Wednesday, June 30, 2010
I'm halfway through the final pre-query edit phase of a project I've been working on for quite a while. I'm close to reaching the 100,000 word goal, which really wasn't a goal at one point in time. I mean, the project was up to 141,000 words. My only hope was to eliminate 10 to 20K and be done with it!
With tons of effort on my part, I have just 500 words left to eliminate to reach 100,000 words and . . . I'm only at Chapter 13! So, I figure I can probably eliminate at least 5,000 more words . . . if I"m lucky. If not . . . well, still below 100,000! Woo-hoo!
The best part about the word elimination is that it really made me take a close look at what I'd written and tighten it up. There were so many excess words, phrases, sentences, paragraphs and what-not! It's a bit unbelievable and daunting.
Still, I persevered - something all writers should do when following this crazy writing dream - and did much better than expected. Woo-hoo!
I also never gave up on this project. Yeah, I know, I haven't started the query process yet. Still, I think the main thing we all need to remember is: perseverance! Don't give up. Keep plugging away, even if the project you think is the best thing you ever wrote has to sit on the closet shelf for a few years or forever.
Things happen when they're meant to happen, and not when we want them to happen.
Monday, June 28, 2010
Okay, now I'll explain a bit further.
I've written a brilliant book. It's scathingly brilliant. It's absolutely brilliant. It's brilliant brilliant. Okay, maybe that's only in my mind.
The book began as 12 Chapters w/three sections (i.e., perspectives) per Chapter. Then, the book grew to 24 Chapters. Well, technically, there was more story to tell, so I wrote the sequel, but then decided that a sequel wasn't necessary and effortlessly turned two books into one. Voila!!!
Then, there's the whole industry wide standard that your book must be this # of words for this genre thingy!
My brilliant world crashed down around me! What's a guy to do? Yes, drinking plenty of margaritas was an option. Throwing myself into a volcano was an option. Jumping off a cliff . . . Well, other than margaritas, the only option was: split the book in two (again) or eliminate enough words to drive an insane man sane . . . or vice versa.
I chose the elimination of words. Yea, Me!
Woe, is me! OMG, I had to eliminate 40,000 + words! 40,000 + words!
Somebody pass me a margarita.
Onwards and downwards (the word count, that is) I plunged into the elimination fray. I made progress. Slow, very slow progress. There was no way in a very hot place I was ever going to eliminate enough words.
Oh, wait, what is that in the distance? Is it the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel?
The proverbial light at the end of the tunnel was the epiphanous moment where I realized that I could easily (far too easily) eliminate one of the sections in the first twelve chapters of my brilliant book. Woo-hoo! And the words came tumbling out of my brilliant novel.
Woe is me!
How can Part I only have two sections per Chapter and Part II have three sections per Chapter? My life, as I knew it, was over. I would have to shelve the book, give up the dream, and move on to something else.
Wait, woe is not me. Yea, is me! Why? Well, dear readers, let me tell you why: there is no consistency in writing! I don't mean the actual words to page. I mean the actual published books out there by debut and established authors.
Sherlock Holmes switches from first person to third person in one book. Yes, first to third then back to first! Is that consistent? Of course not!
An author tells the majority of the story from one perspective and then, the last three chapters, adds a second perspective. Is that consistent? Of course not!
I have a brilliant novel that has two perspectives per Chapter for the first twelve chapters, and then three perspectives per Chapter for the last twelve chapters. Is that consistent?
Everyone: OF COURSE NOT!
There is no consistency with writing. We as authors - aspiring or otherwise - have total control over our writing. Yes, an agent, editor or publisher might take issue with our total control, but . . . until they do, we do as we must, because we must do as we do.
So, always, remember: there is no consistency with writing. Read a book, read a dozen, and look for the non-consistency. You'll find it, my friends, in book after book written by both debut and established authors.
Friday, June 25, 2010
Then, articles I read, things I heard people say on television - fictional characters, but their words held impact for me - and so much more seemed to gel together into this sense that I'm back on the right track with my writing and that what I'm doing with this current project is definitely the write (yes, meant to use that word) thing!
Life is full of so much doubt, so much negativity, and it's hard not to fall in step with the doubters and negators (not sure it's a word, but I'm using it). It is, I believe, human nature to have feelings of doubt and negativity.
It is also human nature to become a self-fulfilling prophecy. If a person believes bad things are going to happen to them, then, most likely, bad things will happen to them. If a person believes that nothing is going to come of a blind date, then isn't it more likely they're really not going to try really hard to impress the other person on the blind date? No, not me, but a friend of mine did just that recently. He had such a negative outlook on the upcoming blind date that I think he sabotaged the date. Just my thoughts.
