Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Hope For New Authors

This group meets on the first Wednesday of each month.
Purpose: To allow writers to express their doubts and concerns in an encouraging and supportive setting.  
If you're interested in learning more about this group, click on the following link:Alex J. Cavanaugh   

Hello All,
It's time for another ISWG post. I realize this is the A-Z challenge, but I've decided to ignore convention and share some news which I believe will benefit many of you.

Last week I attended the Algonkian Pitch Conference in NYC.  It was an expensive trip, but I found it was money well spent. The host and moderator, Michael Neff, genuinely wanted our projects to succeed.  On the first day, he dissected each of our plots and story arcs until they were down to the bare bones.  Although his critiques were tactful, they were also brutally honest.  Many of us had a tough time accepting that our stories weren't the masterpieces we thought them to be.  

The following day, the group had an opportunity to practice their pitches on editors from big name publishing houses.  I tanked on the first two attempts, but after the umpteenth rewrite, the third time was the charm. Two editors requested my manuscript.  Though this is great news, my novel still has to pass muster. According to Mr. Neff, impatience is a new author's worst enemy. I intend to take my time and ensure the MS is polished until it shines before submitting it.

Not only did I learn a lot from the conference, but I also met some incredibly talented people. I will likely keep in touch with them for the rest of my life. We even formed a private FB page.  I am now in the throws of  major edit.  It will probably take a month or two to get through it, but in the end, I hope my efforts will pay off.  For those of you wishing to publish a commercially viable novel, I highly recommend this conference.  Until next time, my friends,  Happy writing.  

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Waiting Game

    Insecure Writer's Group, hosted by Alex Cavanaugh

Hello Everyone,
This session couldn't have come at a better time for me.   As many of you know, after four and a half years of developing my novel, I finally finished it.  Although this was a major accomplishment, the one thing I didn't share was that I had less than two months to edit it.  Why you ask? Well, because I wanted to enter it in the Amazon Break Out Novel Contest.

Throughout the writing process, each of my chapters had undergone at least ten edits.  Between submitting them to members of my writer's group and online sites, like Critters and Scribophile, I had plenty of opportunities to correct errors.  In fact, there were times I spent at least a month and a half on one chapter.  I know this sounds crazy, but it made for less clean up at the end.  The one thing I hadn't done was edit the novel in its entirety.  Needless to say, I worked about sixty hours a week over the last month and a half, trying to get my MS. up to par.

By the end, I felt confident enough to submit the finished product.  The problem is, at the last minute I learned that the first round of judging was based on the pitch.  Guess I should have read the entry requirements a little closer, because I wound up scrambling around like a chicken with my head cut off, trying to compose a pitch.  Now, I'm insecure that the one I submitted is wrong.

At least that's the impression I got when I submitted it for critique on Scribophile.  I received feedback like, "Epic, Wow! and This is something I'd like t read," but then was told it was too dense. Before you say it, I now realize that I should have submitted it for review before the contest, not after.  Unfortunately, there wasn't enough time left to do this.  I've since improved the pitch, (talk about locking the barn door after the horse got out) but now, I have to wait until March 18 to find out I was rejected.  It's one thing to think you're a drop in a sea of writer's and a whole other to KNOW it.

To make matters worse, I also included the ABNA pitch in my application to the Algonkian Pitch Conference in NYC.  By some miracle I was accepted.  I'm still scratching my head wondering how that happened, LOL.  But now, I'm nervous as a cat.  This is where the rubber meets the road, reality check time. I'm insecure that I won't be good enough. Intellectually, I understand that rejection is part of the business, I even expect it, but I don't have to LIKE it.  Also patience has never been one of my strengths.  I hate the waiting game.  Even though I'm 99.9-percent certain I didn't make it in the ABNA, that one-percent chance has left me biting my nails with anticipation.

The one thing that keeps me half way sane, is knowing there are others who have experienced the same insecurities as me.  This said, I could really use some words of wisdom about now.  Any and all pointers on how to handle the stress would be  greatly appreciated.  Until next time, my friends.  Happy writing.    


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

A Journey of a Thousand Miles

It's time for February's submission for the Insecure Writer's Support Group, hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh. For those interested in learning more about membership, please click on his name.

Confucius once said, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

As many of you know, my thousand mile journey began four and a half years ago when I took on project novel. Along the way there were times when I became so frustrated that I wanted to toss my computer in the trash and run screaming for the hills. The hours of writing, re-writing then writing again were soooo daunting that I often asked myself If the novel was worth the effort.  Well, I can honestly answer that question with an emphatic YES!!!!

 I finally wrote "The End," on my draft last month. There is something to be said for seeing a complex project through to completion. To some extent that, in and of itself, is the reward.  

