Thursday, February 16, 2012

Breaking Out the Cycle

Recently, I've been combining a couple of my 2012 resolutions.  In between writing moreI've been taking mini-breaks during my writing sessions to get active -- even if it's only for a two minute stretch.

Try it.

When you get stuck for a plot idea or a line of dialogue, instead of staring at the screen trying to beat your muse into submission, try getting up out of your chair.  Do a few jumping jacks, crunches, stretches or other physical activity.  You could even do a little frustration dance.

Taking a break out of your writing day will burn a few calories, which is also one of my resolutions this year (and every year).  It will get your blood flowing and minimize the risk of 'pins and needles' or even something more serious.  Better still, that blood will flow to your brain, maybe even resulting in a new idea.  Hey, I often think better when I'm doing something totally mindless.

So break out of your writing cycle and jump on a real cycle.  Or just jump around for a few minutes. You will both feel and think better.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

UPDATE: My Publisher - Total-E-Bound

Check it out: Total-E-Bound Publishing has launched a new look website right on Valentine's Day!  And right in line with my last post, which was all about them.

So, Happy Belated Valentine's Day and happy reading!

Thursday, February 09, 2012

My Publisher - Total-E-Bound

Over the last few weeks, I've been spending a greater amount of time on the website of my publisher, Total-E-Bound Publishing.  For those who don't know, Total-E-Bound is an erotic romance publisher of primarily eBooks, with some audio and print offerings as well.

In my perusal, I've discovered some cool things about their website, which I have to share with you all.

They have an amazing offering of free short stories.  Yes, that's right -- free.  There are over fifty stories on the website.

I've also been checking out my author page(!): here.  It links back to this blog!

Very importantly, they have a number of calls for submissions: everything from Bodices and Boudoirs to "At your service" (domestic staff).  All of the calls sound like so much fun that I have already started brainstorming ideas for ones that close in August!

Lastly, and of course not least, they sell of of which will soon be mine!

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Belated New Year's Resolutions from Writers

Over at Writer's Digest, Brian Klems has also been working on his New Year's Resolutions for 2012.  I had fun reading his resolution and those of the commentators, all writers who have similar goals to mine this year.

I love that Brian's main resolution (#8 on his list) is to put himself out there.  That's what I'm trying to do with my goal of sending out one hundred query letters this year.  Get out there, writers - that's the only way to get published and get read!

Friday, February 03, 2012

Panic and the Send Button

Have you ever spent an hour (or more) crafting the perfect email, only to hit send and then immediately know that you've made a terrible mistake?

I have.  It's excruciating.

Sometimes, I think I've left out the subject line.  Duh.  Other times, I'm convinced that I've forgotten to change the day/ address/ name on the email -- this happens when I send out queries to publishers or literary agents which, although they are personalized, are essentially the same content.

Have I ever actually made one of these mistakes?  No, not to my knowledge.

So why then do I feel that little pulse of panic after I send out an important email?  I think it's part of my overall fears (of succeeding, of failing, of both).  Anticipating a rejection even before I get the actual response is one of my failings.

Of course, I have learned to re-read my emails in draft and make sure they have a subject line that adheres to the submission criteria, as well as the right email address and contact info.  But do I still panic and have to scramble to re-read my email after it's been sent?  Naturally.  It's all part of the fun of being a writer.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Wisdom and Knowing What to Ignore

This quote sits on my desktop at my day job:

"The art of being wise is knowing what to overlook." - William James

When I hunted this quote up, I was experiencing a great deal of stress at work.  Every day seemed like a constant series of aggravations and annoyances.  Stress made me more sensitive and even the smallest things that I would usually shrug off were getting to me.  This all made me extremely unpleasant to live with (just ask my family).

Stepping back and assessing the importance of each of these daily annoyances helped me to put my daily stressors into perspective.  A looming deadline for filing a document?  That's important.  A coworker being rude to me?  Not so important.  Certainly not worth ratcheting up my stress level when there's work to be done.

Knowing what to overlook has made a difference in my work environment.  Wisdom, well, that will come.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Resolutions Progress - January

My resolutions this year were simple: Write more.  Blog regularly.  Send out 100 query letters.

So far (I know it's early days yet) I am on track.

For the past fifteen years, I've been keeping track of how many pages I write every day.  Yes, I know, quality over quantity and all that but I enjoy having a record.

I've set myself a target of writing two pages per day (up from my average of about a page a day last year).  As of January 30th, I was at 60 pages for the first 30 days of the year.  Woot!

On the blogging side, I've been experimenting a little.  Initially, I wanted to write a single long post every week.  I've been doing that.  But I've also added additional daily (or semi-daily) posts that are considerably shorter.  End result: I've stuck by my resolution to post regularly on this blog.

Finally, I've sent out (and already received rejections for) nine query letters to literary agents so far this year.  I would have been further ahead but I've been experiencing some internet disruptions that have put a dent in my output.  I also want to diversify with some submissions to publishers.  But, in the end, I have also stuck by this goal.

I feel great about keeping my 2012 resolutions through the month of January.  Tune in next month for my next update.