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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Write Motivation Mega-Post! May & June

Well, hello there, puffin!

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Yes, it’s a gratuitous puffin, but he’s still adorable, isn’t he? I kinda lost the plot with the end of May’s #writemotivation as it was our first wedding anniversary (which also means it’s been over a year since I started participating in #writemotivation! Woohoo!). We flew up to Glasgow and took the train to Oban for a tour of Mull, Staffa, and Lunga (Inner Hebridean islands) for the express purpose of seeing puffins!

And that we did. I took over 200 photos of puffins, mostly from about 2-3 feet away. They’re absolutely adorable, and on Lunga, they practically nip at your toes. They’re the sweetest creatures I’ve ever seen, and I could’ve watched them for much longer than the 2 hours we had. The tour group (Turus Mara) call that part of the tour “puffin therapy” with good reason. It’s quite soothing to watch them waddling around and posing 🙂 A lot of travel to see these little guys, but we’ve tried before on a different tour and failed, so this was well worth it!

We were away for 4 days and while I did get some writing done in that time, blogging about it didn’t happen. So I’m here to say, I *nearly* finished my goals. I had 2 for May, and the one I nearly finished was my first revision of my WIP. I finished the first draft in April, and I wanted to have a complete edit done in May. I fell about 4 chapters short, but I will have completed this by the end of tomorrow. I can live with that.

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Fingal’s Cave, on the isle of Staffa. Fascinating place!

And on to my June #Writemotivation Goals:

1) Complete Revision #2 (paper revision) of WIP. The first pass this month was just to tidy up some nonsensical sections, fill in some gaps, and generally smooth it over. This time I need to crack down on back story and passive voice! I hope to print out my WIP in its entirety on Tuesday/Wednesday to get started. I’ve never done this before – never did it with my first MS (which may go some way to explaining its thus far lack of success).
2) Find 2 CPs/betas willing to read as soon as this revision is done! I believe I have two of these already 😀
3) Rewrite synopsis. This will be the last thing I do this month, after I’ve done Revision #2 and cleaned it up a bit.

I have high hopes for this month, despite the fact that I’ve got a rather large, exciting distraction for the last 2 weeks of the month. That means I need to work SUPER HARD for the first 2 weeks. We’ll give it a go.

A friend mentioned the Pomodoro Technique which I’d never heard of before, but I’ve certainly seen those little tomato kitchen timers enough. I downloaded a free app and I started it today. I work much better to a timer, I discovered, probably for purely psychological reasons. Check it out if you think you could use a bit of help with time management!

And good luck this month! 😀

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McCaig’s Tower in Oban

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