I’m super excited about 2017. It’s going to be a great year!
Kitty Bucholtz decided to combine her undergraduate degree in business, her years of experience in accounting and finance, and her graduate degree in creative writing to become a writer-turned-independent-publisher. Her novels, Little Miss Lovesick, A Very Merry Superhero Wedding, and Unexpected Superhero are currently available on Amazon . The free short story Superhero in Disguise and the new short story Welcome to Loon Lake are available wherever ebooks are sold. You can find out about her courses on self-publishing, marketing, and time management for writers at her website Writer Entrepreneur Guides.
Monica Stoner, Member at Large
There’s been a lot of discussion lately about the ‘luck’ intrinsic for success in the publishing world. And it sounds like a great discussion. Except, well…hogwash. Yeah, you heard me right, that’s pretty much a lot of bilge water emptying into the ocean. Sure there’s luck involved. Absolutely some writers just happen on to the right publisher, the right agent, at the right time. But, as Harry Stone (Night Court…remember him?) pointed out, he might have been on the bottom of the list of judges to appoint, but he was on the list. He had done the work and made the effort to qualify for that list.
By the same token, we can gag at the overwhelming popularity of writers whose books just aren’t that good, at least in our educated minds. We can point fingers at the lack of logic, or the grammar issues, but the fact is they’ve written those books, generally a lot of those books. And those books are what their fans want to be reading. While we’re stressing over the poor writing, they’ve written another book, and again it’s at the top of the Amazon rankings.
Maybe luck does have something minor part to play in readers enjoying their work. But luck has nothing to do with them producing that work. As much as we want to bow down to our muse, or curse the lack thereof, the relevant issue here is just plain hard work. They possess a work ethic that has them at the keyboard early and late, that doesn’t allow them to check e-mail or cruise Facebook until their pages are done, and their word count is met. Are they the best writers in the universe? Maybe, maybe not. But if quality of writing is based on the books which are written, and not those being mulled over in the mind of the writer…then yeah they probably are.
Okay, this is a bit of a whine since my work ethic is pretty much down the tubes. But I’m giving up complaining about luck, and even being envious of someone else’s ability to get things done. All of this produces artificial road blocks to accomplishing any sort of goal…and I’m getting a lot better at setting those goals. Who’s ready to start that journey of a million words with me???
I realize I’m late putting fingers on keyboard and sharing this month’s thoughts. If you have just a minute more I need to share my thoughts on the loss of a wonderful woman who believed in me when I didn’t always believe in myself. Simply said, be at peace Barbara. You touched so many lives.
Monica writes as Mona Karel
Over the years Iâ€™ve made numerous resolutions, some of them Iâ€™ve managed to follow through successfully, many others Iâ€™ve given up on months, weeks and sometimes even just days after making the resolution. This year, Iâ€™m looking back over the past year and previous resolutions, and I have a new resolution, one Iâ€™ve never made before.
1992 my resolutions were to lose weight (I had just given birth to my third son), be perfectly groomed, have a perfect home and write a column for my local newspaperâ€¦.I got the column and wrote it for 4 years.
1998 my resolutions were to lose weight, be perfectly groomed, have a perfect home, and homeschool my younger boysâ€¦.hahahahaha, well I did homeschool the boys and any of you who have homeschooled know exactly what happened to the rest of those resolutions.
2002 my resolutions were to lose weight, be perfectly groomed, move to Wyoming, have a perfect home and write. We moved to Wyoming.
2008 my resolutions were to lose weight, move back to California, be perfectly groomed and writeâ€¦.we moved back to California
2012 I resolved to lose weight, be perfectly groomed, have a perfect home and write a novel. I wrote the first draft of my novel, and began editing.
So my resolution for 2013â€¦to stop making resolutions and set goals.
When I look back at my list of resolutions, I noticed that each of the things that I actually achieved became a goal. I actually planned and followed steps to achieve my goal. The other things just stayed â€˜resolutionsâ€™. I resolved to â€˜lose weightâ€™, and had good intentions to do so even lost a few pounds here and there (and gained them back), but never made a plan that I could follow, never set real goals. I resolved to have a â€˜perfect homeâ€™, but of course I had three sons, a husband and a dog, seriouslyâ€¦probably not a reasonable goal!!
So for 2013 my new resolution is to set goals, and these are my goals:
I will have my first novel ready to submit by Valentineâ€™s, and the first draft of my second book done by July.
Iâ€™ll learn to write on the computer, instead of in a spiral notebook with a ten cent bic pen, although I really love to write that wayâ€¦.because now that I have a day job, Iâ€™ll never reach my first goal unless I make this my second.
Iâ€™ll have a manicure at least once a month. (Iâ€™m going to have to slowly work up to â€˜perfectly groomedâ€™.)
As for the perfect house, hahahahaha, Iâ€™m a writer. Did anyone really think that would happen?
So OCC members, are you making resolutions or setting goals? What do you plan to accomplish this year? Tell us right here, and weâ€™ll get back to you this time next year and compare notes!!
Happy New Year everyone, see you at the January meeting
I’m thinking of going on a diet after years of eating whatever I wanted, which reminded me of this entry from the Urban Dictionary.
I subscribe to their free Word of the Day and find many of them quite entertaining.
June Year’s Resolution:
A New Year’s Resolution that starts June 1st instead of January 1st. This is assuming the original act of self improvement has failed from January to June and it is time to start over with something else.
Tim: “I thought you quit smoking as your New Year’s Resolution?”
Eric: “Yeah, I tried but… I’m going to work out instead. It’s my June Year’s Resolution.”
June is a good time to reassess those New Year’s Resolutions or goals or whatever you want to call them. If you made any resolutions or goals, that is. If you’re like me, it’s all too easy to drift through life, letting each day run its course and focusing on whatever seems most urgent. Lately I seem to feel more and more unable to focus. I used to have an adult attention span, but now I seem to have one more like a two-year-old. I don’t know if it’s the passing years or the fractured nature of modern life. So many things compete for our attention: 24-hour news cycles on TV, email, blogs, Twitter, FaceBook, etc.
Recently I started reading Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life by Winifred Gallagher, who says “The skillful management of attention is the key to happiness and fulfillment. Live the focused life.”
This is good advice for any writer, as the act of writing requires our focused, rapt attention. It has been a while since I’ve really been able to get caught up in writing a story.
Dieting requires focus, too, since the dieter has to pay attention to what goes in the mouth, not just nibble mindlessly. Maybe being able to focus on one will help me focus on another. Wish me luck.
What about you? How are you doing with your goals and resolutions?