Turn the page

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As I attempt to write this blog post, it is near midnight and the house is quiet. I’ll finally get to write, I’m thinking. While everyone is asleep… Everyone except my English Bulldog, Bobo, who is growling at the bedroom door. I’m not in the bedroom, and she can’t figure out why.

They say images are good when you’re writing a post. This picture was taken in north Georgia at Meeks Park. I love being near bodies of water. It’s calming. Now, the photo has nothing to do with why I’m writing tonight. But isn’t it pretty? Can’t you just hear the water traveling over the rocks? I took the photo during a walk back in the spring. I love traveling to the mountains. It’s good to go where the air is fresh and all of God’s creations can show off.

Y’all know that it’s been a hard year. I won’t get into details right now. We’ll save those details for another day.

Tonight, I just wanted to write.

Write to revive my corner of the world wide web. After reading old blog posts, I smiled at myself. Some articles are ten and fifteen years old. I was a voracious writer back then. Although I put on a good show, my confidence was weak. I was busy listening to everyone else instead of putting faith in myself. Instead of putting faith in what God had planned for me. Though the years may have been beneficial, as I learned a lot about the craft of writing, I have to wonder, what if I did this…? What if I did that?

Some of you may be saying, ah, ah ah… don’t do that. Don’t look back. And maybe you’re right.

So… what if we turn the page? Start a new chapter?

Are you wanting to start something new? Revive an old projects? I do. I’ve got ideas for books that need to be written. I’ve got plants to plant, weeds to pull, things to make and stuff to do. We’re not getting any younger, folks. Our day jobs aren’t going away. (I hope mine doesn’t… I need that paycheck!)

If we don’t follow our dreams now, when are we?

We can’t wait any longer.

Who’s with me?

I’m hearing crickets in the audience, but that’s alright. I’ll try to check back in with you so that we can hold each other accountable for our progress. Maybe you’re writing a book, too? Maybe you’re working on furthering your education? Maybe you’ve been trying to finish quilting a blanket or reviving your art skills. Whatever it is, let’s start now.

I need and I want to write again. Write more books, continue books in the series I’ve started. I wrote a blog post. So, what. It’s just a blog post.

I wrote. That is what matters.

Until next time,

Christy

Fear Not, part II

As I said earlier this week, I was inspired by an article in the September 2011 issue of Writer’s Digest.

This is the Big 10 Issue and the article is 10 Ways to Harness Fear and Fuel Your Writing by Sage Cohen.

Point #2 tells us to “Acknowledge Your Fears Without Putting Them In Charge.”

Ew.

This is a tough one. Initially, I didn’t recognize what was holding me back as fear. I have to remind myself daily that I am afraid of failing. Last year, I happily submitted my manuscript to 2 agents and an editor. One Agent I still have not heard from – whether yes or no – and it has been almost a year since the manuscript was submitted. The first agent rejected the manuscript within a few weeks. As did the editor. The editors comments were helpful and disturbing. What she noted as problem areas, were places I thought I excelled in.

Just recently, and this article helped me realize what was happening to me, I realized I had been stuck in a mode of fear for a year. I was floundering. I wasn’t writing, wasn’t editing.

This experience with rejection was my confirmation that nothing is a sure thing.

I considered not writing. What would I do? There are plenty of hobbies I could explore…

But my passion for them wasn’t there. I have stories to be told. Whether they are ever published or not.

I’m still working my way out of the pain of being rejected. It hurts, but I have to remain focused that the story that was rejected just wasn’t right for those houses. There is a place for it. There will be a place for one of the stories I’m working on.

Someday.

And I do believe in God’s timing. It’s just hard to be a patient child sometimes.

So I leave you with a scripture that will help you, as it helps me each day.

Isaiah 41:10……….Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand,

Fear Not

Recently I was inspired by an article in the September 2011 issue of Writer’s Digest.

This is the Big 10 Issue and the article is 10 Ways to Harness Fear and Fuel Your Writing by Sage Cohen.

First of all, I didn’t consider myself afraid, but the more I read the article, the more I recognized my own bad habits.

The author of the article gave some examples that rang true with me… The article states, “For example, did you ever consider that the piece of writing you just can’t get right–and therefore endlessly revise–may be a reflection of your fear?”
No… I thought I just wasn’t writing the story good enough. That I wasn’t good enough yet, to declare the chapter, or the story, finished so that it could be submitted to others… submitted for query or to contests.  The author of the article declares:

“When we find fear at the root of a challenging habit or behavior, we are fortunate–because with awareness, we have choices.”

