Friday, June 27, 2014

BLOCKED!

I can't write!  AH!  I don't know what's going on.  I wrote two books.  Yes ... two.  I finished the second one about two weeks ago.  I went through it on a first re-write and then called it done.  I don't feel there is anything more I can do to it.  Well ... I felt that way.  Now, as I sit here with a blank word document open before me to work on another idea I have ... I feel like maybe there is more to be done to the second one. 

But, I shouldn't.  I loved it very much when I was finished and I don't want anything to jade me from it right now.  I need to have it bound like the other one so it can sit on my shelf next to it. 

I haven't heard back from all the agents.  The ones I have heard from politely rejected me.  But, it's a rejection nonetheless.  This is a rite of passage for writers.  Everyone gets turned down.  So, I'm really working on NOT being discouraged by all of this.  There's still a BUNCH of queries out there. 

But now, as I eagerly sit before the computer to start an idea I feel pretty strongly about ... I can't write anything.

Writer's block?  Perhaps.  I've been working a lot, not getting too much sleep and ... I don't know, maybe my brain  needs a rest?  Do writers take time off between projects?

Inspiration is running rampant in my brain but I can't seem to form the words right and put them on paper. 

I'm blocked.  Blocked like a clogged drain. 

What could I use as Drain-O for my brain?

Maybe I should just take a few days off ... read, scroll Pinterest, scribble down ideas.  It will come back to me eventually.

Right?

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

I am an artiste

... If I do say so myself.

OK, end of my gigantic ego moment.  I just had to get that off my chest.  I'd had a long conversation with a friend last night about how/why I am so critical of myself and my writing/singing/music, etc.  My everything.  Right now, it's the writing as that is the foremost thing that's going on for me. 

I've got to make this happen.

I have a tremendous understanding of what actors/singers/dancers/writers, etc go through.  They pound the pavement, head shots, screen tests, auditions, love me please.  Just love me!!!  Isn't that why we do what we do?  We want people to validate us, and like what we do.  I know I do.  It's not my own insecurities per se.  No, I don't think that is it at all.  I just want people to love my writing.  I want them to want to read my next book and the next one. Is that so much to ask?    I think I speak for all authors when I say that. 

I'm an artist.  I've always been an artist.  No, I can't draw or paint or sculpt to save my life, but ... give me something to perform and I come alive.  Music? Yes please. Sing?  Why not?  It's the ultimate stress reliever and mood booster.  Write something?  Oh hell yes, I will do just that.  Be animated and a goof ball and act out?  Damn straight. 

I've known for a long long long long time I don't belong in an office.  I've done office work.  I've sat in a cubicle.  I feel ... suffocated. 

But you work in an office environment now.

No.  Actually, I don't.  It's not an enclosed cubicle.  There are no deadlines.  There is no paperwork (well, I have things to enter into systems but it's different.)  I answer phones but I am by no means an operator or a secretary.  My job is interesting and can be exciting.  I can actually go out in the field, amongst people dressed like little green army men and be a part of things others only see in movies or on the news.  I have an EXCITING job that just so happens to take place in a building, in a room, with a desk, and a phone.   

I am not restrained by my job.  I am inspired by it in a lot of ways.  I love my full time job.  Obviously, or I wouldn't be here 80 hours a week. 

If writing just stays my hobby, ultimately, I will be OK because I do happen to have a really cool job, with really good benefits and really good pay that keeps me housed and clothed and fed. 

But is it what I truly want to do with all my heart? 

Well ... OK.  If I had it my way, I could do both.  I'd put in my 40 hours and change and then I'd spend my other 40 hours crunching on the book projects.  I'd be able to take time off from here and go on a book tour, traveling around and seeing my readers.  Should I call them fans?  I don't know if that's what they are called.  This way, I could do both things I love. 

My daydreams are running away with me again.  Book tours?  Let's focus on just getting a book in print right now.  Then, we'll shoot for dream number 2.

I used to carry around this dream that I would move to and live in New York City.  I hung onto that with everything that I had.  I'm one of those art people, that's where my people live.  95% of the agents I've queried are in NYC.  It would seem that would be a good place for me right?

That dream is fading.  In the last year or so, my dream home has jumped the pond.  I'd move to London instead.  If I ever made it HUGE in my writing, that's where I would be for sure.  Without a doubt in my mind, sayonara USA .... Hello UK!

Look at me, thinking I'm going to be all JK Rowling famous.  A girl can dream as BIG as she wants.  It's the only way to make things happen.  With the amount of ideas knocking around inside my noggin, I could be shoveling out books as often as twice a year if someone gave me a chance. 

