I’m taking a page from Michael Hyatt’s playbook and trying to write ALL my blog posts for the next week or two in ONE day. Whew! The good news is that I get to write all day! Haha! The other good news is that with my brain focused on one thing, I’m writing better blog posts, though I’m not sure if it’s taking me any less time. (Maybe if I do this regularly it will go faster, but not yet.)
The other interesting thing is that my posts are becoming somewhat thematic as I write them all today. Everything I’ve wanted to write has to do with encouragement in one form or another. (Due to the luck of what day the 9th fell on this month, because that’s my blog day here, I have three posts hitting three different websites today!)
From a writing perspective, I want to encourage you to keep asking “Why?” John and I went to the East Valley Authors annual writers retreat last Saturday and had a great time. But on the way home, one or the other of us would start muttering, “Oh damn…” Laurie Schnebly Campbell taught two workshops on character motivation for the whole day, and it was startling to suddenly realize what you thought was your character’s motivation was just your author reasoning. It was a great day and Laurie gave everyone a lot to think about.
It also made me reconsider my own motivations. Why am I doing what I’m doing? And as Laurie said, “And why is that? And why is that?” After some work, you get another “sudden” revelation about the real why. Whether it’s for your character or for figuring out yourself, it’s good stuff.
When you are feeling tired or disheartened about your writing career, I want to encourage you to ask yourself why. The initial answer might be, “I write so slowly, I’m not getting many books out.” Or “I’m published but not selling many books.” Or “I self-published to make more money and I’m not making much.” Whatever the first answer is, ask yourself why about that. Why do you write slowly? Why aren’t you selling many books? Why do you have these expectations about money? And why is that? And why is that?
As you keep going deeper into the “why?” follow-ups, you may find your deepest motivation is something entirely different. Maybe it’s not money or fame that drives you, but a craving for respect from a significant person in your life who values money or fame. Maybe it’s not storytelling that drives you write, but the need for an inexpensive creative outlet. Who knows? You won’t even know until you start asking these questions.
I’ve learned some difficult things about myself over the years. Not having financial success makes me feel like I haven’t moved away from my poorer, other-side-of-the-tracks roots. I do write to tell the stories in my head, but I mostly write for the same reasons I teach – to connect with others and share what I’ve learned and entertain them in the process.
Knowing these things helps me understand why some advice from other writers works for me and some doesn’t. For instance, the “write every day” advice or the people who say “I have to write every day because I can’t not write” – that doesn’t inspire or motivate me because I can get the same high from teaching, and I can write every day for weeks, then not at all for a month or two, and I’m still quite happy. Up until recently, I felt guilty about that! I thought I had to feel the way “everyone else” feels in order to be “a real writer.”
I hope this helped you think about your career from a new perspective. If you’re interested in a more spiritual bit of encouragement, check out my “7 Steps to Building a Great Business and a Great Life” post on my author website. And if you’re giving some thought to quitting your writing, read “If You’re a Writer in Need of a Cheerleader” on Writer Entrepreneur Guides where I teach and share on writing topics.
Good luck! You can do it!
Join us and spend the day with the one and only Deb Dixon, author of the classic GMC: Goal, Motivation, and Conflict and publisher of Belle Books. Deb will lead us through her Book In A Day program. This full-day workshop includes GMC and the Hero’s Journey. It’s affectionately called “Book In A Day” because the workshop provides all the tools a writer needs to pull a book together. Whether you’re a new author or a veteran, you can benefit from her insights!
Space is limited, so register today.
September 16, 2017
9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
$45 for MCRW Members, $55 for all other RWA Members
Registration Deadline: August 31, 2017
I’ve attended many RWA National Conferences over the years–but not the most recent one.
There were several reasons I didn’t get to Orlando this year. Did I miss it? Sure. Even so, I got to follow friends on social media sites and see who won awards and learn who I could have seen there had I attended. Some of those were fellow OCC members, whom I’ve been missing since I haven’t been able to attend local chapter meetings lately, either.
So now, here I am, blogging about something I didn’t see. And I know I couldn’t possibly learn about it all by checking out friends’ Facebook posts or even talking to or emailing friends who attended. What would I like to do about it?
I’m asking here for anyone who attended who reads this to tell me: What did I miss? What was your favorite thing about this year’s RWA National Conference?
And those of you who also missed it–have you ever gone to one of the RWA Nationals? Why did you choose to go that year, or others, but not this one? Do you attend your local chapter meetings? Other romance writing conferences? Writing conferences for other genres?
Okay, enough questions–maybe. Next year’s RWA National will be in Denver. Will I be there? Too early to tell, but I hope so!
I apologize for the repost. I recently returned from vacation and I’m still playing catch up. However this repost, fits in with my vacation. I was in Paris for 12 days…3 days for business and the balance was vacation.
I love Paris…I thought I would say that.
Anyway, Paris has been a secondary character in some of my books. The series this blog post is about, THE GOOD GIRL Part Deux, spent some time in Paris. On my most recent trip, I tried walking around the city and seeing it in the eyes of my heroine Gabriella. I took some time to make mental notes for the third book in the series. I had hoped to have the book written so when I went I could verify things or make changes. That didn’t happen because I was busy finishing a different book.
My family and I had the pleasure of having French High Tea at the Paris Ritz. French High Tea is completely different from English High Tea. Gotta say, I like the French way better. Back to my story. We arrived early and were given a mini tour then left to explore the hotel on our own. We stopped in a jewelry store and of course I tried on some things. But the staff reminded me of some things I’d forgotten. One, Coco Chanel died at the Paris Ritz. I’m a fashion girl so that resonated with me, big time. Plus we were just a few streets away from the original Chanel Store and Coco’s home. I was in fashion girl heaven. Second, the Ritz is where Princess Diana and Dodi Fayeed were right before they…
I told the staff I was a writer and I was doing a little research for an upcoming book. They was very helpful and offered to give me advice on jewelry and share some of the amazing love stories that had taken place at the hotel. That got me thinking about a new direction for the next installment of THE GOOD GIRL.