But, back to happier things: Dreams don't work without action. Nobody can stop me but me. By now, you know these are the words spoken by the fictional character Roseann Connor in the final episode of Roseann. You should also know by now, that these words have become my mantra.
Life is what we make of it. Yup, I'm going all Pollyanna on you - if you've never seen that movie with Hayley Mills (she of the original Parent Trap) and Jane Wyman (she of Falcon Crest), then stop what you are doing and go rent that movie now. Heck, even Agnes Morehead (Endora from Bewitched) is in the movie, and has a delightful part. Anyhow, perhaps I am going all Pollyanna lately. Perhaps we all should.
On that note: Boyd Morrison, debut author of The Ark - he "didn't let rejection discourage him". His book was "turned down by 25 publishers". He persevered. He believed in himself and his book. - Writer's Digest - July/August 2010 - p. 18.
Boyd Morrison was passionate enough about his book to do whatever he needed to do to get his book out there. We, as writers, need to be just as passionate.
I also read a comment on Twitter, or maybe the blogsphere, about an author who received way more than 25 rejections . . . and still ended up getting published.
Perseverance is key.
Trusting our instinct, our gut . . . is key.
I'm going with the sense that everything is just right at the moment. It's just a feeling. I'm diving into that feeling and not coming up for air until I absolutely have to come up for air!
If I take meaning from words spoken on Bewitched or Roseann or from a successful author, or whoever, and if that meaning inspires me and pushes me forward . . . so what? I take what I can get in this life. I can either move forward with a positive attitude, or I can stagnate with a negative attitude.
In the end, we make our lives what they are . . . and not somebody else. We choose our path. I've chosen the crazy, nerve-wracking, OMG I have to write a query and a synopsis in addition to a novel of brilliance path . . . and I have no intention of giving up. I may lose my way from time to time, but I know that, out here in the blogsphere, there are enough friends to set me back on that path!
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Two questions/answers that stood out for me:
If you have more than 2 POV characters, are your chances of publication lessened?
→ Not unless your book is really bad.
Do you think agents are more likely to take on work that has a great plot with writing that needs work, or great writing with a plot that needs work?
→ Great writing with a weak plot - for sure. I can help a good writer improve their plot. But teaching an average writer to be a good writer is not my job.
Question 1 - I love it, especially since I often write from more than one POV! Love it, love it, love it! Enough said.
Question 2 - this is one of those double-edge sword kinda answers. Why? Well, let me tell you . . . the answer provides great hope and great delusion. Great hope in that a writer who writes great, but has a weak plot, has a good chance of success. Now a writer who actually writes poorly, but thinks they write greatly, well, ya know . . .
So, what did I glean from Question/Answer 2?? Again, thanks for asking that brilliant question. Ha! I learned that we all need to write to the best of our abilities. It helps to have both great writing and a strong plot, but, if you are a great writer, and your plot is weak, all is not lost. I'm just saying . . .
There are some other great questions and answers, so don't forget to click on the linkity-link above and check everything out!
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
When I began writing, I was surrounded by people who couldn't understand what writing meant to me. Many times, faced over and over with these attitudes, I came close to quitting. I longed for someone to validate not only my work but the entire enterprise of writing. (Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni - Emerging as a Writer - Writer's Digest - July/August 2010 - Page 21).
How many of you, dear readers, can relate to the above statement? How many of you have seen people's faces go blank when you try to explain your love of writing? How many of you are tired of the endless question - well, what have you published?
Non-writers don't have a clue that writing a book isn't easy, and that getting published is even harder.
We're lucky, here and now, that there's such an entity called the blogsphere where aspiring and published writers blog about this crazy writing adventure we've all embarked upon.
How many times have you read a blog post and thought: yeah, that's me, I understand completely?
I've seen posts about doubt, about wanting to quit, about believing in our abilities, having faith, and so much more.
I can relate. I've written a few posts on those topics as well.
I've left comments on those posts thanking the blogger for putting my feet back on the writing path.
I've been in a funk with my writing lately. I'm not writing as much as I should. I'm not blogging as much as I should. Last week I began to get on track again. Last Thursday, I absolutely knew what I had to do once I got home from work and sent Franklin off to work. I was double-dog tired. I didn't want to write. I wanted to just lay on the couch with the dogs. This heat is killing me, people!!! 110 degree heat index. It saps all the energy I have, and there doesn't seem to be enough energy lately. Still, double-dog tired and all, I did what I had to do! I know what I have to do on one project that has been in the works for a number of years.
