear from RWA on Thursday, great — maybe I’ll only get two of the three accomplished. But if not, at least I’ll have something to do besides sobbing into a vat of Ben & Jerry’s.
After all, a girl’s gotta have goals, right? 😉
I love attending my NARWA meetings because I always come back inspired. Today, as a carpool of one, I even got to plot out a couple of scenes in my head. I missed the conversation and companionship on the drive, but the thinking time was great — and it made the 90-minute drive fly by.
This is just a quick check-in, because I want to head home and write. Now that I’m done working for the evening, I’m free to try to recapture the conversations my characters had in my head.
Hmm. Perhaps I need to think about buying a tape recorder for occasions like this. 😉
P.S. Look for another meeting-related post soon. I’ll be listing the goals I set for myself before our next meeting, in May. It’s an ambitious three-goal list!