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Diary of a Mad Writer
Saturday, 24 January 2004
Sometimes You Feel Like a Writer, Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut

Yes, I've sold three books. Yes, I have an agent (a good one, too). So why do I feel like I'm chasing an unattainable dream?

Why do I worry that I'll never sell again? Because, on my left shoulder is a little voice whispering, "You're wasting your time. Your sales were a fluke. You should be out with your friends and enjoying yourself. You're a fool sitting at your computer, all alone."

Well, I couldn't take her comments any more. I said, "Roxy, if you don't close that big mouth of yours, I'm gonna staple it shut!"

I call that annoying voice, Roxy, because it helps me identify with who she really is. She's like your so called friends who may think they are well meaning, but don't understand this burning desire to put words down on paper. Or your disapproving parents who think you're silly for pursuing your goal. More often than not, like your friends and family, Roxy is really only trying to help. But, you and I both know she isn't.

Roxy can actually harm my creative flow. She nitpicks at my word choices and my grammar, going so far as to say my work stinks. Maybe she is trying to force me to be better, but she only causes doubt.

So, on the days when I really need to get some serious writting done, I put Roxy in another room and let the words flow. Then I write in one constant stream of emotion. Sometimes I am amazed at what pours forth, sometimes I think I should have stayed in bed.

When my daily count is complete, I let Roxy back into my office. Together we read what is on the screen. She makes up for lost time by tearing everything apart, but when I'm done, it's usually better.

Now, anyone reading this would think the cheese has slipped off my cracker ... unless of course you're a writer. Then you know that Roxy is my internal editor. You also know the importance of training that editor to speak only when it's her turn.

If you're not getting much writing done because your internal critic is hindering everything you start, do whatever it takes to silence him or her. It's important that you allow yourself the freedom to just write and worry about perfecting it later ... once you have something to work with.

Give yourself the freedom to create!



Posted by thewordsmith at 9:56 PM PST
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Saturday, 10 January 2004
A Week to End all Weeks!

Well, the minute I decide I'm going to set aside some time and write every day, that's the moment every diversion known to man rears its head.

First, my agent sends a sample of the way he wants me to do my proposals. I'm thrilled! But it's not how I had originally done them. So, I start on that. Then, my editor sends the galleys for my book releasing in June. I have to have the whole thing read, corrected and returned in seven days. Yikes!

At work, our office is going through many changes and lots of uncertainties. It's tough. Then a nearby office calls to tell us that a death threat has been made against one of our employees. Me.

How can I be creative in the midst of such chaos and emotional overload? Where can I possibly fit in time to write? It ain't easy, eh?

And I failed miserably. But the important thing is, I recognized my limitations, and I don't let myself feel like a failure. After all, writing is something I love to do. The minute I make it the master of my life (and there is only one Master!), that's when it is no longer enjoyable.

Understand that sometimes life gets in the way of our passion and just because you can't write every day, doesn't mean you're not a writer.

Many of the other things I did this week, were still part and parcel of being a author. Checking my galleys, reading (reading is a big part of learning to write!), critiquing, preparing proposals, etc.

So, go easy on yourself if you didn't get a chapter a day completed. Look at what you did accomplish and give yourself a pat on the back.

I'm praying next week will be better! Don't give up. Keep chasing your dream.



Posted by thewordsmith at 10:11 AM PST
Updated: Saturday, 10 January 2004 10:12 AM PST
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Wednesday, 31 December 2003
It is almost 2004!

It just a few hours we will ring in the New Year and along with it some pretty idealistic resolutions!

When I was younger, January and September were my favorite times of the year because it was like getting a second chance to be better.

Each school year, I would gather all my supplies and strive to be organized and perfect. By December, my neat penmenship was more like abstract art and my books could pass for bird nests.

In January, I would resolve to clean up my act ... but June was simply a mirror of December!

As an adult, I've come to understand the difference between trying to be something I wasn't and setting attainable goals. Especially, since I sold my first, second and third book and still had to work full time, be a mom, etc.

As the New Year dawns, with gently falling snow, and an air of excitment, take a moment to think about the things you want to achieve before 2005 is upon us.

No, you can't resolve to grow 4" taller in the next 12 months if you're not under 18 years of age. You'll only set yourself up for disappointment. I know!

My goals are rather simple. I want to write more and e-mail less. I want to learn more about writing, too. In particular, subtexting (see Getting into Character by Brandilyn Collins ( I would like to sell another book this year, since I only have one book coming out in June (pleae visit my professional page:

These are rather basic, but attainable. I'm not setting myself up to fail. So, what do you think? Going to make resolutions you hope you don't break, or are you going to set realistic goals, one step at a time and rejoice with each success?

I wish you well!



Posted by thewordsmith at 8:02 PM PST
Updated: Wednesday, 31 December 2003 10:06 PM PST
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