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The Write Way……….

November 17, 2008 by in category The Write Way by Maureen Child tagged as ,

My big worry this weekend was the deadline hovering over my head like a razor sharp machete just waiting to swing down and well….you know.
Then the fires kicked off. That’s a picture of the sun taken from my front porch and we were about forty miles from the closest fire. The smoke and ash in the air were incredible and the yellow light coloring the world was extremely weird.
But, since we are Orange County Romance Writers, I want to put this hope out there that all of our friends and their families came through these wildfires safely. There are a lot of things more important than deadlines.
Maureen Child is the author of more than 100 romance novels and novellas. She’s diving back into deadline mode now………..
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The Write Way

October 17, 2008 by in category Writing tagged as

Yep, I can’t believe it either, but it’s contest season again!

I know, you’re wondering what this has to do with writing. Well, a couple of things, actually.

If you’re unpublished, contests give you the opportunity for lots of feedback from not only published authors, but sometimes editors as well. I’m not saying the judges you get will all be kind, or even right. But when you’re first starting out, getting some objective opinions on your writing is a good thing.

You don’t necessarily want to make every change suggested by your judges, but if two or three of them mention the same thing, then that’s a sure sign for you to sit down and do some thinking.

If you’re unpublished, but further along the ol’ career path, contests are a great way to get your work noticed by people who might be in the position to buy it!

Published writers love contests because mainly, we like the badge jewelry! Let’s face it, we all want pins and things cluttering up our name badges and finaling and winning a contest gives you some great little trinkets. But there are other reasons, too. Say you make the finals of a prestigious contest or two. Then you get to email or phone your editor and agent to spread the news. They in turn spread that news everywhere else. Marketing hears about it, publicity and maybe even other houses who just might sit up and take notice…

My point is, contest season is time consuming and expensive. But enter as many as you can. You have nothing to lose and lots to gain.

Maureen Child is the author of more than one hundred romance novels and novellas. She is currently bagging up her RITA entries.

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The Write Way………

August 17, 2008 by in category Archives, The Write Way by Maureen Child tagged as ,

Ahhhh………another year, another conference!
Hard to believe National has already come and gone…….But here we are. We’ve mostly recovered, we’ve filed away all the notes and tidbits we picked up in San Francisco, and we’ve finally finished dissecting every conversation we had, looking for the ways we screwed up or said the wrong thing!
Time to move on. And what does that mean, you ask??
It means it’s back to work. Back to writing. Back to racking up the daily page count and meeting all of those deadlines. Whether they’re self imposed or set down in contracts, meeting those deadlines counts.
Did you get a request for a partial from one of the editors or agents you met at conference? Then don’t just sit there, get it shined up and out the door. And while your baby is sitting on that desk, tapping its proverbial toes, waiting to be read, you should be sitting at YOUR desk, working on the next proposal. Don’t sit there fingers crossed, hoping for luck.
Build your own luck.
I’m not sure who said it originally, but I heard a great quote in one of the workshops at conference……..If you want to succeed, double your failure rate………
Makes sense. You’ll never succeed if you’re not trying. So get those proposals out there. Take a shot. Make your dreams come true while you’ve still got time!
Maureen Child is the author of more than 100 romance novels and novellas. Right now, she’s typing crazily, rushing to meet those deadlines………
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The Write Way…(because there is no Right way)

July 17, 2008 by in category The Write Way by Maureen Child tagged as ,

Almost conference time! Amazing that it’s already rolled around again, but now that it has, the annual panic is setting in!
For those of us attending National, we’ve started the downhill slide into pre-conference madness.
There are the pages you didn’t get done, the dry-cleaning you still have to pick up, the packing you’re sure to start a week before you leave so you don’t forget anything and the plans you’re making to meet up with friends we see only once a year.
And in the middle of the hub-bub, there’s you know…..WORK. Conference, as much fun as it is, is also your annual chance to learn from the veterans. All of us can stand to learn a few things, not just the newbies among us. Agents, editors, multi published writers are all giving workshops and this is an opportunity not to be missed.
But do yourself a favor. Don’t try to make all of them. Go over the workshop schedule. Find a few every day that REALLY interest you and go to them. If you spend your whole conference racing from one spot to another, you won’t have time to appreciate any of it. You can by the CD’s of all the workshops and listen to them when you get home.
At National, make the most of meeting other writers, talking about your books, your plans, listening to someone else. If you’re meeting with an editor or an agent, don’t sweat the pitch, just describe your book BRIEFLY and listen carefully to what they tell you. Conference is our annual shot at reconnecting with the only people in the world who actually understand how we feel about writing. Relish it.
And make notes. I’m going to want to hear all about it at the August meeting………..
Maureen Child is the author of more than 100 romance novels and novellas and is at the moment, doing her mental packing….
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The Write Way (because there is no Right way)….

June 17, 2008 by in category The Write Way by Maureen Child tagged as ,

Writing is a business.

Sure, being a stay at home, full time writer is the best job in the world, but it’s still a job. And you have to treat it like one.

Have set hours when you work. Doesn’t matter when they are–morning, afternoon, the middle of the night. But set that time aside and make it sacrosanct. This is work time. However many hours you can give it, once you’re sitting in front of the computer, you’re at work.

Now, this isn’t easy, I know. Some of us have full time day jobs. Some of us have little kids demanding (and rightfully so), your attention. And some of us (like me), have self discipline issues.

But to create a career out of this business, you have to be able to devote yourself to it. You have to want it more than anything. And you have to fight for it. If you’re lucky enough to be able to stay home and write, you’ll no doubt have family members or neighbors saying “Since you’re home, can you…..” Learn to say ‘no’ and mean it when you have to protect your writing time. If you treat this like a job, everyone else will too.

And remember that this job is like any other in that publishers, editors, agents, expect you to fulfill your contractual obligations. A deadline isn’t a guideline. It’s the time when you’ve agreed to turn in that manuscript. Editors make plans for reading books based on the contract you signed. If you’re a month late, then her schedule takes a hit. And she’s not going to love you for it.

Work hard. Be dependable. And dream Big. In this business, the only one who can slow you down is you.

Maureen Child is the author of more than 100 books and novellas in several different genres. At the moment, she’s making changes to her latest and is about to send it to that editor of hers. On time.

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