Friday, May 18, 2012

Time for Reflection

Let's face it, this industry is tough. We face rejection, characters who won't fully reveal themselves to us, and plot holes. I say we need a moment to stop and reflect on the positives because they are the things that keep us going. That make us push through the tough times.


It doesn't matter if you haven't been published or haven't gotten a book deal or an agent. Positive things are finishing your first manuscript, revising your manuscript so it's ready to query, sending out that first query letter, etc. There are so many things that we accomplish that we rarely stop to give ourselves credit for.


So, today is all about reflection. What are some positives in your writing career? And don't dismiss something because you think it's small. Even deciding to write your first book or short story is a positive, and I want to hear it. I want to cheer you on.



50 comments:

  1. You are so right, Kelly! Actually finishing a manuscript is a huge deal because it's the first step in actually getting out there!

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  2. I went to my first board meeting last night for the Tallahassee Writers Association where they announced me the new TWA Newsletter Editor. :)

    I don't know, I feel accomplished.

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  3. As my mom says, pat yourself on the back. If you wait for someone else to do it, you might be waiting a long time. Hmmm, what have I done lately. Just released my second YA fantasy which was a huge stretch writing wise. I'm really proud of that book.

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    1. Congrats, Angelia! You've been doing such a great job in your writing career. :)

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  4. Well I finished what I think is a pretty darn good query for my latest WIP. Which I'm seriously on the last chapter! Woo and then I get to read through--revise a bit. Have someone beta read and that thing is gettin' kicked out the door in a week or so.

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    1. Yay! Congrats! I hope your betas love it and have some great suggestions for you.

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  5. As soon as I am Free (if this will happen) I will write my autobiography!!

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  6. Thanks for making us stop and remember the positive! It's nice to remove our heads from the brick wall once in a while :-) For me this week I think the most positive thing is that we finally finished my writing room (AKA the 'Catio') and I can begin working out there again in an environment set up to be inspiring and soothing.

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    1. Ooh, a writing room! Now, that's nice!

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  7. Great post - thanks for providing an opportunity to be positive. I finished my first novel, got good reviews from two readers, and am ready to take it to my first conference and agent meeting next week...thanks for cheering us on, Kelly. I need all the good vibes I can get!

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    1. Congrats! Have a great time at the conference. I'm crossing my fingers that you'll make some great connections.

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  8. Hi Kelly,

    Right now it's difficult for me to be positive about anything, but that's life, not necessarily writing. My historical novel is still at the publisher's,awaiting their decision, and the waiting is killing me. Can only hope the revisions they asked for meet with their approval! In the meantime, I'm through Chapter 3 of my paranormal novel...waaaay out of my comfort zone!

    Kelly, I said once you are an inspiration and great role model for all the younger writers. I repeat that. Many many congratulations on your recent book deal!

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    1. Thank you, Mikki. That means so much to me. <3

      I know waiting is never fun. I'm crossing my fingers for you, and good luck with the paranormal novel too. I love writing outside my comfort zone.

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  10. I forgot to finish one thing on my list.
    Let's try this again-

    Kelly, be warned, this may be one of the longest replies I've made on your blog thus far (So you may want to wait until after your traveling's done, etc.) but here goes-

    1. I finished drafts of books, however bad, littered with typos and (Unintentional) tense shifts, I did what some people haven't done.

    2. I write better query letters now than when I started three years ago. (Whether or not they enticed who I sent them to, and I have to remind myself that trying means something, each one was nothing less than my best, no matter the flaws more plot-centric writers than me can see that I can't.)

    3. I've learned to be less knee-jerk and defensive about my writing. (At the same time, though, know it's OKAY to ask difficult questions. Because you can't fix problems you either don't know are there or understand WHY it's a problem in the first place.)

    5. I've actually learned to love Twitter. (I still hate the strict character limits, but seeing people who can make the service work for them instead of against them, who feel as depressingly bound by the character limit as me, gives me hope to do the same someday...)

