Archive for the ‘Musings’ Category
The January 2011 issue of RWA’s Romance Writers Report included an article titled “The Seven Habits of Highly Ineffective (Has-Been) Authors.” Although I can’t quite be a has-been when I’m still a never-was, it got me thinking about my own bad habits.
In the article, Diane Farr asks: “What bad author habits are holding you back?” The habits she deems ineffective are:
I’ve definitely been guilty of laziness, waiting for inspiration to strike. Why, I’ve gone entire years without writing because I wasn’t “inspired.” I started “Blind Date Bride” well before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and didn’t finish it until December 2009.
But that was the old me. Nowadays, I much more in tune with writing. In 2010, I completed a half-finished MS, expanded and edited two mostly finished MSs to the proper category length and wrote a 53,000-word novel during NaNo. And I did it all while putting together six issues of NARWA’s newsletter.
Yes, I still waste plenty of time online, playing on Twitter and Facebook … hanging out with my friends on their weight-loss blogs (or my writer friends on their blogs). But I no longer let that keep me from doing something writing-related.) There really are enough hours in the day, if I limit my time with Bejeweled.
As for the rest of the seven habits?
I certainly hope I’m not rude, although I haven’t attended a conference yet. I don’t know enough to be blabbing inside information.
I’m so reliable and set in my routines that you can almost set your watch by me. If I’m in town, I’ll be at Barnes & Noble on Sunday before work; I hit the Starbucks before work a couple of times a week; I stay up late when I get off work to write, blog, what have you.
Pride? Well, I am proud of the fact that I finaled in the Beacon Contest. (Still haven’t heard about final placement, though.) And if I final in the GH, I’ll be tweeting, Facebooking and blogging about the high for weeks, I’m sure.
But I don’t think my writing is the best thing since sliced bread. I know it needs work. In editing my NaNo novel, I’m finding a lot of room for improvement.
I hope I’m not guilty of ingratitude, either. I love the boost I get from my NARWA sisters and the gals at the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood (whom I wouldn’t know if our president, Anne Marie Becker, wasn’t one of them). Writing friends I’ve met through NaNo, like Mallory Snow, have been invaluable, too. (Mallory helped me sprint through my 50K in November.)
If I haven’t said it lately, thanks. You all inspire me, teach me and support me every day.
In about 12 hours, I’ll be at my RWA chapter meeting. I’m definitely looking forward to it — all the more because I do not have to rush back to the office afterward.
That’s right: I have the whole weekend off. I fully intend to take advantage of it to spend lots of quality time with the Boyfriend (and hopefully sneak in a little writing/reading/editing time).
So far, the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood Winter Writing festival has been a great motivator. Today, I completed Goal 4 (I think): Reading an article in RWR.
My newest issue arrived earlier this week, and I was excited first to check out the revamped layout. (As a page designer, I’m more interested in that sort of thing than some.) The changes are subtle, for sure. I guess I was expecting differences a little more drastic.
Monday, I wrote nearly 1,000 words. Yes, I’m aware that’s a lot more than my 200-word goal. Tuesday, I printed out a copy of my NaNo novel for editing (and gave myself a point for it. Can’t do any editing on it if it’s not printed out, right?)
Wednesday, while the Boyfriend was playing tennis, I sat in one of my favorite Starbucks and read through the entire thing. I got caught up in the story at times, so there were pages without any editing marks.That’s what subsequent passes are for. 😉
On Thursday, I did some more writing on the WIP and got “Beauty and the Ballplayer” ready to edit. I also found this great article at Write It Sideways, about filter words that can weaken your fiction. I figured they’d be good to keep in mind when I’m editing.
Like I said, it’s been a productive week. I can’t wait to have another one!
Strange coincidences seem to be following me everywhere. In November, on the day I shipped off my GH entries, I got the call about finaling in the Beacon contest.
Today, as I left the house for a write-in at Starbucks, I thought to myself, “I wonder why I haven’t received any GH entries to judge. Maybe they decided they didn’t want me as a judge.”
When I returned home this afternoon, there was a UPS box waiting on the deck, addressed to me. Inside were … you guessed it: A stack of entries ready for my judging pleasure.
Kinda strange, right? It makes me wonder if there’s something to all that “Law of Attraction” and “The Secret” hype. Maybe if I start thinking positively that I will final in the GH, I’ll need the week of vacation I’ve requested to go to Nationals.
On another note, it’s only Day One of the WWF and I’ve already earned two points. I killed my 200-word goal at Starbucks, completing 1,066 new words — and I earned a bonus point just for visiting the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood site to declare my goals.
If I continue to write at this pace, I’ll have to up my goal to at least 400 words a day …
Talk of goal altering reminds me: I have some to add to my list.
— Read at least one of the GH entries I’m supposed to judge (after I peruse the judge’s instructions, of course)
— Pay my RWA dues. Got my notice yesterday. The drop-dead deadline is Feb. 28.
I already wrote a post sharing my 2010 accomplishments. Although I remain agentless and unpublished, they weren’t inconsequential, for sure.
In that post, I also outlined some goals for 2011. Those tasks included building my blog. While I still want to do that, it turns out I might have been harder on myself than I needed to be.
According to the stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com, Love & Laughter’s doing just fine. Here’s their summary of its overall blog health:
The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.
A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,600 times in 2010. That’s about 4 full 747s.
In 2010, there were 131 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 171 posts. There were 16 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 7mb. That’s about a picture per month.
The busiest day of the year was September 25th with 62 views. The most popular post that day was Doing the wrong things?.
Where did they come from?
The top referring sites in 2010 were twitter.com, alphainventions.com, facebook.com, rubyslipperedsisterhood.com, and obama-scandal-exposed.co.cc.
Some visitors came searching, mostly for conflict “sherry lewis”, “sherry lewis” plot conflict, lily in wonderland by kelly fitzpatrick, “sherry lewis” conflict, and laughter.
Attractions in 2010
These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.
Doing the wrong things? September 2010
About Me September 2009
Right direction February 2010
Writer’s roller coaster December 2010
The phone rang March 2010
I do have to wonder, however, why a site called “obama scandal exposed” sent me traffic. I don’t recall writing a word about our president (who is not a Muslim, no matter how many times the talking heads at FOX News insist otherwise).
Yes, now I AM making a shameless bid to draw more hits! 😉