I can't tell my non-writer friends about my doubts, my funk, or the joy of having a moment of epiphany where I absolutely know what needs doing to succeed! I can, however, share it here on the blogsphere because I know, know, know that every single one of you reading this blog can understand what I am going through because you can validate my work and the entire enterprise of writing.
Oh, and once again, since these words seem to be becoming my mantra. I'm going to quote the words spoken by the character Roseanne Conner in the final episode of Roseann: Dreams don't work without action. Nobody can stop me but me.
Monday, June 21, 2010
After 20 years of publishing, Charlaine Harris wrote the book she'd always wanted to write - and hit a vein with readers everywhere. (Writer's Digest - July/August 2010 - Page 51).
In case you don't know Charlaine Harris, she writes the Sookie Stackhouse novels which were the inspiration for the HBO series True Blood. Yes, she was out there with vampires, werewolves, etc., long before Stephanie Meyers even thought about writing about the same creatures.
The article is four pages long, but the italicized blurb up top is, to me, the most important part of the entire article. She wrote the book she always wanted to write.
I've written about this subject quite a few times. I've said before: the best writing I've ever done is when I wrote solely what I wanted to write, me as the audience, without a thought for a bigger audience, an agent, a publisher, anyone! I didn't think about trends or anything. I just wrote the story I wanted to tell, a story close to my heart, and something I wanted to find on the bookshelves at Borders!
All of that aside, I wrote what I wanted to write!
As writers, I think we tend to forget to write for ourselves, to write what we are passionate about. We attempt to follow trends. We stray away from our passions and desires, our love of the story we want to tell, and settle for something . . . less.
Perhaps we chase the dream too fast and far and lose ourselves in the process.
Perhaps as a Race this is an inherent trait, something humans are hard-wired to do, and there is no way around the chasing of the dream.
Perhaps . . . well, there a a number of perhaps scenarios I could come up with.
I think the thing we have to remember, and be reminded about time and again: write what you love!
On an end note, since I mentioned chasing the dream, I want to leave you with some words spoken by the character Roseanne Conner from Roseanne in the final episode:
Dreams don't work without action. Nobody can stop me but me!
Friday, June 18, 2010
As I was editing one project the other day and cutting out words - she brightly smiled (guess which word got cut - ha!) - I wondered if many writers sometimes stifle themselves with all the rules we're allegedly supposed to follow - don't end a sentence with a preposition, don't use adverbs, don't do this, don't do that, blah, blah, blah.
I've read some blog posts where writers are very careful in their very first draft. They follow all the rules, fix the problems as they occur, etc.
I think that's all fine and dandy . . . for other writers.
As for me, the rough draft is all about getting the words to paper, the story out, and the revision process is for fixing everything.
Now, what does all this have to do with Deputy Fife saying stifle, stifle, stifle?
Well, my question: do we stifle the creative process by adhering to too many rules during the initial writing phase?
For me, the answer is YES! Now, I try to pay attention to not using too many words that end in -ly! I try not to have the characters smile brightly or laugh loudly or softly for that matter, but every now and then one of those pesky words will end up in the project. It's life. It's part of the creative process.
I don't think rules were meant to dictate the creation of art - written word, music, painting, whatever. The whole point of creativity, at least to me, is to follow your heart and ignore the rules. Yes, there comes a time and place, especially in writing, where we have to pay attention to the rules.
But . . .
Do we pay attention to those rules so much that we stifle our creative process?
Do we want to stifle our creative process or do we want to encourage that process to its fullest extent?
As for me, I'm all about the fullest extent . . . at least in the rough draft stage.
How about you? Do you ever feel you're stifling your creativity by adhering to all the rules in the rough draft stage? If so, how do you handle the stifling of your creativity? Is it a price to pay for one day being published?
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Anyhow, with mega-heat-n-humidity happening on a daily basis, I'm spending more time inside than out. I mean, you go outside, can't breathe, and immediately need a shower is great incentive to stay inside with the air conditioning and a margarita. I'm just saying . . .
So, I've been doing more writing lately than normal. I think I'd been in a funk for a while and slowly motivating myself out of that funk. Very slowly. I've been immersing myself in the editing phase of a project - the one where Chapter Eight became Chapter One. I've incorporated a few of the old chapters into the new project with some tweaks here, there, and everywhere, added a chapter or two, and this weekend ended up at Chapter Eight again. Woo-hoo. Now I'm just copying/pasting chapters from the second draft into the third draft and editing as I go, word by word and chapter by chapter.
