Friday, January 12, 2007

Making a Literary Life Friday

Another wonderful week here at the Writers' Group. Thanks to all of you who've voted for us over at Ann Crispin's site, Preditors and Editors. Polls are open until the 14th, so please spread the word. Thanks also to all of you who post comments. It's interesting to hear about your creative process too.

I worked with my son on his space travel story this week. He's seven and his imagination is as flexible as his joints. My agent tells me no news yet on Little Boy Hiding. The novel is with editors, and frankly, it's nice to have the selling in my agent's hands and out of my own. Though I'm writing still, I've had time to clean my house, really clean it. And pick up another hour of pick-up hockey - Friday mornings so I gotta get going. Lacing up skates (or running shoes for that matter) is one way to get the blood flowing to a writer's brain.

The Group met on Monday for the first time since the holiday and it was such a relief. Being surrounded by others who understand the nuances of this writing life, from researching to writing to editing to publishing, provides immeasurable support. This week I'm headed to Harvard University's museum because they're having an exhibit on an obscure topic that happens to be the subject of my WIP. Serendipity? I prefer to think of it as another sign that I'm on the path. I've also sent three charming notes to people who've offered their assistance to me. I'm constantly surprised by how willing others are to pull up as they go up in this business.

It's okay to say no. A writer friend told me this several years ago when we were commiserating about how to make it all happen. When invitations come to join a committee, volunteer, take on an extra project, we feel obligated to add them into our schedules, yet one hour here and two there add up. We need to weigh the requests against our passions, consider what we gain and what we lose. So, this week, I took on one very short-term, child's activity-related commitment, but did say no to two other requests for involvement. Solid time to edit this week, within what has otherwise been a crazy ride, can be attributed to following that friendly, wise advice!

My major tasks this week involved two things; one abstract, one concrete. I spent daytime hours thinking about my marketing plan for Negotiation Generation, and my nightime hours the characters in my work-in-progress. Then I got down to getting organized. Each of the members of The Writers' Group has written about this topic almost every week; don't underestimate the time you spend planning, researching, and reaching out to other writers. This week I didn't put words down on the page, though I've set aside time to work on my next novel this weekend. Instead, I talked to veteran PR professionals, joined a newswire, created a plan for must dos and should dos, layed out a preliminary schedule for a book tour, and I read. I came home from the library with more books than I could carry. My excitement was palpable. My husband and children looked at me and said, "What are you working on now?" Coming into this holiday weekend, set aside time to think and get organized. The best literary lives don't just happen, they're the result of planning and dreaming. I have a dream, don't you?


Anonymous said...

Voted! :-D

And I'm so jealous of The Writers' Group. I love the Debs, but we're all over the place! I wanna get together and chatter about plot with poeple whose eyes don't glaze over...

Anonymous said...

Well, Kristy Kiernan, anytime you want to pull up a chair, you're welcome to join us. Speaking of pulling up a chair, I can't wait until March so I can get my copy of Catching Genius.

Anonymous said...

Aww, thanks! And, btw, I want to chatter with people. I don't actually know any poeple. I'm sure they're lovely, but still, it's people who interest me at this point...or piont, as the case may be.

ORION said...

Writer-in-the-trenches Holly Kennedy and I (ORION) have posted our successful query letters on our blogs. We thought it might help writers who are frustrated and struggling with this necessary evil!
Please feel free to comment or ask questions.
I wish I had found your blog when I was starting out. It would have made things so much easier!

Lynne Griffin and Amy MacKinnon said...

Thanks for the kind words, Pat. I'm headed to the bookstore tomorrow to buy Holly's book, The Tin Box, and can't wait to get my hands on yours, Lottery. When will it be published?