You see, No matter how my journey ends, regardless if I become published or not, I can take pride in knowing I took that step and I completed the journey of a thousand miles. I'm now a stronger person because of it.  Until next time my friends, happy writing.  

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Holiday Wrting Crunch

Hello Everyone,

Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving. I spent time with family and friends and ate, drank and was merry. To me, it doesn't get much better than that.

Although I love the holidays, they can be hectic, leaving little time to complete the final two chapters of my novel. Since the middle of November I've only averaged one day a week to devote to my WIP. Talk about your holiday writing crunch!!!!  To make matters worse, there were days when the body was willing but the mind wasn't.  The more I tried to force the words onto paper the worse the draft became.  Needless to say, it's been slow going.  I'm  beginning to wonder if I'll ever complete my novel.  After four and a half years of working on it I'm anxious to move on.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that things will slow down after the holidays. 

I've set a goal to have my novel completed in it's entirety by the beginning of summer.  I know this is ambitious, editing and re-writing takes time, but one can hope.  If any of you overcame the "holiday writing crunch" I'd be interested to know how you did it. Where did you find the time???? Wishing you all a very merry Christmas.  Until next time my friends, happy writing.  

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Camp Literary Wannabe

Hard to believe it's time for another ISWG, hosted by  the marvelous Alex J. Cavanaugh. Since I'm feeling a bit wonky today, I decided to write my insecurities in a wonky way.  So here goes nothing...   
As many of you know I began my writing journey four and a half-years ago, when I checked into Camp Literary Wannabe. Back then, I was filled with hopes and dreams of becoming a published author.  During my stay I enjoyed nights  around the fire, roasted marshmallows with my peers, discussed our works-in-progress and basked in dreams of what was to come. However, now that I'm a chapter and a half away from completing my novel, I'm finding it difficult to pack my bags. 
Why you ask?  Well, it's simple. It's time to find out whether my work is good enough to move up to Camp Published Author. If the worst happens and I'm rejected, I 'm insecure about how I'll respond.  I might not have the fortitude to recapture that same glimmer of hope I had before checking out of Camp Wannabe.  I want to believe I have it in me to carry on, to keep writing.  However, after sacrificing time with family and friends, passing up potential career opportunities to pursue the dream of publishing my novel, it may be time to bid my camp days adieu. Guess the only way to know how this will end is to hike on up the trail and pay CPA a visit.

 Am I the only one who feels these insecurities?  If not, I'd be interested to know how you got past them.  Until next time, happy writing.  

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


On the first Wednesday of each month I log into my blog,  join the other members of Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Group and  post about my writing experiences.  Although there have been a couple times where I found something positive to say, the majority of my submissions have been filled with woe-is-me's. The life of a literary wannabe is difficult.  Each morning we wake up, go to our computers and try to write.  And, as many of you know, some days are better than others.

Before Alex's group, I turned to close friends and family members for support whenever I became frustrated with my writing.  About fifteen minutes into my whining fest, my loved one's eyes began to glaze and their facial expressions screamed the lights are on but nobody's home.  I never took it personally because I understood that no one could grasp the journey of an aspiring novelist better than a fellow writer. Anyone outside of this world just didn't get it.

This said, I want to express my sincere appreciation and gratitude to Alex for having the foresight to form the Insecure Writer's Group. Since its inception, I finally found a place filled with like-minded people who understand the aspiring author's plight. It has been a God-send. Also, last but certainly not least, congrats Alex, on celebrating the group's second anniversary.  May there be many more.  Until next time my friends, happy writing.   


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Thank You

Hello everyone, seems hard to believe it's time for another ISWG post.  If you're not already participating in this wonderful community then stop by Alex J. Cavanaugh's blog and register.  Trust me, you'll be glad you did.

Although it's rare to find me at a loss for words in regard to my insecurities, this is one of those days when I'm finding it difficult to write about them.  Not because I think there's nothing to be insecure about.  Quite the contrary, but after the week I've had (I'll spare you the gory details), the one thing I've learned is sometimes it's important to count our blessings. With this in mind, I've decided to dedicate this month's post to something positive.

 Since this blog is about writing, I'll concentrate on this subject, but suffice to say I'm always thankful for the loved ones in my life. In regard to the craft,  I feel blessed to have knocked out three chapters this month.  I feel blessed to be two chapters away from finishing my WIP, I feel blessed to have the time to pursue my dream of becoming a novelist and last but certainly not least, I feel blessed to be a part of this wonderful community of Insecure writers.  You  have all been so supportive over the years and I think it's important to thank you for that once in a while.   So, thanks.  Although I could continue to gush about you guys, sometimes less is more.  I just wanted you to know how much I appreciate this group.  Until next month, happy writing.