IWSG: I Didn’t Give Up


***Please note, I moved my blog to NatashaHanova.com***

(same blog, new address)

IWSG

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! (Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG)

Alex J. Cavanaugh’s awesome co-hosts for the June 5 posting of the IWSG will be Sheena-kay Graham, Suzanne Furness, and Laura Eno!

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I almost gave up but I didn’t. Writing a book is hard. Sometimes characters won’t talk, sometimes it’s difficult to visualize the setting, sometimes the plot is like a dysfunctional steel block rather than pliable clay. When facing obstacles like this, it’s easy to give into frustration. But sometimes a story is worth fighting for. So, a writer fights and wins, but the battle isn’t over.

Next round: finding an agent, editor, or publisher. Rejections hurt (See Taking the Sting Out of Rejection here). The worse thing a writer can do is give in or give up. If writing is your passion fight for it. Read craft articles, learn how to write a winning query, network with other writers because you never know who knows somebody who knows somebody.

When I started submitting queries for my book EDGE OF TRUTH, I faced rejection and often felt discouraged. Luckily, I have a fantastic critique group (Novel Clique) who constantly supports and encourages me. I managed to get a few nibbles after re-writing my query/synopsis. Shortly after, I finally found a home for it.

I almost gave up, but I didn’t and now I have a book coming out June 6 (That’s tomorrow, people!)

So when you feel discouraged in your writing adventures, remember this:

  • Your story won’t come out perfect the first time. This is what the revisions process is for. Focus on getting the words on the page.
  • Your characters won’t shun you forever. They tend to start talking when you’re in the shower, when your head first hits the pillow, when you’re driving, or (my favorite) when you start flirting with other characters.
  • You are not the first or last author to receive rejections. J.K. Rawlings was turned down by 12 publishers before finding a home for Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone.
  • Agents, editors, publishers are just people reading a ‘piece of paper’. Rejections aren’t personal and they don’t mean your story isn’t good. It only means it’s not right for the person you sent it to.
  • Stay positive. Nothing fells negativity faster than a positive attitude. Surround yourself with an arsenal of positive thoughts and don’t allow anything negative to take root.  
  • It’s not easy, but it’s worth the fight!

What advice do you have for other writers?

IWSG – Never Enough Time


IWSG

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! (Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG)

Alex J. Cavanaugh’s awesome co-hosts for the March 6 posting of the IWSG are Misha Gericke and Joylene Nowell Butler!

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Now, on to my second IWSG post…

I’d like to consider myself an organized person. In fact, back when I was an executive assistant, I was often complimented on my organizational skills. I juggled twenty things at once, had documents and other things ready for the exec before she knew she needed them, my work desk was always tidy, etc.

If I can do that for an entire office, why can’t I do it for myself?

For a long time, I pondered that question. Then, I decided to do something about it. I created a 6-week editorial calendar for my blog. I started a “Writer Calendar” where I schedule time to write, keep track of people I plan to host on my blog, note participation in social media events, and even list my critique group meetings. With the help of Google Reader, I’m making a Blog Visiting schedule to help me streamline my time in the blogosphere. Since I’m really good at procrastinating, I’ve started using Pinterest (find me here) as reward to achieving writing goals. These things help me feel focused.

Find other Insecure Writer’s Support Group members here.

How about you? Do you have any writer-centric organizational tips?

IWSG – People Reading A Book


IWSG

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! (Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG)

Alex J. Cavanaugh’s two awesome co-hosts this month are Stephen Tremp and Julie Flanders!  Thanks for your support!

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This is my first time participating in Alex’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group, so I hope I do it right because the timing is perfect. This weekend, my wonderful publisher, Sapphire Star Publishing sent out Advanced Reader Copies (ARCs) of my debut novel to major reviewers. Ahhh! I find this both exciting and nerve wrecking. What if the reviewers don’t like my book? What if they don’t like my characters? What if they don’t like the world I created? What if….

Breathe. I tell my self. It will be okay, I tell myself. Some of them will like it. Some of them won’t. They are only people reading a book. Just like me.

2013 Goals + Early Birds


sunrise

Photo Credit: Kristin Nador

It’s good to return to the blogosphere! I’ve missed connecting with my readers, though I did visit a few of you during my hiatus. I noticed many of you are setting goals for the new year, some more challenging than others. 2013 promises to be a busy, and hopefully exciting, year for me.

With that in mind, here are some of my 2013 goals:

  • Blog revamp. I like the look of my blog, but I’m ready to take it up a notch. Luckily, my critique group is right there with me, and we all plan to create new websites. We will learn together.
  • Interviews & Guest Posts. As part of the revamping, I plan to interview my readers and host guest posts by people in various stages of the writing journey – newbie, experienced, published, etc. I’ll have more details later. If you think you might be interested, I’m starting an early bird interview & guest post sign up list. 
  • Writer’s Retreat. Every year, my group takes a time out from family, friends, cyberspace, etc. and focuses solely on writing. I always look forward to this bonding opportunity.
  • Join the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. I can already put a check mark by this one (I’m #292). The first Wednesday of every month IWSG creates a safe haven where writers can express their doubts and concerns, as well as offer support and guidance to each other. I have a feeling I’m going to need this group.
  • Book release Blog Tour. I’m both excited and nervous about the upcoming (06.06.13) release of Edge Of Truth. Thanks again to everyone who participated in the cover reveal. Now, I’m recruiting a team to help with the book blog tour from June 6 to June 27. If you’re interested, here’s the early bird Edge of Truth blog tour sign up form.
  • Start a Newsletter so readers can stay up to date on contest, giveaways, tours, appearances, my next book etc. If you’re interested, please fill in the early bird Newsletter sign up form.
  • Last, but not least, something my critique group calls a pleasure goal. This is something that has nothing to do with writing. I plan to master baking gooseberry pie between now and December 2013. This was one of my mama’s favorite pies. I baked one for Christmas 2012. My siblings were kind enough to eat it and not make faces. I’m determined to do better next year, and welcome any tips.

How about you? What are some of your goals for 2013?