Spring has finally arrived and I’m buried in work! It’s been almost two months since A Risk Worth Taking released and now that the blog tour has finished, I’ve been hiding from Twitter and all time-sucking cyber places! My deadline for the final Red River Series book (Evan’s story) is fast approaching-less than three weeks! During that time, I’m also expecting edits on my second Red River Series book (Jake & Claire’s story). As soon as my book is handed in on May 15th, I’ve got to dive right into another manuscript that I’ve barely started, and it’s due in July…so it’s going to be pretty nuts around here! On top of all that, I’ve also just handed in a project for my agent to review…it’s something really special to me, and I’m not really sure where I found the time to get it done, but I did!
I’m so happy it’s Spring…kids have been sick so many times this winter and it feels like we’ve had very little down-time. I’m looking forward to getting together with friends, barbecues, and warm weather…and writing!
I drove myself crazy before and the first few weeks during the release of THE BILLIONAIRE’S CHRISTMAS BABY. Why? Reviews. I drove everyone around me nuts. I had a nightmare that the night my book was to be released, I’d wake up to five 1-star reviews. I questioned why I had ever entered writing, why I would willingly put my work out their for public scrutiny. I never realized how insecure I could be. It was terrifying. But I had to be a big girl and come to terms with the fact that not everyone in the playground was going to be my friend. Not everyone was going to like me.
It reminded me of when I was in grade one and too shy or nervous to talk to anyone at my new school. So I’d stand by the fence at recess and count down the minutes until it was over. It took me a year to make friends. But I was six, and I’ve come a long way since then ;-) I’m not shy or introverted (though if I’m at a big party I’d still rather people-watch than make conversation with people I don’t know). I would never want my kids to feel shy and to let their own insecurities stop them from fulfilling a dream (luckily I don’t think this will happen to either of my kids, who take after their father-the life of the party).
This time? Yeah, I’m nervous again. But I’m also a little tougher, a little wiser. I’ve decided I’m a writer and I’m not going anywhere. There will be readers and reviewers that don’t like my books. But there will also be readers and reviewers that do. I’ve connected with so many wonderful people and have had emails from so many lovely readers. Every wonderful review that was posted filled me with excitement. I want to be an example for my kids, to show them that it’s okay to put yourself out there, regardless of the results. It’s okay to take chances, it’s okay to keep trying, it’s okay to face criticism. All of that really does make you stronger.
In my upcoming book, my heroine has suffered some huge losses in her life-and taking a chance at loving someone again seems too painful, too risky. But Holly needs to come to terms with the fact that in order to really live, she does need to love. And love can be risky, and without guarantees…lucky for her I’m guaranteeing a happily ever after for them
So this second time around, I’m going to gather up that courage that I’ve forced upon my heroine, and I’m going to be calmer and more Zen-like. I’m going to take a little bit of the control-freak away and just go with the flow…
…and I’m going to work on that next book-or maybe clean the house. Nah. Wine!
I’m so happy we made it to autumn. This is my absolute favourite time of year. Cool mornings and evenings, crisp air filled with the smell of freshly fallen leaves. Oh, and kids back in school
DS started grade one at a new school last Wednesday. This was huge for him (and me). I think I may have been more nervous than he. It took me an hour to pack his lunch (don’t ask) and all the while I kept thinking how fast everything flew by. I could have sworn my little guy was just a baby a few months ago. Now, he’s off to grade one. He had a great first day, loved his class, and his ‘big kid’ school. HUGE relief! I still have the almost-two-year old at home with me, so the days are packed.
This wasn’t the best of summers, so I am happy to see it go. Radiation for my dad ended the last week of August, and in December he will hopefully get the all-clear. He’s looking good, so that’s a nice indicator that he should be fine. We managed to squeeze in one last trip to the beach before school for the kids, so that makes me feel a little better that the boring summer for the kids ended on a high note.
As for my writing…well it’s been a challenge. For the first time in a long, long time, I’ve really struggled with productivity. The whole summer was filled with chaos, lack of routine, and those daily trips to the hospital. And it’s taken it’s toll. I feel like I’m finally getting back into the swing of things. And boy do I need to…
I’m gearing up for a huge year-I’m working on a super secret project (I can’t believe I’m actually writing that), as well as finishing up a proposal that should have been done a while ago, and I’m waiting to hear on a proposal that was sent in during the summer. My first book releases in November! As soon as I have the title I’ll share…
Now that routine is back, I’m starting my 5am wake-ups again…and I do love them. The trick to making them work though, is by being asleep by 11pm. I know that this 5 am slot is my time, without any of the interruptions and unexpected duties that the day inevitably brings. And it’s nice to know that some word count has been done by the time DD and I are walking DS to school.
