Off To Work, Sooner or Later

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What? Checking Facebook for game stuff is work.

So I had a whole list of things I wanted to accomplish before the big college championship game tonight. But bright and early this morning, whilst reading about the big game in my newspaper, I heard from a Mister Brother Man (I have three of ’em) and brother men do not call just to chat. There was business to discuss (plus football, natch), and would I do some research for him?

Okay, fine, but first I needed to call Juniorette Hall to relay some of the business news (and discuss the game); no worries, I’d be off the phone in a jiffy, then do my research stuff, and then get to my list.

Except then Oldest Junior Hall called and we had to discuss the business, but mostly the football game, and then, no more fooling around, I needed to get that research done (because Brother Man had sent me a text asking for it!). And no joke, I was right in the middle of the research when Youngest Junior Hall pulled into the driveway.

To take me to lunch. Because yes, by then, it was lunchtime. So I finished my research, and Brother Man called again–seriously? Does anybody in the state of Georgia plan to work today?–and took a shower because people out in the world expect you to show up clothed and relatively decent-smelling (though my kids probably know better by now).

Anyway, off to lunch we went to discuss the business and the research and we were almost going to come home so I could work before the big game tonight (which we also had to discuss) when Youngest Junior Hall remembered an Office Depot detour he needed to make.

It’s almost 4:00 now and unless a dead relative decides to pop in (and discuss the game), I think I’m good to get to work. So if you have a minute, maybe you could pop in over at The Muffin and read my post for today: “Time to Tackle What’s Holding You Back.”

Yeah, you can’t make this kind of stuff up. (And one more thing! Go Dawgs!)

 

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Deadlines and Delivering

time-calendar-saturday-weekend-60032I’m always a little surprised at how many books there are out there about writing prompts. Because with me, there is really only one prompt: a deadline.

Yep, a deadline sure prompts me to get going! Not necessarily my own, self-imposed deadlines. I’m talking about those deadlines that are tied to payment and/or business. Like magazines that have a calendar of themes and no ands, ifs, or buts about when you can get articles or essays in to be considered.

Or maybe a Chicken Soup for the Soul call out. Which reminds me! Remember when I said I had a great story that had Chicken Soup for the Soul written all over it so I couldn’t share it here? So I did write it up and squeezed that story in just under the deadline. And it was selected for the Miracles and More book coming out in February. Wheee!

So deadlines can work wonders for prompting my writing muscle to get down to business. Which is why when I was in the shower, thinking about a package that was supposed to be delivered, and a YA novel that had some unfortunate reviews, added to a Muffin date due on the calendar, I came up with “Are You Delivering?”

Surprise!

 

Another Writing Challenge (But Cookies!)

2011-09-01 14.32.13I know you’ve probably been very busy writing–and for those of you who met whatever Nano goal you set down, YAY!–but I’ve got one more writing challenge for you.

First, you’ll have to zip over to The Muffin and read all about The Lost Art of Writing. And then, after you’ve yelled a few choice words at me–I’ll leave that selection up to you–you can get busy writing.

Maybe you’ll write a note to one of your kids, telling them how special he or she is. And your kid will be like, “Well, this is weird. And mushy. And yeah, kinda icky.” Your kid will likely make a big show of not caring one whit. But I promise you that same kid will hold on to that note for the rest of his or her life.

Or maybe you’ll send a letter to a friend this holiday season instead of signing a name on a card. And your friend will be like, “Well, this is awkward. I didn’t even send a card and here I have this lovely letter. Now I’m going to have bake cookies for her.”

Not that you sent the lovely letter just so you could get cookies, but hey. It could happen.

And P.S. I just went to the post office this morning and bought a whole bunch of stamps.

And P.P.S. My favorite cookie is anything with pecans in it.

 

 

Those Passionate Self-Publishers

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Books in the wild!

I always have a great time at the writer workshops I co-sponsor. (Well, not me personally. The Southern Breeze region of SCBWI technically is the sponsor. I’m just the smiling face up there, introducing the talented writers and illustrators and agents who come to share their wisdom. The awesome Gwinnett Public Library System is the other generous sponsor.) But the last workshop was especially fun because it was on self-publishing, and writers who go that route are especially passionate.

They have to be, if they hope to find success along that road.

In traditional publishing, you have publicity people behind you, getting your books out there to the public. Some houses do a lot; others do considerably less. Still, they get your book off to the right start so it can land in bookstores and libraries.

But those who go the indie route must start at the beginning of publishing and work very hard to get a book…well, anywhere. So self-publisher types tend to be real go-getters, and I love their enthusiasm. Heck, before the workshop was over, I was seriously considering that route for one of my books that hasn’t been picked up by a traditional publisher yet.

Anyway, during the workshop, talk eventually came around to promotion and getting your book out there. Maybe that’s what inspired me for today’s post at the Muffin, Paying It Forward the Write Way.

I think it’s pretty good advice whether you’re self-published or traditionally published. What do you think? Maybe I’ll have another workshop on your suggestions. (Well, not me personally. Ugh. You know what I mean.)

Grabbing Opportunities

pexels-photo-306076.jpegI am always surprised when people don’t take advantage of great opportunities, especially when they’ve paid good money to get those opportunities. Take writers. We do it all the time!

We join professional writer organizations and then don’t bother to attend the free or very inexpensive workshops they provide.

We pay big bucks for a conference and have the opportunity to submit to closed publishing houses, or the chance to meet an agent or two. But we don’t submit. We don’t speak to the agents. (True story: after years of attending my SCBWI conferences, I finally submitted a manuscript to an editor. He wasn’t interested. You thought I was going to say he bought the manuscript, right? But that’s not the point. The point is, it took me years to take advantage of that opportunity. Why? I have no idea. On the other hand, I did chat up my agent at a conference, sent her my manuscript, and signed with her. So there can be happy endings, if you give yourself a shot.)

We win a free critique and never send anything in. Or buy a terrific book on writing and never read it. Yep, the list goes on and on.

Until we either quit (and wonder why we never quite succeeded)–or start maximizing our connections and opportunities. So maybe you’re ready to maximize; I shared some ideas about that over at the Muffin today in “Maximizing Writer Connections”  and I hope you’ll take a look.

I mean, honestly, I’m just like you, squandering opportunities. But sometimes, I put myself out there. And sometimes, it pays off. How about you? What’s an opportunity you took advantage of and were glad you did? Tell me all about it (please!).

And P.S. Photo by Lukas from Pexels https://www.pexels.com/photo/antique-architecture-art-background-306076/

(Check Pexels out, y’all–I love ’em!)