There were only six or seven of us in the class, and we met weekly, sometimes at the campus coffee shop, with our fresh pages in two. Ten pages a week was the requirement, and we’d hand those slowly developing stories to the person on our right, and for the next hour we read, then offered one another constructive criticism.
This class was paramount to my career in that it taught me not only the skill of writing on a deadline, but also how to edit, how to offer someone helpful feedback, and how to take constructive criticism without taking it personally.
In an industry that requires a thick skin, I’m forever grateful for that year-long course.
As I prepare to officially launch #RiverNovel out into the world, I know that not everyone will love it. It won’t be some people’s cup of tea, and that’s okay. I am ready and prepared for the reviews – all of them, the good and bad.
Thankfully, so far all the reviews have been positive. In fact, I’ve been truly humbled and floored by the way people have fallen in love with the stories and the characters in my book. I’m honored to be able to share these stories, and relieved that it seems I’ve done a good job.
Every reviews helps in this cutthroat market of selling books, and so today I’d like to offer a little giveaway.
If you’ve read Like a River From Its Course, and you leave a review on Amazon, you will be entered to win a $25 Gift Card to Amazon.
If you’ve already left your review, I know who you are and you’re already entered. Please just send me an email at rivernovelcontest(at)gmail(dot)com so that I have your contact information should you win (and I hope you do!).
If you haven’t finished the book yet, but plan to leave a review, awesome! Thank you! I’m going to pick a winner on Sunday so you still have time to finish.
And I want your honest reviews. Good or bad, you will be entered to win the gift card, so no pressure. Really! *wink*
I am genuinely, from the bottom of my heart, grateful for everyone who has taken the time to read this book so far. Thank you for celebrating this milestone with me. I am so honored to be on this journey, and to have so many cheering me on!
I hear this question every so often, and my first response is, “Super glamorous. I am practically famous. My office smells of rich mahogany.”
That’s a total lie.
Right now my office smells like a dirty diaper because it sits just outside the baby’s room, and I desperately need to empty the diaper pail. Nobody knows my name (except the twelve of you who consistently still read here – thank you!), and if you call yoga pants, a rumpled t-shirt, unwashed hair, and blood shot eyes glamorous then you’d make at least a portion of that statement true.
My life consists of fitting it all into the cracks of my day. In his book, On Writing, Stephen King shares his writing schedule with his readers. It consists of writing three – four hours every day, allowing him to finish most manuscripts within three months.
That’s almost like my schedule, only the complete opposite. Every morning, I wake up at 5:00 (except when I don’t), and try to make my brain write pretty sentences before coffee. Sometimes I am quite successful. Other times I just scroll through Facebook for an hour, kicking myself for not sleeping longer.
I wonder if Stephen King gets lost in Facebook when he’s procrastinating?
I wonder if his office smells of dirty diaper?
With school beginning this week, I’ve found that those cracks in my day have become a bit more narrow, but at least they’re predictable. With a twenty-minute mid-morning snack break, and an hour for lunch, I’m quite certain that my productivity will skyrocket this school year.
Because we writers love penning our words with the shrill shriek of children in the background. It really helps keep the mental juices flowing in an orderly fashion. My lunch time writing usually goes something like this:
Sit down and stare at the screen.
Try to remember where I was going with that last paragraph. Know in my heart it was probably going to be brilliant, but now it’s gone forever.
Get up and investigate the crash that just came from a bedroom.
Sit down and stare the the screen.
Try to remember what I was thinking about before I got up.
Get up and dig dog food out of the baby’s mouth.
Sit down and stare at the screen.
Try to remember what this book is about.
Get up and yell at the kids to quit fighting gently remind the children to play nice.
Sit down and stare at the screen.
Open Facebook and tell myself it’s research.
When the kids finally fall asleep at night, I usually flop onto the couch longing for nothing more than to shut my brain off and watch a little mindless television. Sure, TBS – I’d love to watch Legally Blonde for the 4 millionth time.
But then I remember that pesky deadline, and all the work that needs to be done in the next twelve months, so I pull out my computer, open up the file and stare at the words, then wait for them to stop swimming around on the screen. When they don’t, I sigh and pull myself up again for a mighty search through the house for my glasses, which magically disappear any time I need them.
When I finally locate the wily spectacles (why were they on the back of the toilet again?!) I set to work. Nighttime is for editing because the brain is too fried to write stories.
Unless those stories are blog posts about what it’s like to be a writer.
If I’m lucky, I crawl back into bed around 10:30, and I pick up a book because good writers must be readers. At 10:42, I fall asleep reading, dropping the book on my face in the process.
That’s my favorite part of this writerly life.
I sleep soundly most night, except for the ones where I see characters and outlines in my head all night long, at which point I toss and turn and clench my jaw until 5:00 rolls around, and I pull myself from bed again.
Only to have forgotten every single thought I’d had through the night.
What’s it like to be a writer?
I get to wear yoga pants, drink endless cups of coffee, and stay home with my kids. Glamorous?
But pretty dang cool, nonetheless.
My novel releases this spring, and I can’t wait to share it with you! In the meantime, I’m busy putting together a couple of ebooks to share with my email subscribers, and will hopefully have a little site redesign done sometime this fall. I’d love for you to sign up so I can keep you up to speed on all the exciting things coming down the pike! If you’re interested, just leave me your email address in the little box to the right and click Sign Me Up!
Happy Friday, everyone!
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