I've also jotted down notes for a novella I want to do at some point. As you know, when the ideas hit me - SLAP - I stop what I'm doing and jot down notes, etc., so I have a good place to start when I have the free time to totally devote to a project.
I'm also still working on the urban fantasy.
I need to get back to the project where I'm eliminating words. That'll happen in the very near future, which means I'll also get back to working on my query. I have the pitch down pat, so all I need is a descriptive paragraph that sums up the book and showcases my voice! Uh, yeah, I'll need a few more margaritas for that. Ha.
Friday, June 11, 2010
I think I can put writing the query up there with my fear of spiders and bees. Okay, I'm not afraid of bees, but I just don't like things that sting . . . repeatedly. Ever been chased by a bunch of hornets? Oh, I have, and I had the 21 (well, maybe not that many, but multiple) stings to prove that theory. It wasn't pretty, but it was quite humorous to my friends watching me run up the street screaming and swatting at the dratted beasts. Yeah, I didn't get the humor either.
So, I've struggled with the query. S-T-R-U-G-G-L-E-D! I'm still struggling, but, there is hope.
I was working on my one sentence pitch earlier in the week. Yeah, one sentence to describe 120,000 words of brilliance. Yes, I know, too many words, working on that one.
I'd write a one sentence pitch.
I'd scratch it out.
I'd write another one sentence pitch.
I'd scratch it out.
I'd write . . . well, I'm sure you get the picture. Repeatedly writing and scratching, writing and scratching, my stress level rising and not a margarita in sight. Then . . .
I realized (I'm a bit slow every now and then) that I was approaching my one sentence pitch from the wrong angle. You see, this book I'm going to query has multiple (remember that word, it's very important) perspectives. M-U-L-T-I-P-L-E! So, I'm like focusing the query on a single perspective, which is what you're supposed to do, but . . .
It was the W-R-O-N-G perspective. GEESH! I had the brilliant idea to write the one sentence pitch from one of the other perspectives and - BAM, Emeril time - the sentence began to gel together. It's not that what happens to the other character(s) isn't important, because it is. It was only that, for the pitch, I needed the strongest, most powerful, greatest impact perspective to grab (hopefully, fingers crossed) an agent's attention. Well, DUH!
Yeah, I told you I'm a bit slow at times. All this time I've been focusing on a single character (yes, supposed to do that, check marks for effort), just the wrong one. Once I focused on a different character - wham, bam, give me a slice of country ham - I knew (goosebumps) I had the right character! Woo-hoo!
So, if you're struggling with your query, your one sentence pitch, take my advice: shift your focus a bit, especially if you have multiple characters perspectives within your however many words of brilliance.
Last, but never least, here are some links to help with one sentence pitch. The first three are all from Rachelle Gardner's blog from a recent contest, and the others just offer up some helpful advice.
Now, off to the linkity-links and may wisdom come to you sooner on this subject than it did to me!
Thursday, June 10, 2010
I'm gearing up to go into revise mode on a project. Rough Draft was completed a few years ago. Last year, I went back in and revamped the project and then set it aside while I worked on some other things. For the last few days I've been thinking about his project. Tuesday, things gelled together and I knew what I needed to do: Chapter Eight needed to become Chapter One.
Okay, so this means ditching approximately 20,000 words. Geesh, talk about word elimination.
Okay, it's really not that bad, and you'll find out more about that later.
Chapter Eight, now Chapter One, was an important chapter because it set up the main antagonists for my protagonist. Now, the first seven chapters laid the groundwork for Chapter Eight, but . . . well, after careful consideration, why not just throw the reader right into the conflict - wham, bam? Why not show the dynamics of the situation right off the bat?
Forget subtlety. Forget laying the careful groundwork. My protagonist has six antagonists. Yes, six, get over it! The main bulk of the project is the MC's interaction with the antagonists. So, since the main interaction is with these six secondary characters, why wait until Chapter Eight to throw them all together in the same room. Yes, I did that. One, two, three, four, five, six, and seven characters all in the same room, and no, their names aren't Doc, Sleepy, Dopey, Grumpy, Bashful, Happy, or Sneezy. Still, seven people, five at least who would, possibly literally, maybe only figuratively, love to see the MC dead, and a sixth who knows the MC could totally, irrevocably ruin their life, makes for a bit of interesting drama.