That's step one.  Securing myself an agent.  This has by far been the biggest and most difficult step.  It's exhausting.  With this being the digital age, most of this can be done from the comfort of my home and work computers.  So, you might be wondering how I could be exhausted from sending out emails. 

Read the agent's submission guidelines, find they need a query letter, synopsis, and 5 pages of sample work. Sent.  Next agent's submission guidelines, just a query letter with a brief explanation of the work.  Sent.   Next agent, query letter, first 50 pages as an attachement Sent Next agent: NO ATTACHMENTS, query letter, 30 pages in the text of the email.  Back and forth to my email and the document, copy, paste, repeat, change the letter, add this, remove that. 

Then, hit send and realize there is misinformation in it.  DAMNIT!  DAMNIT! *bang head against desk*  OK, well that one is a goner!

I've sent 150 out now.  I took a break and started working on project # 2.  I'm 70 pages into it.  I love it so much and can't wait to finish.  I'll go through and rewrite and make it good and then I'll be starting down this path again if I can't get the first project off the ground.  I had a few that liked my writing, but didn't feel the current work was something they wanted to take on, asking me to send them another project if I still don't have representation.  That's promising, no?

My second book is drastically different than the first.  The two wouldn't sit on the same shelf, that's for sure.  Do I want to be tied to a particular genre?  No.  I may write more of a certain type but I don't want to be closed off.

I sound like an actor. "I don't want to be typecast and only be in romantic comedies/horror/action/television".     It's true, I don't want to be forced to only write about murder and mystery.  I don't want to only write touching heart warming stories.  I want freedom to do whatever I wish.  If I want to write something about fairies, I will!

This blog entry feels a bit cocky and ... pompous.  I don't even have an agent. 

Let's get over step one first. 

Until then, I won't stop dreaming. 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

A lesson in staying strong

Update:  I've sent out 115 queries to literary agents.  I've heard 5 polite refusals, and had one request for my whole manuscript.  One email address was rejected and another isn't taking on new clients at all.  So ... that's that.

I'm learning many a lesson in this process.  First and foremost is the lesson of staying strong and believing in my goal even when someone declines my project.  It's very hard for a person, like myself who is extremely hard and critical of oneself, to not take those words completely to heart and never write again. 

I haven't done this before, this ... submitting of my work.  Why?  Because writing is a passion.  It's a joy I have.  It's an escape from the real world at times.  It is something that deep down makes me truly, unbelievably happy.  If I hear back from the rest of those people and they all say no?  Well ... certainly that is going to affect how I live my life.  It might make me not write anymore.  Why?  Well, obviously, I"m not very good at it.

Of course, I still have probably hundreds if not thousands of queries to send out.  I'm not saying I'd give up if all original 115 are Nos.  But, if I keep going and there are hundreds and thousands of nos ... well, I might rethink things a little bit.

I'm already hyper critical of my work.  While scrolling through it yesterday, changing things here and there, I found myself shaking my head at it.  I didn't think it could stand up on its own. 

The problem is, I am an avid reader.  I read a lot, by a lot of different authors, and a lot of different genres.  There are some TREMENDOUS writers out there.  I soak up their work and wait, anxiously, for another book to come out with their work.  I love to read.  I love the written word.  I am obsessed with it. 

So, after reading such amazing work, I find mine lacking a little bit.  Of course, it is only a first draft.  I am sure there are plenty of revisions in my future.  In fact, I'll even go through it again (after I finish going through it this time) and probably change/add more.  Just now, I've thought of a few things that could be added to it.  I feel like it needs a little something.  I don't know.

I have a solid, amazing idea for my next project of which I am already 31 pages into.  I just sort of feel like I need to walk away from the first one for a day or two and focus solely on project # 2 called "Between Friends" for now.  Maybe I'll come back to "Mirror, Mirror" and look at it with fresh eyes and do my changes and feel a little better about it.

I am taking Mirror, Mirror to be bound at Office Depot as soon as I am done with those 2nd and 3rd revisions.  People want to read it and I would rather hand them something that is bound together than something loose, or in digital format. 

Even thinking of people in here reading it, makes me cringe.  What if they are sharing stories about how I suck when I am not here?

I guess I'm incredible protective of my little hobby and am worried that I should realize that I need to hang up the pencil forever.  I'm afraid of losing that part of me.

Does this make any sense at all?

Anyway, that's where I am now.  I am trying to think positively.  "Harry Potter" was turned down hundreds of times and ended up being this HUGE deal.  I don't expect to be a huge deal, I just want to write and be published. 

Anything can happen ... I just have to be strong and not give up.