February isn’t just for lovers. IT’S FOR WRITERS!!!!!

February is made for writing. Seriously.

The weather sometimes sucks (unless you live in Colorado, like most RMFW writers), leaving us with no excuse but to get some words on the page.

We’re also still in our honeymoon period with the hastily made New Year word count resolutions (by June it’s all over) we’ve made.

We can often use our Valentine’s Day gift goodwill with our partners to sneak off for an extra writing session or two without risking bodily harm (unlike in June).

It’s a short month, forcing us to push for more words daily so as not to throw off our monthly word count.

For how many of you is November your highest word count month?

Agents and editors are finally digging out from the holidays and New Year submitters. Which means they are all but begging for your beautiful words!

And then there’s President’s Day. A time to remember what words can mean for a country.

One more reason February rocks for writers is Groundhog Day. Not the rodent, though he’s super cute, but the movie. Fiction is just like that movie. We write, then edit, and rewrite, until we get the ending right!

What is your favorite writerly month? And why?

Busy, Busy, Busy! (quote from Professor Hinkle’s bunny)

Okay, the holidays are over. New Year’s resolutions are done (and I mean done, as in missed, forgotten, totally not going to happen already). Time to get my act in gear. Yep. Time to do that. Starting tomorrow. Or maybe this weekend will be better because, you know, I’ll have more time to get it in gear.

This is how my mental state is right now. I have a “completed” manuscript. I’m ready for beta…maybe. But I better read it a dozen more times, editing all over the place so I have to read it again and again to see if my changes work or made it worse. Or maybe I should chuck it.

No. I’m not going to chuck it. But I do need to chuck this attitude of waffling and thinking the time isn’t perfect to write or that the writing will ever be perfect. I’ve watched a couple repeat movies during the last week so clearly there are some multi-hour blocks wasted there. The Christmas tree does not need to come down any time soon – it’s not in the way, and it kinda covers up that stain on the carpet. We’re on diets, so I won’t have a lot of cooking to do. NOW IS THE TIME.

So my NEW New Year’s resolutions are:

  1. Set aside 4 hours per evening to write.
  2. Read the manuscript through once, make notes on what I think needs to change, then spend time (a LITTLE time) thinking through those changes and any effect they might have on the rest of the manuscript BEFORE I willy-nilly muck it up.
  3. Set a realistic date to have it ready for beta, and GET IT OUT with a realistic date to get the responses back in.
  4. FINISH THE DAMN THING and get it out to agents/editors!

How are you all doing on your resolutions? How many are non-writing? Remember, the Colorado Gold conference will be here before you know it – that’s a great chance to get your work in front of agents and editors!

Hoping you are all having a good start to the year (and not the same as mine!).

And do you know who Professor Hinkle and his bunny are?

 

A Writer’s Wishlist

Dear Santa,

I know we writers can be coy about what gifts we want. And I’m sure you’re tired of getting us the same things year after year (books, and the occasional desk accessory). So, I’m just gonna say what we’re all thinking and tell you what I really want for Christmas this year.

  1. Representation from my dream agent. You know, the one I’ve been surreptitiously stalking on social media. If you can’t get her, any agent with at least five bestsellers under their belt will do in a pinch.
  2. An acceptance letter from my dream lit mag or anthology. Preferably both.
  3. A book deal. Doesn’t have to be with my dream publisher—any of the Big 5 will do. Two-book deal, six-figure advance, nothing fancy. Maybe throw in some movie rights if you’re feeling generous.
  4. An international book tour with truckloads of adoring fans. Don’t forget the adoring fans. Have you ever had to sit through a book signing where only your mother and your yoga instructor showed up? It’s scary. (Neither have I, but I have nightmares about it regularly.)
  5. Fame and Fortune. With a capital F. Basically, what you’ve enjoyed for the last few centuries.

Most of these things are large and oddly shaped, so don’t stress about wrapping them. Just wedge them under the tree between the book-shaped packages and the ergonomic desk chair with the big bow on it.

Thanks,

Rachel

P.S. I got at least 35 rejection letters this year, without punching anyone in the face. If that doesn’t put me on the nice list, I don’t know what will.

P.P.S. If you’re still not sure, remember: I can turn you into a fictional character and kill you. Slowly and gruesomely.

 

Happy holidays from RMFW! The blog is going on winter break for the next two weeks, when our writers will be nestled all snug in their beds, visions of book deals dancing in their heads. See you in January!

Two steps from scattered–to focused!

I've been experiencing a little post-conference paralysis. Have you, too?

The rosy conference glow has started to fade. Have you harnessed the energy and inspiration of the Colorado Gold, or, like me, have you slipped into the Dreaded Distractions?

Stay focused. No one will make your dreams come true but you. Only you.

You know them --

Email

Youtube

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Pinterest

…even Google Earth.

All useful when harnessed, these websites and services have a dark side. Yes, they may produce useful information that can boost your creativity or provide key marketing information that may help you in your writer’s journey.

Or they may burn through that most precious commodity:  time.

Because you’re on the Internet right now, reading this blog, I don’t want to waste your time, so just do these two things:

One. Applying what you learned at the RMFW conference, make a checklist for what you know you should be doing. What you should be doing today, not in some vague, distant future. Two or three goals--don’t make it overwhelming. Add a box for your reward—one of the websites above.

Examples:

Set new goals based on tips/insights gained from conference workshops.

Complete character sketch for my villain.

Write X new pages in my WIP.

Two. Scan the following checklist. If you answer “No” to any of these questions, GET THE HECK OFF THE INTERNET!

/__/ Do you have a specific reason to go to [name of website]?

/__/ Can you name the writing goal that visiting [name of website] will help you achieve?

/__/ Can you set your timer for fifteen minutes, and exit [name of website] if it hasn’t helped you toward one of your writing goals within that time?

Once today’s two or three tasks are checked off, treat yourself. Give yourself a half hour on one of those “rabbit hole” websites---then check it off.

Repeat Steps 1 and 2 above, and keep working toward your dreams.

I hope this is helpful to you, and I’m cheering you on!