Now, back to those other chapters. The first part of this project has always been about confrontations between the main character and the majority of the secondary characters. The confrontations that occurred in Chapters One through Seven will need a bit of tweaking and reworking, but . . . they are not lost. They didn't land on some mysterious island when Oceanic Flight 815 crashed. They're still alive and well in this reality and not some purgatory on an island where they're trying to right past wrongs.
The confrontations in what were the earlier chapters are very important. Their importance remains the same. Now, I just have to revamp the chapters a bit to make them fit with the new opening since they occurred earlier in time (go figure) than Chapter Eight. A tweak here, there, and everywhere will - hopefully - fix everything and the Chapters can remain pretty much intact.
So, in the revision process, if you're stuck, if something's just not working, why not try shifting a later chapter, an action chapter, to the first chapter and see what happens. For me, magic!
Oh, and I'm still plugging along on the urban fantasy project. There are just times when I need to step away from that project, so editing/revising this other project fills the void in writing.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Well, unfortunately, neither the Academy or my gazillion fans are responsible for this . . .
The Journey Support award (a highly prestigious honor, btw) is passed on to folks who are helping along on this writing journey. Oh, my, the list of people I should pass this on to is huge.
Now, the person who passed it on to me is Jon Paul from Where Sky Meets Ground. Hop on over to his blog and show him some love.
Now, on to the latest recipients of this fantabulous award . . .
Tess @ Tess Hilmo - love the fact that, due in no small part to me, she sang Starland Vocal Band's one hit wonder Afternoon Delight to her boss! Yes, she did. LMAO!
Elana @ Elana Johnson, Young Adult Author - whether it's a good thing or a bad thing, ever since I've been reading her blog I've been known to say dude, seriously??
Scott (the other one), Davin, and Michelle (aka Lady Glamis) @ The Literary Lab - all three of these fine folks make me think, which can be either a good thing or a bad thing depending on the day of the week.Robyn @ Putting Pen to Paper - strangely absent lately, but probably in mourning due to the crushing defeat of the Dolphins. Ha!
Now, there are so many more I could award this award! Ha! But . . . time is short and I must depart the cyber world for now. I can tell you, every blog I follow deserves this award. I learn so much on a daily basis - perhaps a few things I could do without learning (Tess!!) - from reading all the blogs I read. Knowledge is power!
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Okay, on a bit less snarky note . . . Last night I started Chapter Four of the urban fantasy project. Woo-hoo! I didn't get a lot accomplished, but it's started, and the words should flow this week (I hope - fingers crossed). I also did a bit of formatting changes since the history of one character will be interspersed in brief paragraphs between each chapter. I was going to do lengthy chapters detailing the events of this character's life, but decided last night that brief snippets showing the progression of her life would work better . . . at least that's my theory right now.
Yes, there's a reason I'm detailing this character's history. Michelle knows why, but she's the only one and I'm not telling anybody else. This one character's history is important to the overall tale I plan to tell. The other characters that come into play, while important, do not have the rich history of this one character. Her story seems to be shouting out to me, and who am I to ignore such shouts, such demands for attention that say: tell my story!!?
So, her story shall be told, from that fateful day so long ago when she set off . . .
Saturday, June 5, 2010
This was basically a rewrite of a chapter I had completed a few weeks ago. As I mentioned earlier in the week, I'd changed the voice of one of the characters, and the previously written chapter didn't work with her new personality. So . . . rewrite, revamp, revise (in no particular order). Then, I somehow knew that the third section of Chapter Three needed a revamp as well. Yeah, I just keep piling the work on myself. Go figure.
Still, I'm happy (perhaps not ecstatic, but happy nonetheless) with the new direction (btw, did the rewrites while listening to Glee) of the chapter . . . which sets the stage for the rest of the novel. I have the tone I want, the various conflicts for two of the characters, and a path of where I want to take these characters as they deal with their conflicts. There's also a bit of backstory interspersed throughout the first three chapters. Backstory is necessary. There's a rich history for all these characters and to not mention that history, the events that led up to their present conflicts, would diminish the story as a whole.
Yes, I know, some people think backstory is a bad thing. Perhaps it is. Perhaps it isn't. Perhaps it is up to me to decide how much, and when and where, backstory to use in my novel.
The thing is - backstory, adverbs, adjectives, blah, blah, blah - are all things that can change within a novel at any given point. I can strip it all out in the beginning and yet, every book I've read lately has these elements within the books.
So, sparingly, here and there, just not everywhere!
Have a great weekend.
Friday, June 4, 2010
Then, I went back and rewrote a section - I changed the voice, tone, the character's name, and her occupation. Go figure.
