Tag Archives: muse chasing

Why Write?

On Saturday I did something I love to do. I spent the day socializing with my peeps at the Colorado Romance Writers mini-con.There was something for everyone. An editor, Kristen Sevick of Tor/Forge, for pitches. A silent auction, which I am happy to report was full of wonderful critiques and gift baskets. And of course a whole day spent sucking up the wisdom of our guest, Kara Lennox.

Kara has published sixty-eight books. Sixty-eight! In an amazing feat Kara provided a one-woman conference, doing workshop after workshop for the whole day. We started with queries, moved through three act structure and right on into movie tricks for romance writers. Her plot-fixers and agent advice finished out a marvelous day of information overload.

Even when its a topic I think I know something about, I still learn something. I took pages and pages of notes and intend on reviewing them to see what I’ve already forgotten. For example, the three act structure. I use a plot structure when I write that is based on something like three act structure. I am going to do exactly what she suggested and peek into my mid-point and see if its where it should be. Did it move during those many revisions?Kara used movies as her examples. She explained that movies are exactly three acts and when you write screenplays, there had better be three acts. Its something I do and something I’ve learned, but the way she explained it has me wanting to pull out my stopwatch and check my Disney movies for their exact mid-points and black moments.

Many authors want to ignore structure and fly by the seat of their pants, but even fly-by-fabric writers should have some sort of map. Kara said many people think the three act structure is hardwired into our brains. That we look for it, and if an author doesn’t stay close to it, the reader feels cheated.

The most exciting thing for me was seeing that even after so many books, and the ups and downs of a long career, Kara is still excited about writing. She loves her plots and characters. She’s written category romance and screenplays and hopes to publish in single title, but the common theme for the long, long, long day was her enthusiasm.

She kept us interested right to the end. I always wondered how anyone could be as prolific as a Harlequin author. How do they keep coming up with new plots that are fresh and interesting book after book. After listening to Kara, I think I know the secret.

She loves it. You can see as she talks that she feels lucky to have made a career out of romance. And who wouldn’t? A lifetime of creating new stories, new characters and new happy ever afters? Why wouldn’t everyone be struggling to do this for a living? Well, maybe because it isn’t the easiest thing to do. You have to be prolific to pay the bills and there are the rejections and revisions.

But seeing someone who has been successful and prolific and still loves writing? That’s a calling. That’s inspirational. That’s who I want to be.

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Filed under channeling success, Optimisim, writing craft

Blog Backlog

Most of you know my goal is to become a published author. Not just published, but a successful author. Might as well aim high. To get there I set goals. And I love setting goals. Every month I review my goals, see what I’ve done and what I haven’t done. But the other thing I do is I try to look ahead. That is a very tough thing for me because I am a procrastinator.

I’ve had some help looking ahead. No, its not my crystal ball. I’ve been able to see authors in my chapter (like Ashley March) and how their experiences went. I also took a fab bootcamp on Riding the Roller Coaster by Angi Morgan.  And now I’m watching my friend Sherry Isaac  get ready for her release date. Wow, is there a tremendous amount of work involved in that.

(Sherry is setting up blog tours right now for July and August, and guess what? I’m excited to announce she will be blogging here in both July and August, so stay tuned for more announcements.)

Both Ashley and Angi were stunned by the amount of work they needed to do when releasing their first book. If you don’t have a website you need to do that. Establish a web presence, learn about self-promotion, get head-shots, business cards. The list goes on and on. Oh and don’t forget edit the book, and they both had to write their second books at the same time.

So I’ve decided to start a backlog of blogs. I may not need to use them. I may have fresh and stunning ideas when my thirty-fifth blog of the week hits. But just in case, I am going to write two blogs a week for the next few months and stash some of them where you can’t see them! Mean, huh. I already have a file of ideas that I have yet to dive into. Its my just-in-case-the-muse-doesn’t-show file. So far, she’s always shown up, so I’m okay. But there will come a day when the fickle bitch doesn’t show up. No, wait, I didn’t mean to call her that! There will come a day when she’s sick, or busy, or just plain too tired and then what am I going to do?

On that day, when I’m not feeling so hot and I’ve committed myself to too many outside activities and the edits are due and the blog is due. On that day I will be ready, because this is one of the many steps I need to take. The step of changing my procrastinating ways and walking on the right side of the muse. And if she doesn’t show up (which I’ve heard she sometimes does) I’ll be ready to walk by myself right over to the blog storage unit and pull out an instant blog. And I’ll be thumbing my nose at the muse as I go.

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Filed under channeling success, Optimisim