Good morning to everyone, but especially The Miss, who treated us to a full-throated & eight-octave soliloquy on why she should be allowed off leash to get closer to the coyote. It was the kind of speech that would have made Perry Mason & Shakespeare weep in both its poetry and logic. She lost her case, but the judges were impressed by her impassioned argument and vigour. And, of course, for doing all of this while seated and paying attention to us and not the coyote, she was given a conciliation prize of treats.
I was delighted to be part of the conversation with Alex Lewczuk, Jessica Burtis & Rebecca Bond as we talked about kindness, diversity, Maria & the Plague (gross facts included!), & why our stories matter. Listen to the podcast here, https://bit.ly/3uLnkFs
Follow Up for TWUC’s Strategies for Writing Discipline
There were a few questions we didn’t get a chance to answer yesterday and I wanted to do a quick follow up for those folks, as well as add a couple of extra thoughts to the question of creating and maintaining writing discipline.
The video for the Q & A is here:
The social media question starts at 0:18, daily schedule around 2:35, & writing groups at 3:5
As for the question of writing discipline:
1. Try substituting “discipline” for “kindness” and see if that helps. What is the kind thing for you to do today to feel a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction? (I find this can help me with prioritizing my tasks).
2. We talked about comparison being the thief of joy and how destructive it can be to compare ourselves to others. Here’s the thing. It can also be destructive to compare our Today Person to our Yesterday Person. Sure, we can have had a great writing week last week, but that doesn’t necessarily mean this week will be as productive.
I think about it like surfing (hilarious, since y’all know I am not about anything athletic!), but to catch and ride the wave, we have to paddle out to sea. Some days/weeks/months, we’re going to do a lot of paddling. Holding ourselves to the memory of that awesome wave as inspiration to keep going is one thing. Holding to it as a way to beat ourselves up is something else, entirely.
Every day is a new day with new goals and rules. It’s okay to be flexible to those daily changes and adjust our goals accordingly.
3. Set goals that are in your control. I try to keep up on the industry and read books on the craft. One book suggested that authors saying things like, “I’m going to find my agent in a year,” isn’t helpful and they shouldn’t do that.
And I thought, “Yes, great advice.”
The author then said, “You need to give yourself five years to meet a goal like that.”
And I returned the book to the library.
The advice, forgive me, is nonsense. It is not in our control if we sign with an agent. You know why? Because that’s someone else’s decision!
You know what is in our control? If we submit. How often we submit. If we take classes/seminars on how to pitch to agents.
I can set a goal that says, “This year, I will submit to twenty agents,” because that’s a goal that is in my control.
How long it takes to get an agent is OUT of my control—and what happens if the five year mark goes without someone offering representation? Does that make me a failure? Less of a writer?
Friends, choose goals that are in your control to achieve.
I had great fun chatting with CCBC’s Amanda Halfpenny about the upcoming Book Week Tour!
I’ll be in the same spot as I’ve been the last two days—staring at my blank screen and wishing I hadn’t had to delete 58K and start again.
Nothing makes me feel quite as productive and ready for the week as getting through a round of edits and whittling down my emails. I feel like I deserve my Sunday night!
Italy, 1340s: Earthquakes, then continuous rain in 1345 meant crops were ¼ of their size. In 1347, high wheat prices & food shortages meant people were eating grass & weeds, & by Easter, the city of Florence was rationing bread to 94,000 people. The plague would arrive in 1348. Buy from Amazon, Indigo, & Barnes and Noble.
I was absolutely delighted to be part of the Douglas Coleman Show!