Then, I re-read what I'd already written. CRAP! With the change of voice for one character, things weren't gelling together. CRAP-CRAP-CRAPPITY-CRAP-CRAP!
So, I've spent this week tweaking the voice and trying to make things work.
I started the total rewrite of Chapter Three last night. Yes. I. Did.
Chapter Three was NOT WORKING (ta-da! the title of this post! clever, huh?).
Chapter Three is working much better with the revamp.
Luckily, I figured out things weren't working early on, so it's not like I have to go revise, revise, revise until I'm standing on the brink of insanity and about to teeter over the edge! Whew!
So, my question this fine Friday - hot and humid here, naturally curly haired people beware - is: how quick are you at discovering things aren't working in your writing?
Do you stop what you're doing and fix things, or just make notes to fix later? Does this moment of epiphany cause you joy or sorrow?
As for me, I knew it wasn't working and figured I'd fix it sooner rather than later. This whole project is new territory for me, so I'm taking a cautious approach right now. Perhaps I might be better off with a "buckle your seat belts, it's going to be a bumpy ride" (ya gotta love Bette Davis) kind of approach. Who knows? All I know is it wasn't working, now it is, and the words are a-flowing (kind of like a storm is a-coming)! Ha!
Have a great weekend.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
I've been struggling with my writing lately - what do I want, what do I need, is it really worth it, why do I have to work so hard, why isn't it easier to find an agent, why can't I write a fantastic query, why the heck do I have to write a synopsis, will it all be worthwhile in the end, and blah, blah, blah????
Then, I read Rachelle Gardner's post You Have to Believe and all the questions were pretty much pushed aside.
It's not that I don't believe. It's just that I'm human, and it's human nature to doubt and wonder if all the effort is really worthwhile.
I think part of the problem, at least for me, is I'm spending too much time trying to figure out how to do everything - query, synopsis, find an agent, editor, publisher, market trends, popular today, not popular tomorrow - that I've kind of lost my way. There's too much outside influence clamoring for attention and not enough solitude to do what I love to do: write.
Now, don't get me wrong, all that snazzy info is necessary, but . . . do we lose ourselves in the process of publishing so we no longer write?
I did. I have. I probably will again.
The publication process is far from easy. Probably the easiest part is writing the book in the first place. The rest of it - query, synopsis, blah, blah, blah - is the hard stuff.
The hard stuff, at least for me, can get in the way of the easy stuff.
I've realized that taking about twenty steps back is a very good thing. I need to write, not worry about the query and all the other gunk. Yes, those things are important, but not if they impeded the writing process. Not if every time I sit down to work on the query or synopsis I get all stressed out. Not if every time I search for an agent within my niche genre the results are smaller and smaller and smaller because the majority of agents are now repping the hot trend of YA or MG. Okay, it's not as bad as I make it sound. Just a little bit of drama on this fine, allegedly going to be very, very hot here in TN, day. Still, there's a trend toward YA/MG and I don't write YA/MG, so my options narrow even further. Geesh!
Somebody once said "don't sweat the small stuff". I have no idea who, and really don't feel like consulting my best friend Google to find out. The point is, while querying, synopsing, blahing, blahing, blahing might not seem like small stuff, it really is, because the BIG stuff is the writing.
So, I'm stepping back from everything (well, not blogging, because I love to blog) so I can write, so I can read, so I can bond with the boyz (Jesse and James) and my girl (Squeaky) and, of course, most important of all, Franklin. I'm still going to work on my query and my synopsis, I'm still going to do all the research as before, just not with as much fervor as in the past. I want to write. I want the words to spill forth in an endless torrent. I want to rush home at the end of the day, fix dinner, bond, push Franklin out the door, and write until my fingers hurt. Then, I want to curl up on the couch with a book and read for a while. I want to remember (and do) that I love writing, it's not a job, a chore, an obligation, but something I love doing.
I no longer want to lose myself, my way perhaps, in the dream of publication that WILL happen one day. There is a time and place for everything and things happen when they happen, and not when I want them to happen. The journey to publication, for most, is a long and arduous journey. There are bumps in the road, a detour or dozen, and yet, in the end, it is all worthwhile. We (I) just need to remember that the easy part is writing the book and when we (I)lose that concept than, at least in my opinion, we (I) lose something of ourselves (myself).
So, research, query, synopsis, follow the trends, blah, blah, blah, but never forget that you (I) are (am) a writer and the writing should, at least in my opinion, supersede all other aspects.