Its two days until the Romance Writers Australia (RWA) annual conference, can you tell I am excited???
Spoiler alert: I am!
Last year I attended my first RWA conference, and it was an eye opener. It was full of fantastic craft workshops, great networking events and more importantly, I found my tribe.
I have read countless articles about the importance of finding your tribe, and like many other people, I paid it off. I am at heart an introvert, the last thing I ever want to do is mingle with strangers, but I can honestly say that it was worth it. A writer’s conference is probably the only type of event, where introverts surround you and everyone wants to discuss their favourite books or what they are writing.
If you haven’t worked up the courage yet to attend one, even for a day. Be brave. Take the plunge. It’s worth it!
It’s not cool or adventurous but it will be about goal setting and perhaps more importantly making them into bite size chunks so I actually finish them. I have been currently reading up on SMART* goals and how I can realistically use them. There is no use me stating by 3rd Dec 2019, I will have a publishing deal when;
a. Im haven’t started editing my manuscript
b. I’m still in draft zero of MS # 2
c. I’m still drafting short story #1 of four I want to write this year.
Not to mention work.
And everything else I need to fit in.
As part of being organised, I have decided to foray into the bullet journal world #bujo. I became interested in this early 2018, I bought a journal and then preceded to watch countless YOUTUBE videos on how to do it. For me that was a big mistake. I was overwhelmed by the artistic talent of some of the presenters. After three days, I quickly abandoned the project and every time I caught sight of the journal I started to worry about my lack of organisational skills. Fast forward 11 months, and I achieved about 20 percent of what I wanted to (ironically at my day job I appeared to reach about 90 percent). My work and personal life philosophy ( organised vs. embrace the chaos) was not going to become my ongoing philosophy for 2019.
Here I am on the path to being organised, considering my favourite phrase is I will wing it, this could be interesting.
What goals are you aiming for?
Do you need an accountability partner?
*SMART stands for specific, measurable, assignable, relevant and time based. There are some awesome YOUTUBE videos and articles on it.
Last week of work before I go on annual leave (sooo much excitement!!!). I still have an essay to write and family arrived a day early….oops.
The words have been flowing and I have embraced trying to write everyday, but more importantly to not beat myself up if I am too tired too or if life sometimes gets in the way. There is always tomorrow.
This week I am celebrating the small wins and the achievement of my small goals. Each tiny step brings me closer to the end. And it’s the journey that counts, right?
Have you had any wins this week?
That may not seem like an achievement but two months ago I deleted over 20k and was left with hundreds of words and a story I still wanted to write but knew I had gone in the wrong direction with. I am grateful, I picked it up at the 20k mark and not at the 50k mark, but I will be honest, it took me a while to get back into it. The thought of discarding the story and moving on did cross my mind, but those pesky characters kept popping up and saying hi, reminding me they existed.
So here I am, three months behind schedule, but I think with a better understanding of my story (its still has its plot bumps I’m working through) and my characters.
For the writerly people out there, have you ever had to stop and bin large amount of words because it wasn’t working. Does it get easier when you have more experience?
There are some books on writing that teach you more than just writing, Stephen King’s On writing is one of those. I stumbled across this book a few years ago and dutifully bought myself a copy, where it lived on my bookshelf (with a few others of its kind) just collecting dust. Last year I decided to get serious about my writing – and learn more about the craft.
The hype around the book is true, King has created a masterclass into some of his key points about writing and has given the reader an insight into his writing career. Through the highs and the lows of his life.
You sometimes forget that even King had to start somewhere – I particularly appreciated the way kept his rejections letters as a reminder.
I know there have been various posts on why this book is a must read for King fans and for writers – I will caveat this as this advice may not be suited to you. There is no right or wrong way to write- as long as you write.
The top three points that resonated with me- trust me, this was a hard pick, and to be truthful, this points work for me now. The next time I re-read this book, other points may jump out.
Write with the door closed.
Give yourself time to create your world. Don’t worry about the rejections and the judgments that you are continuously imagining. That comes later. It will not be perfect, but you can’t edit a blank page.
Have an ideal reader.
Not everyone will love your writing. You will have people who wont like your genre, your characterisations or your plot. It is not your job to be a people pleaser. I adored the fact the King’s ideal reader is his wife Tabby, and that she critiques his work.
3. Write, write write, read, read, read.
Do you have a draw full of half finished manuscripts and stories? It was only when I did my recent move (with my parents urging me to take the last of my boxes) that I realised I had a handful of notebooks with half written stories a reminder of how I had spent my teenage years. It also reminded me of why I wanted to write. Daydreaming about far away worlds and kickass heroines was a big part of my childhood. And who doesn’t love losing themselves into someone else’s world.
Have you read On Writing? Do you have any takeaway points?