Quote: Coolidge on Persistence

Marines crawl under barbed wire

Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.
-Calvin Coolidge

I need to revise three more chapters before I can reach the finish line with Neil and Sam’s story.

I think I can, I think I can…

Update: joggling

Joggle
Did you know there really is such a thing as joggling? Juggling while jogging. That’s kind of how I feel right now. Trying to keep several balls in the air while moving forward.

  • I’ve sent His Forgotten Fiancée to meet its just fate in the hands of reviewers. (Note: there’s a Goodreads giveaway if you’d like to get your hands on an autographed print copy. Just saying.)
  • I’ve sent Geoff and Lia’s story to the editor, so it’s out of my hands for the moment.
  • I’m charging through Neil and Sam’s story, hoping to have it ready to go by next week.

I don’t look anything like the guy in the picture, but I think I might have a similar expression on my face.

The Battle of the Covers!

All right, so perhaps ‘battle’ isn’t the mot juste.  But it made for a dramatic title.

Love Inspired published a Cover vs. Cover post on Facebook, comparing His Forgotten Fiancée with A Mother for his Family, by Susanne Dietze. I must say, her cover is lovely. I do enjoy a good Regency novel.

But does her cover have a kitten on it? It does not. Tsk, I say.

Zorro the Inquisitive

Srsly? No kitteh?

Do you prefer Regency elegance or cute kittens on a cover? Please go check out the covers on Facebook and share your opinion!23116635_10155781262529666_2918901991707960731_o

No No Wrimo

This is a re-post of something I wrote last year.

Nanowrimo is short for National Novel Writing Month. A 30 day period where myriad writers rush to write 50,000 words. It’s great. Or it’s horrible. Or both, in some cases. But right about now, you might be feeling pressured to join.

I’ve done it twice, and both times I enjoyed the momentum as people psyche themselves up to become mad writing fools for a month. I felt energized by so many other writers joining me in a stampede to write as much as I could.

This year, I’m in revision mode. I’m deleting more words than I write, and trying to do Nanowrimo would do nothing but make me feel guilty. In case you might be in a similar position, I’ll let you in on a little secret:

It’s okay to just say No.

Look, I’ll make it official if you like 🙂

Screen Shot 2017-10-28 at 7.45.16 PM

In case you’d like to download this and print it out, I’ve (hopefully) set the certificate as a downloadable Word doc, nonowrimo.

It’s okay not to do Nanowrimo.  Maybe Nanowrimo will work for you next year. Maybe not. If you want to be a writer, you need to write. But you can march to the beat of a different drummer if that works better. So long as you keep writing, you’re doing good. And you can tell that little voice of self doubt (yes, that one that’s lurking in the back of your consciousness) that I said so. It probably won’t be impressed, but you never know. It might make you feel better.

If printing out a certificate makes you feel better about not doing Nano, then go for it! Whatever you do (or don’t do), please don’t beat yourself up about it. You’ve got enough to do already without adding guilt to the mix.

The Constant Companion

I eat doubting,
work doubting,
go out to a dubious cafe with skeptical friends.
-Jane Hirschfield, My Doubt

I am hacking my way through the revisions to Geoff and Lia’s story. Revisions are like housework; I would much rather be doing something else, but once I’m done I am glad I did it.

Anne Anderson05The difference, of course, is that when I’m sweeping the floor, I rarely question whether I’m doing it right.

Perhaps this is a character flaw. Maybe I’ve been sweeping wrong all this time and no one told me.

But with writing, it’s different. I am slicing and dicing the text and then splicing it back together into a semblance of a smoothly flowing narrative. And at each step along the process, doubt is right there with me, a constant companion who questions everything.

I’ve decided that doubt is part of the process as well. I might as well sit him down and make him a cup of tea if he’s going to stay around.

The scenes I put off writing

There are some scenes I just don’t want to write.

Firebird

Writer, having grabbed hold of an idea, has no clue what to do next.

I can’t avoid them, either. Usually these are major emotional turning points in the story. I think the reason I dread them and put them off is that I don’t think I can pull the transition off successfully. Which is rather like an out-of-shape person not wanting to run a mile because they’re not an athlete.

I’m not going to get good at writing emotional turning points by ignoring them.

Steven Pressfield wrote a good post about how you have to be your own mentor sometimes. Hold your feet to the fire and question whether the story is the best it can be. I would go further and state that even if the story isn’t as good as it could be, you have to try and write it anyway. It’s not going to improve sitting in the back of your mind. You have to get it out on the page first.