Don’t Give Up! #Writemotivation June Check-In

So I’m late again on my #Writemotivation check-in! What is #Writemotivation, you might ask, if you’ve somehow stumbled on this blog?

My first full MS paper edit. Scary. But good.
My first full MS paper edit. Scary. But good.

Check out the link. K.T. Hanna has masterminded a group of cheering, supportive, amazing, talented, and varied writers who all encourage one another through their monthly goals via blogs and Twitter. Now on Google+!

Last post I mentioned I started using the Pomodoro technique. I’m here to report after little over a week, it’s done wonders for my productivity. I’m using PomodoroApp, and it seems to be keeping me focused on one task at a time, as well as showing me how long it’s taken to do tasks. I’m not just using this for writing, though. Oh no. Everything’s gone on here – from job hunting to weekly cleaning chores to my consistently-behind Inbox to even-more-consistently-behind crit work. I may still be behind on some of these items, but it’s really been a big help. Check it out!

Two quotes this week which kind of tie in together. But first, an awesome video and song (and band) that I’m late to the party discovering but am in LOVE with now:

It conjures so many story ideas. I can’t get enough of it. (Even if they do kinda borrow the Patronus visual ;))

Querying & Quotes

For those of you querying right now – and possibly using the crap out of Query Tracker and Publishers Marketplace in the process – a few encouraging quotes. Feedback, polishing, revising, even rewriting. Don’t give up. If you love and believe in your story, and keep doing your best, I believe things will happen. You have to believe that, or there’s no point, right? Here are a few quotes that are in my head this week:

This from EliteDaily.com:

The difference between the successful minority and the general majority is simply that the former group keeps coming back stronger after each rejection, not letting anyone get to them and deter their efforts in any facet of life. They create no excuses or rationalizations, nor do they accept limits. Those are the people that know how to get what the want and apply the focus and discipline necessary to achieve their ends. They’re resilient, cool and collected. They end up winning.

I recommend the entire article. It can be applied to anything. It’s a great reminder to STOP with the excuses. Take whatever feedback I get about my writing, sift through it for the gold and let the rest go. Out of all the critical feedback (and I don’t mean snarky trolls on contests, etc. because those people will always exist. Don’t feed them. Don’t explain to them. Leave their meanness to their big old meanie selves and move on.) … I’ve forgotten what I was saying. Yes. Out of all the great feedback I’ve been given, I’d say a good 65% of it has truly applied, and made a big difference in a revision. The writing community is overflowing with people who want to help others, even if it’s just a shake of pom-poms.

Most fellow writers want to see your story shine, and will give you advice that if duplicated by others, you probably want to seriously consider. But even the feedback that surprises you, that you bristle at…. give it a shot. Consider how your story would be different if you followed their advice, and if that means writing out a paragraph with their suggestion and comparing it with your original, do it. It just might lead to a world of difference. The smallest suggestions by a recent editor who gave me advice on my first 4 chapters were the ones that made me look at things in a whole new light.

Me on the Isle of Staffa, Scotland, from our trip the other week.
On the Isle of Staffa, Scotland, from our trip last week.

Quote #2 from Max Lucado, one of my favorite inspirational authors, from his book GREAT DAY EVERY DAY:

Do you let anyone who knocks on your door enter your house? Don’t let every thought that surfaces dwell in your mind . . . Negative thoughts never strengthen you. How many times have you cleared a traffic jam with your grumbles? Does groaning about bills make them disappear? “Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life.” (Proverbs 4:23 NCV).

I don’t let just any Joe Blogs in my house, so why the heck do I let every thought that appears in my head linger and grow? So you got one rejection today. Or five. Don’t let those negative thoughts that want to tell you you can’t linger. Don’t let irrational worries hang about. Reject them. I’m trying to learn how. It seems revolutionary to think that I don’t have to let worries, fears, and negativity hang about. Why didn’t someone tell me this before? That, in fact, I’m the only one with the power to make them go away?

Write Motivation June Goals

1) Complete Revision #2 (paper revision) of WIP This is what I’m mostly focused on this month. I’ve never printed a complete MS before. This is scary but it’s amazing. For each chapter, I’m reading and making notes on the paper copy, making noted changes in Scrivener, and then either printing this revised copy to check for errors, or reading on the screen for errors. It’s slow, but I’m cutting so much fat. 
2) Find 2 CPs/betas willing to read as soon as this revision is done!
3) Rewrite synopsis This will come when I finish 1). Might happen this month, but might not, given the month’s craziness.

How’re you doing this month? If you’re not writing, are you working on any goals that you’d like to get in gear for the summer? GOOD LUCK! Try the Pomodoro Technique, if you’re struggling with focus like I’ve been. Have a great week 🙂

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Being a doer.

She looks like she might be worrying, and procrastinating. So much so she’s turned to stone. Don’t let this be you!!

With the #Writemotivation May Goals, I’ve been thinking (see that? Already! Thinking and not doing…) about just getting stuff done rather than deliberating, contemplating, and just generally faffing. If you don’t know the definition of “faffing”, I do think the word is very nearly an onomatopoeia.

And as this blog has been keen to announce publicly, I am a worrier and it is my great goal in life to stop this ridiculous, futile habit. Yesterday I read a great little devotional by Max Lucado about being a “worry-slapper.” He compares worries to mosquitos – and I’ll go one step further and compare it to midges, which if you’ve spent any time in the Scottish Highlands, or Scotland in general, you will know how infuriating these insects are.

Lucado points out that when a mosquito lands on you, you don’t watch it land and think about it. You slap that bugger away immediately. Worry should be no different. Letting it sit and stew and dig its claws into your skin, making it harder to extricate later? No good. As one of my lecturers at Falmouth sagely offered, with regards to plagiarism come dissertation time: “Plagiarism. Crack cocaine. Just don’t.” With a mosquito, you don’t say, “I’ll take care of that in a minute.” You immediately remove it! And anxieties are the same.

Don’t waste an hour wondering what your boss thinks; ask her.  Before you diagnose that blemish as cancer, have it examined.  Instead of assuming you’ll never get out of debt, consult an expert.  Be a doer—not a stewer!

Not just about worry, this topic. Last night I finished reading the second OUTLANDER book by Diana Gabaldon. I meant to go to bed around 10pm, feeling like a cold was coming on, but I had reached 90% of the book on my Kindle and decided I needed with every inch of my being to know how it ended. So I read until 1:30am. I’ll need to write a blog post about Diana’s writing at a later date, but the way her characters have leapt off the page at me (partly thanks to the Scottish setting and historical deliciousness) has gripped my heart and I WOULD. LOVE. TO. WRITE. LIKE. HER. She is fascinating and has such a strong voice for each character, and her writing voice is just brilliant. Like the sun. I’m in love. (And I’m so not a Harlequin/romance fan, at all. I kinda have to breeze through those passages, but they’re still so well written. I just don’t do romance, but her books are not defined as such. They’re too much else.)

It inspired me even more – one more massive block of fuel to the fire under me to write. Just write, as much as I can, as inspired as I can, and stop spending hours a week reading *about* writing. Just GET GOING.

So. Get going 🙂 Don’t let that midge sit around and sink his fangs in. Slap that procrastination–that Pinterest, that Facebook, that pile of dishes that really can wait until 5pm–slap it all away and get moving.

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