All that to say, this is why I chose to replay this post. I’m mentally getting prepared to start THE GOOD GIRL Part Trois.
Have a great summer and see you next month.
I have come to a crossroads with a set of characters and I can’t believe the angst I’m feeling or maybe it’s heart-break?
me explain.This past summer, I had the privilege of being in my first box set. YEAH! My contribution to the Fling box set was The Good Girl novella. I wrote this book knowing there would be more to the story. However, I didn’t expect to become as attached to the characters as I am. That fondness is supposed to be reserved for my characters in The Alex Chronicles. After all, we’ve been together for years—that’s not an exaggeration. [Read my previous posts for details on that series. And for the record, The Alex Chronicles is still my baby.]
Gabriella and Phillippe, my heroine and protagonist from The Good Girl, are infants compared to Alexandra [Alex] and Moses, the stars of The Alex Chronicles series. Alex and Moses and I have been through a lot. That’s not an exaggeration. I wrote three books, well four if you count the prequel that can testify to the longevity of our relationship.When it came time to cause havoc between Alex and Moses, I had no problem doing it—yes, I cried inside when he—okay, I can’t tell you anymore because it might spoil it for you. But it was a difficult breakup. However, the possibility of Gabriella and Phillippe breaking up, is causing me great consternation and I don’t know why.
The difference in this proposed breakup might have something to do with the fact that I don’t know what will happen next. I guess that’s what happens when you’re a pantser. Maybe if I was a plotter, I’d feel different. In that respect, I’m like my readers, excited about the surprise outcome, sitting on the edge of my seat wondering what will happen next. Wondering if a HEA will exist for these two. If or when you read part two, a HEA seems inevitable. I think a breakup would be a shock to some readers and a given to others. Either way. I need a major shake up, otherwise the series will become a two hit wonder.
To prepare myself for the inevitable, I’ve started a new playlist complete with sad love songs. I’ve got some wine and popcorn, even reading books with devastating, heartbroken heroines, to get me in the right frame of mind. So far, I just can’t bring myself to break Gabriella and Phillippe up. I could write the breakup, but what if they don’t find their way back to each other. Yes, it would open the door to another book or would it? Another strike against being a pantser—know it all characters. It’s all Gabriella and Phillippe’s fault. Why can’t they be like Alex and Moses. Those two made it perfectly clear how their relationship was going to play out from the moment they met.
I’ve trusted Gabriella and Phillippe through two books. I have to admit, I was surprised at the story they told in Part Two. Trust is the key word here. I have to trust my ability to tell a story that will engage my readers, yet not be boring or predictable. Talk about a challenge. Like Carrie Underwood said, “Jesus take the wheel.”
In my quest to over think, I came up with a few reasons why they would breakup.
Have Phillippe realize he really can’t deal with a non sexual relationship. Which makes him look like the typical self-absorbed Alpha Billionaire in training with a slight French accent.
Then there’s the shocker that she doesn’t want to get married and she just considers this a great first love. Sounds good, but makes her look like a gold-digging whore, I mean tramp.
Or, I could go with the classic, she loses her virginity to him, gets pregnant and he doesn’t want to have anything to do with her or the baby. This would paint her as a naive single mother, with an uncertain future and a whole lot of anger.
Last but not least, a dreaded family secret preventing him from continuing the relationship. Problem with that one is it makes him look a little weak and that goes against the image I’ve created of him.
I would love to see a HEA, but these characters may not. Unlike Alex and Moses, I broke them up a couple of times. Oh crap! I wasn’t supposed to tell you that, but I didn’t tell you how their story plays out. I’ll just say this, I have a playlist loaded with sad love songs.
I also don’t think this angst would be such a big deal if the book hadn’t been as successful as it has. I’ll rephrase that. I hoped it would do well, but this is a surprise blessing. Yes, I called my book that’s packed with a few steamy innuendos and a blessing.
About a month before the free promotion, while it was still at regular price, it got to #167 without any promotion. When I did my first KDP Five Free Days, it made it all the way to #2 in one of my categories on Amazon. I stopped trying to figure out why it’s being received so well. And to be honest, I don’t care. I’m just grateful and thankful to God that it is doing well. This little book, is a great gateway to my other books.
Back to my problem, how to deal with my broken heart. Sunday or maybe it was late Saturday night. Anyway, I really started feeling a sense of loss towards this book. Sunday I picked up The Good Girl Part Two and started on the revisions and the more I read, the clearer it became that I needed to do something drastic. I kicked around ideas, all of which caused me more grief than relief. It was well around one in the morning when I gave up fighting, prayed and went to sleep.
Later, when I woke up, during my prayer time, I got a revelation for a possible plot idea. I’m not going to share it, in case those two bossy characters decide they want to go in another direction. I will say this, it will be emotionally painful to write, however, I think it’s going to lead to the perfect next step.
Funny thing, long before the dread of the breakup popped up, another scene began to bounce around my head, and it’s good. At least I think it is. Only problem, once I write it, I think that’s when the real heart-break will come, because it will be the end of Gabriella and Phillippe’s story as I see it. As writers you know a series never really ends, it just gives birth to a another baby.
So I have a few questions for you. How do you handle the breakup of your characters? Do you find it difficult to breakup your characters perfect relationship? Is the road to HEA easy or painful for you?