Here’s to a happy, healthy, productive autumn….with plenty more blog posts!
First off, Happy Canada Day! Hope all you fellow Canadians had an awesome day…I celebrated with Tim Horton’s, of course!
My MIL came over to help out with the kids, so I was able to catch up on laundry and do some major cooking and then freezing. DS helped me and rolled out a bunch of meatballs all by himself. They look slightly crazy, and I wouldn’t say they’re exactly round, but I’m not complaining! I’ll take the help!
It was also a super productive weekend writing-wise, and I really needed that, coming off last week. I managed to ‘almost’ finish up the partial and tweak the synopsis for the proposal I’m going to send my editor at Entangled this week. I’m going to read it over one or two more times and that’s it, then I’m hitting ‘send’. I’m really excited about this book and at the same time nervous. It’s set in France and has a lot more glamour than the last three books I’ve turned in. The last three have all been set in small towns. This book also has more external conflict than I’m used to, so when I look it over again, I’m going to really try and focus on whether or not I have a good balance. It feels like there may be too many moving parts to it. Or that may just be because I usually don’t write this way. Hmm. I’ll have to figure that out.
So tomorrow is still a holiday down here. I’m hoping I’ll be able to get some more writing done before my MIL leaves tomorrow night, so I’ll be in good shape to start the week. It’s going to be another busy one…
Do you have to have a clean, perfect three first chapters before you begin the rest of your manuscript?
Does everything have to be completely plotted or do you go with wherever your characters are telling you to go?
As I’ve fallen back into writing on a daily basis, my writing process has changed. I’m writing scenes as they come to me and now I’m trying to connect everything. I’ve found the problem with this is that I’m deleting a lot of good scenes from my book because they don’t fit now that I’m piecing it all together. Yes, I do have another document open for all the deleted scenes, but it’s still painful. Though, not as painful as it would be to force them into where they don’t belong.
The planner side of me is also not liking all these unedited parts of my manuscript floating around. So now I’m editing and editing, layering and layering. And hopefully will finish soon. My DH can’t seem to understand what is taking me so long with this manuscript compared to the other ones I’ve written. I’m not really sure either. I’m only hoping that I’m making my characters as real as possible.
All right, so I’m off to edit, without kids around at my favourite restaurant
And I have to get it ALL done. Tomorrow night we have friends coming over for dinner so that means cleaning up the house (giant disaster-and I heard the cat throwing up again this morning and haven’t been able to find it yet). So that means tomorrow there is no time for writing. But I am looking forward to catching up with some fun, inspiring friends we haven’t seen in a while.
So the in-laws have been dying to come over (not to see us really, they miss our children, lol)
But we’ve been really busy and couldn’t seem to make any dates that were mutually convenient. The DH is out of town for a night for work and DS has the day off school tomorrow. All I kept thinking was how am I going to finish this MS that has been driving me insane if both kids are here for three days with no one else around?
So, then I had a brilliant idea!
I called up the in-laws and asked if they’re free tomorrow…and they are thrilled to come for the day! And then I asked if they minded if I left for oh, two-three hours while they babysit…done! (Now, I am leaving under the premise of ‘business stuff’, they don’t really know about my ‘other’ career plans just yet. No point in stressing easily stressed people by saying I’m looking at pursuing a career that has no steady income.)
So, tonight I’m going to print out a draft of my entire MS, stuff it in my work briefcase (why do I suddenly feel like I’m in high school again?) and take it to my favourite little restaurant. I’ll have lunch and then consume copious amounts of coffee while I sit with my red pen and manuscript.
And then, by Sunday night, hopefully I’ll be saying Au Revoir to this one!
Obviously I’m not talking about my singing voice, because I can’t sing. Really, not at all.
What I’m talking about is my own unique voice in my writing. We all have it. It can take a while to figure out when you are using your real voice in your manuscripts and when you’re just writing what you think you should be writing or what you think is your real voice. When I look back on my first manuscript, it’s so painful that I either need to drink alcohol while I look through it, or I just end up putting it away with a shudder. I’m so humiliated for myself and can’t believe I actually sent it off to a publisher, lol. And if I think about it, that manuscript was made up of so many different voices-voices of my favourite authors, favourite books…and I didn’t even realize it. It sounded awkward and forced. Because it wasn’t my own.
Thankfully, I’ve come a long way. And one of the main reasons is because I’ve finally found my own voice. I’m not writing what I think I should be writing. I’m not writing in a way that imitates someone else. I’m writing what comes naturally. What flows from my head and onto the page. I think if you’re true to your voice, it shows in your writing and makes your manuscript believable and genuine.
What about you? Have you struggled with this? Have you ‘found’ your voice?