    6. Nonfiction can be FUN to read. (I still find writing it HARD, but I'm in awe and envy of authors who can make reading it fun but informative and accurate)

    7. You can love books you don't want to write yourself.

    8. It's okay for novelists to not enjoy writing short stories. (We need to respect this more than we do sometimes, and despite the fair arguments people make to the contrary, there's more to well-written stories than word count)

    9. Writing for the fun of it has it's own rewards. (Still, it's harder to get back to that place, and I wish it wasn't so, but I can deny that, pray for me there)

    10. I'm a better critique partner than I once was. (The trick for me is only critiquing books and stories I have some sense of being able to help than cause the writer more confusion and doubt they don't need)

    11. I see my characters on their level.
    (But this is a double-edged sword, and why revision is hard for me, because the reader will often see boredom and confusion, and marrying heart and logic is NOT easy, and anyone who says otherwise is either lucky or lying. But we're trying to be positive here, sorry for that lapse into negative thinking, Kelly)

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    1. That's a lot to celebrate, Taurean. I'm happy for you. :)

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  11. Amen to ^that^, Kelly.
    My blog post today tells of just one of these things, moments of the journey that are a celebration. {Hint---Hint- ;=)}

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  12. I've gotten 21 5-star reviews so far for Fireseed One, my YA thriller. That makes me happy. And I've gotten an interesting group of students for my creative writing workshop in Greece-the most curious, being that 95% of them are guys, a nice switch from the more frequently seen, female student body of aspiring fiction writers. And somehow, a unique challenge.

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    1. That's awesome, Catherine!! Congrats!

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  13. Right now, getting through final polishes quickly feels really good!

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  14. I agree that this is so important no matter what stage we're at in writing (and in life!). Isn't every moment of the here and now what makes the adventure??? Thanks for the reminder to stop and breath and live. :0)

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    1. Yes, I was cut off from the internet for three days, and while I missed all of my online writer friends, I enjoyed just living for a while. I am happy to be back though.

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  15. Just writing makes me feel god. When the occasional block happens, it's good to see that the initial delight in writing has not vanished. In fact it has never vanished after over twenty years of writing.

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  16. Great idea to reflect on the good things. I typed The End to my YA contemporary wip today. Now to check what my critique partners have said and hopefully it will be ready to send in June. Also, my YA hitrotical novel is an Honor Book Award winner in the Eric Hoffer Contest, YA category. I'm happy.

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    1. You should be happy! Wow! Congrats, Beverly!!!

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  17. I think the writer always has to remind themselves of their accomplishments. Regardless of the stage a writer is in he/she will have set backs and disappointments, feel lost, question their ability. I think the trick is keep writing and write because it matters to your heart and is a passion that brings joy. Keep doing what matters, writing from your heart and reminding yourself what brought you to the blank page in the first place. In my case, a promise to a dying parent. Good post , Kelly. Keep us honest with our heart's intentions.

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    1. Brenda, you totally get this. You are such a great example of writing for good reasons, and you don't forget those reasons.

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  18. What a great post. We all need to stop and appreciate the steps we have taken that have gotten us to where we are. We all have a lot to be proud of because each step is progress. :) Finishing my ms, editing it, having it shared with others... all things that make me smile. Stephanie and I have written a great query (or at least we have revised it and worked on it to make it the best we know how). Right now the ms is being considered- so we are keeping our fingers crossed! Thanks for the cheering!

    ~Jess

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    1. Yay! I'm crossing my fingers for you both, too!

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  19. I feel great working on two YA WIPs. I'm aiming to finish edits in a month for one of them.

    Sometimes we dwell on the negative, meanwhile we're making so many positive steps.

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    1. I love that you can work on two WIPs at once. I soooo wish I could.

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  20. The positives are when readers really enjoy, not just like, what I've written, or I come in at the top in a contest. I don't have to win, but even if I'm in the top 50, even, out of the hundreds that submit.

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    1. Yes, that's definitely worth celebrating. :)

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  21. Great point. I think that starting to type out even one word of a book is a serious milestone for me. I hated writing until I started plucking away at my first book. And what do you know, it landed me an agent and a whole truck load of new friends through my journey--you included.

    But it's also given me confidence in myself that I CAN do something this huge.

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    1. Aw! I'm so glad I met you, Julia and that you're my agency sister. :)

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  22. The positives are what keep me going. I have slowed down on all the online stuff, but I am keeping my "12 in 12" goal of submitting at least one MS each month to magazines. I am still working on my first MG novel - re-working some after winning an edit from Deborah Halverson. And I have received a second "Bear Card" from Highlights.

    So, even though I am still unpublished, the rejections don't bother me. I learn from them and keep going.

    Thanks, Kelly.

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    1. Good for you, Rick. I love your attitude.

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  23. Good post, Kelly. Every accomplishment deserves a celebration. For me recently, it's learning about my students' improvements in their grades, and the sketches of my next PB.

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  24. Hi Kelly,
    I'm at the beginning stages of writing but I am loving it! I started a blog, working on my book and I found a full time editor. I have written a few more poems too.

    Enjoyed reading other's post!

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    1. That's definitely something to celebrate, Covina. :)

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