On the seventh day of Christmas, he Tartness gave to us...
Seven Success Secrets...
Six Writing Tasks
Five Sii---illy Songs
Three Christmas Lists
Two Tartlet MinisAnd a Boy Toy on a Hay Bale
Quite a mouthful, huh? I dare you to say it seven times fast!
And today's blog is short short short, as I have a ton to do and normally skip one of my weekends days, but didn't want to break my flow...
Disclaimer: I am not yet successful in the 'getting published' version, which is the REAL success I am striving for, but I think I've successfully managed to set up a system that allows me to persevere as a writer... something completely necessary if I ever hope to achieve the OTHER kind of success.
1) Healthy Alter Ego: I think writers have much of their ego tied up in their books and that is okay. What DOESN'T work is to have our soul tied into the publishing process. Too much of it is beyond our control. This is perhaps the worst time in AGES to try to break into the market. Between the economy and the shake up caused by e-books and alternate publishing routes (POD, for instance, not to mention the bastard step-child, self-publishing). The industry is redefining itself and it may take a while, so agents and publishers are being conservative. An agent I respect greatly posted stats last week. In 2009 she received 38,000 queries and took on 6 new clients. Do you SEE the impossibility of breakthrough there? This is a process you CAN'T take personally. I recommend having a thick skinned, alternate self step in to do this for you--one that can let the $hit slide off the back side without having a breakdown.
2) Dungeon with toy collection: For those of you unfamiliar, this is my set of fantasy boy toys who keep me amused when reality becomes to much to cope with.
3) Alternate Universe: this is related, of course, but my dive into the Potterverse opened the writing doors for me. It gave me a practicing ground with friendly people willing to give feedback as I learned to write for mass consumption instead of myself. I think this give and take, this formation of friendships over common interest was absolutely the kind of safe place we all need when we first are ready to share. My first ever 'shared' novel is called The Other Prince and is still available at HPANA.com. Had I not written it, I would not know most of my writing group, and I certainly would never have developed the habits and esteem to move forward with something original that I wanted to share with the world.
4) Cheeky Blog: This ability to vent and connect has introduced me to new people, maintained my sanity, and has added another layer of discipline. It is both about the writing and sharing AND the reading and giving feedback. I've even taken up a collection of Scots since I started, which I know makes me the envy of all.
5) A Fabulous Dutch Boy: Everyone needs a friend like Joris. He has not only helped me, but my writing group on numerous occasions. As a writing group we tend to... you know... write, but sometimes we need something somebody can LOOK AT. He helped with our website, our logo, and has helped me with graphics when I am in need (note yesterdays book covers), whether that is need for a story, or need of entertainment.
6) THE BURROW: We are four score blondes and brunettes (except the five red-heads) between sixteen and nineteen and a half... No wait... This group of people is my family. I've waxed poetic about them often, but and so frequently reminded how much I adore them all. I couldn't keep plugging away without them.
And finally... as the Muggle Studies Career Flier at Hogwarts says...
7) Mostly you just need a good sense of fun. If you can't figure out how to work this process into something amusing, it will eat you alive. It's not any wonder at all that so many writers were depressed, but I don't think we are doomed.
So there! Everything you need to know... other than how to write, I mean...