Archive for the ‘Musings’ Category
Jan. 10 will be here before I know it. That means it’s time to craft my goals for the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood Winter Writing Festival.
But before I do that, I feel a need to create some writing resolutions for 2011.
2010 was a very successful year for me. I wrote more than 180,000 words, entered the Golden Heart in not one but two categories, successfully completed the NaNoWriMo with a 53,000-word story and scored my first-ever contest final.
In 2011, I want to build on that success and keep the momentum going. After all, I’m now less than a year away from the big 4-0 (the arbitrary date I set for myself to get published).
But how? That’s a very good question. I wish I knew the answer — but I don’t. All I can do is try to set some goals for myself.
— Keep writing. I wrote 180K+ in year because I sat down to write most days. I can’t say every day, mind you. However, I did write more often than not. I treated writing like a day job … a part-time one, at least. I took myself to Starbucks (where, until July, I did not have access to the Internet. Am I the only one who thinks free WiFi at the Bux is a bad idea?)
— Continue my search for the right agent. At our last NARWA meeting, I stated the intention to send out at least two queries a week. Hopefully my agent search will become easier in April, after I final in the Golden Heart. (A girl’s nothing without her dreams, right?) Speaking of GH dreams, I already requested the week of Nationals as a vacation week so I can go when I final. 😉
— Finish the first draft on Beth & Cody’s story.
— Edit Kenny & Kristi, my NaNo novel. I started reading through it again last week and still thought it was excellent … meaning, of course, I haven’t been away from it long enough to see its flaws yet.
— Take at least two online classes/workshops this year, so I can can continue to hone the craft.
— Read more. Writers read. Conventional wisdom says you should read as many books in your genre as you can get your hands on. Now that I’m concentrating so much energy on writing, I don’t read nearly as much as I used to. BW (before writing), I could devour two to three books a week. Now, I’m lucky to finish two a month.
Hopefully, that will change soon. The Boyfriend is getting me an e-reader for Christmas. I’m hoping access to cheaper books will encourage me to read more. (Then again, I have shelves full of still-unread books, and that hasn’t been an encouragement. It just adds to the clutter in my room.)
— Build up this blog. My weight-loss blog is moderately successful, even if my weight-loss efforts have faltered. It’s doing so well that I pulled in more than 1,000 hits for two of the last 12 months. Love & Laughter, on the other hand, gets between 100 and 150.
One big difference is posting frequency. Here, I’ve been lucky to post once a week. There, I sometimes put up multiple entries in a single day.
Any other suggestions for me? What about you? What are YOUR 2011 writing goals?
We had a write-in/brainstorming session at Starbucks this afternoon before work, and I lamented the fact that I’ve only written about 600 words since the end of NaNoWriMo.
I’ve had days when I want to write, but the simple fact is this: I’m stuck.
The (finished) NaNo novel has been shelved, and I’m attempting to work on Bethany and Cody’s story, “Trouble in Paradise?” The key word there is “attempting.”
Beth and Cody are on the island, completing the network’s tests as they film their “Temptation Island”-like show … but nothing really awful has happened yet. They’re bumping along as happily as they have been. Nothing’s really settled, but nothing’s bothering them too much. Neither one has strayed — nor will they, even if Cody does develop some serious doubts about Beth’s faithfulness.
It may be time to up the ante here. (At least that’s what my romantic-suspense writing friend suggested. She said there’s a saying among suspense writers that when you’re stuck it’s time to boost the body count.)
I don’t have anyone to kill off … but I guess I could boot one of the couples off the island. (Any couple who fails three tests gets sent home.) I’d prefer it to be the contestants no one likes very much, but I suppose it would make for a better read if it’s someone I like. Bumping off the creep is too easy, right?
Alas, I think that means Jack and Jill must exit. They’re young and enthusiastic — friendly, likable characters who want to win the prize money so they can pay for their own wedding, thus putting a stop to parental interference. Cody has recruited Jack as a running partner.
I just hate to see Jack and Jill go down in flames — but better them than Beth and Cody. 😉
Besides, their exit might make both Beth and Cody wonder : If Jack and Jill, young and seemingly madly in love, can’t avoid succumbing to temptation, perhaps no one can.
I doubt this will be my last post of the year (I certainly hope not!), but I thought it was as good a time as any to look back at what I’ve done this year.
That’s right: I was catching up on my Word Count Countdown spreadsheet and realized just how much I’ve gotten accomplished since Jan. 17.
- 185,287 words written
- Wrote one complete series-length manuscript (during NaNoWriMo), finished up one that started the year 1/3 finished, expanded and edited two others; and wrote about 1/3 of my second single title
- Sent out countless query letters and got a few nibbles; haven’t landed an agent yet, though.
- Finaled in the FCRW Beacon contest (waiting to hear on the final results).
- Prepped two Golden Heart entries (one in single title contemporary, one in series contemporary)
- Started — and finished — NaNoWriMo
- Volunteered to judge the GH (am waiting for a judging packet now)
I feel like I’m finally on my way. And I owe it all to the encouragement of my NARWA sisters, the gals at the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood and, of course, Jennifer Ashley, the speaker who somehow lit a fire under my butt at the January NARWA meeting.
Thanks, guys. May we meet on bookstore shelves!
I took a short break from editing Golden Heart entries today to let Bethany and Cody out to play.
Their conversation took a turn (for the better or worse?) to that age-old question that has plagued the males of our species since the debut of “Gilligan’s Island”: Ginger or Mary Ann?
Cody, being the kind of guy he is, says he’d rather have a wholesome girl like Mary Ann. Then he proceeds to tell Beth she’s the best of both — wholesome looking like Mary Ann but with Ginger’s sensual nature (though he thinks to himself he’d get a lot more rest if Beth were less Ginger-esque).
My question for you (should you choose to answer): Would your hero pick Ginger or Mary Ann?