The week I read this article, I started to recognize my wasting time in the morning on blogs, on social media, was my way to avoid the story.  After all, I’m not a historian… what business do I have writing a historical?  Nevertheless, the story is in me and it wants to be told. As with any story, it will take work. It will take extra time to develop the characters and research backgrounds, but if I love the story, it will be worth it in the end. One day, it could become published.

I also recognized fear in my everyday living. I’m an emotional eater. If my day at work is bad, I head for the sweets, the chocolate…. If I’ve had a really bad day, it’s cheeseburger and fries time! 

Then, I had to ask myself… did eating that make me feel better?  Maybe for a second, but then I felt lousy later. Too many calories = Too much fat around my waist. It also makes for a really tired wife and mommy. I’m irritable. I don’t want to be around anyone and truth be known, no one wants to be around me.

With awareness, we have choices….. So, Fear Not!

I can choose to eat bad, or I can choose to deal with the problem head on – Get it over with – Eat healthier and feel better. Face my fear in my writing and write the chapter anyway!

Who knows? Something fabulous may happen in the mean time.

Inspiring You – Days 9 & 10

It’s been a busy week…

Hubby has been away on a fishing trip he claims is a lot of work. Yeah, right….

Hon, you are fishing, something you love to do. It may be a lot of work, but it isn’t work.

I’ve been doing a lot of work, at work, and managing to do some laundry here and there while somehow managing to get the kids bathed, homework done and gulping down coffee at certain intervals of the day to keep myself going…

Have I done any more writing?

NO!

And this has got to stop!!!

No proposals or contest entries have been mailed out.

I do not like all work and housework days with no writing involved.

This week, I plan to turn over a new leaf. I must rise early. I must stop emails/blogging/facebook/twittering at a certain time so that my time can be put to good use. No more wasted days. No more feeling sorry for myself that not only did I get a rejection from writing this week but also one at my place of business.

I refuse to put my head down.

The chin will remain up and I will continue onward.

Rejection is simply God’s redirection and His plan is a whole lot better than mine.

So here are my stated goals for this week:  1) Mail off the proposal to the Agent who requested it from this year’s conference.  2) Finish the synopsis/story draft for this book (I’m not writing chapters, I’m trying to outline the book from start to finish… should be doable).  3)Possibly mail off the Golden Heart Entry.
4) Possibly apply for PRO with RWA.

My possible goals may not be accomplished this week. Items 1 and 2 are most important.

What about you? Where are you and what are your goals for this upcoming week.  Let’s make Saturday our new week…

Inspiring You Day 8

Today I received a rejection letter in response to one of the manuscripts I submitted. I must say, receiving this agent’s kind, “No, thank you,” to the project was an easier pill to swallow than the ones I used to get when I was simply mailing out blind queries. On those query letters I would describe my book and offer it to the agent or editor I was targeting. The responses I received on quite a few were simply form rejection letters. However, I will never forget that one agent simply wrote his/her response on my letter and mailed it back saying the story was “too contrived, melodramatic. I’ll pass.”

A good way to view that rejection is that the agent was already trying to conserve paper and figured he/she wouldn’t waste a tree on something she could say in a few words on my recycled letter. That was about 10 years ago. That person was way ahead of his/her time.

With this current rejection and the one from the past, I know that God has a plan for my projects and that He will find the perfect person to represent my work when the time is right.

And, with that said, I will continue to pursue requests and continue to work on new stories.

I also wanted to add, that when I was mailing the queries, I never felt that path was a secure path to offer my work to an agent or editor. Only years later when I joined writer’s organizations did I find a more organized way to network in this field and learn more about the craft as well as marketing me and the book. I am still working on all of this, of course, and have no certain answers, but at least, I am making contacts, good contacts, that will certainly last through my career.

If you are still sending out queries by following a Literary guide or gathering names out of Writer’s Digest of the agents that are accepting new clients, I would say to continue doing this. Nicholas Sparks says his success started by a query of his getting pulled from the slush pile. If it happened to him, it can happen for you. But I would also recommend joining local writers organizations… finding a group that writes what you like to write… and begin to participate in their activities and volunteer. If you are serious about pursuing publication, this is the best advice I can give you that I have experienced first hand.

Earlier, I mentioned working on a new story. Well, today was another unproductive day. I think my new challenge is helping me be accountable and post my progress, one word at a time.

So, what’s new in your writing world?