Monthly Archives: April 2013

When Can I Read Your Book?

My writing buddies.

My writing buddies.

Congratulations to Judy Christie. Her book Wreath is on the short list as a finalist for the “INSPY” award. Also deserving of recognition and praise is Jamie Chavez (my editor) who was the editor for Wreath. I appreciate Judy introducing me to Jamie.  My tip of the week for writers is to visit Jamie’s blog at www.jamiechavez.com  and check out her tab for Services. You’ll see a tab For Writers and you too can benefit from her expertise.

Now that my friends know that I’ve written two books, the big question is “When will we get to read your books?” It will be a long time. First there’s editing which is more than grammar and punctuation. Having a coma in the wrong place is the least of my worries. What I want from an editor is a critique on the overall story. Does it flow? Where is it boring or slow? Does the first chapter grab the reader’s attention? I expect my editor to point out where more description is needed, more drama, if the book comes to a climax in the right place and whether or not the ending is satisfying and memorable. I’ve attempted to delete all the junk words (well, just, truth be told, etc.) I’m sure I’ve missed many. Once Jamie has finished with her editorial notes and I re-write then I’ll be willing to share my work with a few trusted friends for comments. The purpose of sharing with trusted friends is not to seek praise. The purpose is for them to give an honest critiques. I’m looking for feedback on how to improve the book. At that point I’ll return my manuscript to Jamie for another edit and she’ll make more comments and suggestions for editing. I’ll do my best to put the final polish on the book and at that point, I’ll seek and agent. This could be another long process. Once I secure agent, it will be up to the agent to sell the manuscript. This could be a long process. If or when the book is sold, it will be edited by the publisher’s editors. It could take up to a year or two after a book is sold before it’s published. You’ll understand many writers give up. I won’t give up but I have no plans to leave my day job at the library because I love it. I write for the pleasure it gives me. I don’t know if I’m good writer. I may never know but I’m still a writer and that makes me happy.

 

Set Goals and Log Results

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I recommend Stephen King’s book On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft  to anyone interested in writing. One of the tips he gives is to write every day. I have this goal but I also had a goal to get my website up by the end of March. I missed the deadline but I finally got everything up last week. There were many obstacles (excuses).  First my laptop died. I had to wait for the new one to arrive. Next I needed to learn how to use my new computer. Windows 8 has not been friendly. I forgot to order Microsoft Outlook so I had to purchase that and had problems installing. My home internet connection is slow and it took hours to stream. Today my website is up and my email is working but my writing has suffered. I’m on page 56 of my third novel. I can’t remember what I wrote two days ago much less two weeks ago. So I had to start at the beginning to refresh my memory. It’s impossible for me to read my work without editing so I’ve used all of my writing time today reading and editing what I’ve already written. My progress was zero. I had the opportunity meet Judy Christie (author of the Green Series) last fall at the East Texas Christian Writers’ Conference. She gave me the advice to keep a writing log. I can look at my log and tell you when I’m making progress and when I’m making excuses. I’ve learned to schedule my writing time at 5:00 am. If I plan to work in the evening, something usually intervenes plus my brain is tired after working all day. I’m not a morning person but by the time the coffee has brewed and I’ve said my morning prayer, I’ve discovered that I’m ready to write. One morning, I was absolutely empty and I prayed “Lord, if you’ve got something you want written today you’ll have to write it.” And He did. When my husband came out of the bedroom at 6:30 am I was wiping tears from my eyes. I knew the words were not from me but from HIM. I am only the vessel. Anything I write that’s worthwhile is from Him and anything that’s not is when I took over the steering. If you’re serious about writing, make the commitment, schedule your time and log the results. If you follow this plan, your book will get finished and the more you write, the better your writing will be.

My writing buddies.

My writing buddies.

Welcome to my blog. I’m a library director and writer. I’ve written two novels and now for the hard part – getting published. If you too have an interest in writing or just want to see the maze you must jump through to get published, follow me. I’m not promising my work will be published but I’m going to give it my best shot. I think you’ll learn something, maybe more from my mistakes than successes. To quote Michael Jordan “”I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” I’ll make mistakes but I’ll learn from them and I do not give up. It comes from being born the third child of four.

One of the first mistakes I made was simple but time consuming to correct. Here’s a simple but important tip. Do not type two spaces after each period at the end of the sentence in your manuscript. I can testify that it’s painful to go back through all 324 pages of your first manuscript to clean up that mess. Your editor will not want to do this for you. I learned this tip from my editor’s blog.

I plan to post at least once a week and I’ll try to be brief. Keep watching. Who knows, you might be reading my book someday. I hope you’ll join me on this journey. I’ll try to include something of value with each blog. If nothing else, as a library director, I read a lot of great books and I’m always discovering talented new authors. Today I’m reading Larkspur Cove by Lisa Wingate. She’s a gifted writer and I have enjoyed many of her books. Please keep reading my blog and ask others to follow me. I don’t know where I’m going but I always have fun on the journey.