My Twitter Journey aka Gushing

For years, I have been working at writing screenplays.  Only recently have I ventured into the novel writing arena.  With this newest venture, a whole new world has been opened up for me.  First came Nanowrimo (aka National Novel Writing Month).  I have met some awesome local writers who have become great friends and who keep me on task.  Next came Twitter and an entire universe unfolded before me.

Here are even more people like me! All writing. All struggling. All in the same boat. Together. People who understand me and what it feels like to write—create.   And the access to people! Not sure what to name a character? Send a tweet out and get tons of answers seconds later.  Curious how long it took someone to write their about-to-be published work? Ask.  There’s a good chance they will answer.

When I first joined Twitter, I had no clue what on earth I was doing.  Thank goodness for @mixeduppainter (you should follow her, she is awesomely sarcastic and just as awesomely talented).  She helped me find some people to follow and gain some followers myself.  As I played around, I came across the hashtag (#) writeclub.  There’s a club on Twitter for us? I asked what this fabulous #writeclub was all about.  @MeganWhitmer and @MeganPasch answered me and I was hooked.  People from all across the country writing together on Twitter on Friday nights.  They also occasionally sneak a quick session on other days, but the main event is on Fridays.

As I continued to meet new people, I also started to follow their journeys.  Namely, the journeys of @MeganWhitmer and @LeighAnnKopans.  I respect these two ladies and was intrigued by the bits of their stories that I was coming to understand.  It was from following these two on Twitter that I found out what CP’s are. That’s critique partners for those of you who didn’t know what that meant either.

The more I got on Twitter, the more I stalked these two for the wealth of knowledge that they are.  Don’t get me wrong, I stalk plenty of people so don’t think I’m leaving you out.  I probably stalk you or will stalk you given the chance.  Anywho, back to my point.  As I followed Megan and Leigh Ann, I found myself cheering them on and praying for them to get published.  Watching their struggles made me want more and more for them to accomplish their dreams.

So, I find myself blogging my gushing pride for two people I’ve never met because 140 Twitter characters cannot describe how excited you can get for someone to accomplish their dreams before your eyes.  These two women are not the only ones I’m rooting for.  There’s a whole slew of writers that I am eagerly awaiting great news for.  One of which is @mixeduppainter who is not quite to querying, but when she is, I will be crying with her through rejections and doing a dance when she gets to that pinnacle of being published.  And @careytorg who is currently querying is another I am rallying for.

If you’re not on Twitter, you really should be.  Not just for the fabulous friends you will make, but for the knowledge you can gain.  And seeing someone succeed is a nice bonus, too.

Lastly, Megan’s and Leigh Ann’s book are not out yet, but they will be soon so you should totally go and read them.  Between will be out in 2014 and One is coming June 11, 2013 with its sequel Two out October 2013.  One and Two will be self-published so stay tuned for more info.  Or check out their blogs to stay informed:

http://meganwhitmer.blogspot.com/

http://leighannkopans.blogspot.com/

Oh, and if you have a sudden urge to get on Twitter, besides all the above, there are numerous others that would take too long to put here that you should follow.  Follow me @seeredwrite and I can suggest writers of all shapes and sizes for you to follow.  Some of my lovely Twitter friends write for this other cool blog:

http://samuraiscribes.wordpress.com/

I Am Me And That’s OK

I’m not good enough, fast enough, determined enough. I’m not…enough. I say: enough of that. I’m not everyone else and the faster this seeps into my thick skull, the better.  I, like half of the human race, compare myself.  I constantly think that if other writers (fill in the blank), then I should, too.  But nothing in life is one size fits all. No, not even the clothing that says that. Have you ever tried that stuff on? No? I thought so.

As I sit here wishing I could will myself to start the next round of edits, I know that forcing it will get me nowhere.  I know me.  I know what are stupid ideas and what is best.  I may question these things from time to time, but deep down, I know what I need to do.  Watching other writers that can find ways to write 365 days a year, I feel like I am not a true writer.  I am doing it wrong.  If I was really dedicated, I would do it.  I’m a slacker.  Screw that.  Just because my methods aren’t in every article about writing, does not mean they are wrong or less productive.  They are just different.

 I have other things in my life that unfortunately help dictate my writing schedule and levels of productivity.  Doesn’t everyone?  Finding a way to work around these is my biggest challenge.  How we deal with those challenges are uniquely our own.

This is true for the general path other writers take.  I see some who write their first drafts and have them edited to shiny perfection in a matter of months.  That so isn’t me–at least not yet.  Who knows for the future, but it sure isn’t my way right now.  And others manage to secure an agent in the time it takes a person to sneeze. This is may not be my experience so I plan to expect for months and months of grueling rejection letters. Should things turn out differently, I can be pleasantly surprised.

No matter what the other “guy” is doing, I need to do what is best for me and so should you.  Everyone should forge their own path.  Well, figuratively since if we all did that literally, we’d kill the forest, but you get the drift.

So when I am feeling sorry for myself and annoyed that I am not doing what I’m “supposed” to be doing, I remember that rest is good.  Frivolous distractions are even better.  Sometimes getting my mind off the frustration that I am not writing or able to write is the best thing.  Letting my mind wander often brings out new story ideas.

Moral of the story: don’t get caught up in what everyone else is doing.  Take their advice and use what works for you, but don’t feel like you have to be like anyone else.  No path is ever the same even if they look similar.

2013 And All it Has to Offer

So everyone seems to be making their year-end or resolution posts.  I suppose this is along those lines.  There’s something about putting my goals in writing for others to see terrifying and perfect.  They are out there, and I can’t exactly take them back. Not to mention, the more I say my goals out loud, the more real and doable they seem.

Without further ado, my goals for 2013 (in no particular order):

1. Contests. Enter them. Enter them ALL. Ok, well maybe not ALL of them, but still, I think there are some good benefits to entering contests.  I already have a screenwriting one in my sights, I will have to research more on the novel front.  I’ve seen tons of comments about meeting their CP’s or even finding an agent from a contest. While I’m not sure what to expect, exactly, I feel entering a contest gives me a deadline of sorts and hope to get feedback on what works and what doesn’t with my novel.

2. Finish editing and polish my current work in progress till it shines. I have some great notes to start off with and ideas churning from those notes.  I hope that this novel will be good enough to send out into the world by May.  Yes, I gave it a quasi-date. May.

3. Query. This obviously has to follow #2 as the novel needs to be finished before I move on to this step.  I also need to start working on my query letter since I have an irksome feeling it will take me multiple drafts before that is ready, too.  I have started researching a few agents so I am ready when the time comes. I do like my preparation.

4. Write. I suppose this one should go unsaid, but I have specifics. I have at least 2 novels I want to get through the first drafts. I would also like to get at least 1 screenplay done.

5. Edit the 3 screenplays I finished last year. Work on getting an agent and selling one of these as well.

6. Work on my critiquing skills. While I love other people to read and give feedback on my work, I lack this ability and find it unfair to ask someone something I cannot do.

7. Apply more. That is all I can say on that without getting myself in possible trouble.

8. Go to a convention.

9. Meet peeps from Twitter.  Both 8 and 9 depend on $$ so we shall see if these are possibilities.

While I am sure I can think of more, these are the main ones floating around my brain day after day.  And I think keeping my list small is not only more doable, but easier to focus my attention on rather than splitting my time in too many ways.  What are your goals? Share them here so others can help hold you accountable!

Whatever you hope to achieve, may 2013 be a prosperous and happy year for us all!