Thursday, May 17, 2012

Help! I need OA (but it's not what you think)

I am in need of support group!  Not Overeaters Anonymous (although on this blog I’ve talked about the similarities I’ve encountered on my weight loss journey and my writing journey several times) but in this case I am in need of the wisdom and courage of my fellow writers, and a place where we can share.  
Do any of you know where there is a meeting of Over-Editing Anonymous?
Some will hate me when I say this, but I love to revise. As long as I have words on the page, I can usually sit my butt down and work -- sometimes for hours.  I think this has to do with my fixer personality.  I am a problem-solver.  Give me something to work with and my brain spins into gear.  
Give me the blank page, or the need to complete a first draft and... well, it’s not a pretty picture.

You may not think this is a problem, but as with any obsession habit, it certainly can be.  For instance, I recently have taken to writing shorts and children’s picture books just so it’s easier for me to revise.  Every sentence, phrase and even word -- sometimes multiple times.  And then, I still have trouble stopping. 
Every day I learn some nugget of wisdom on blogs, newsletters, chats and workshops regarding the craft of writing.   I am constantly learning, which is a good thing, but then I feel the need to apply this new nugget.  I am not necessarily looking for perfection but rather reading more work and saying, it could be better.  That’s likely another piece of my personality, the never-quite-good-enough piece. How many revision are enough?  When do you call it quits and submit?
I started a revision of my first manuscript, a 100,000 word novel and I knew going in that I wanted to edit and rewrite, applying much of the wisdom I’ve learned since writing this story.  Some scenes are turning out better, but yesterday, after spending several hours on a rewrite the day before, I read the original scene and realized it was better than the new scene, needing only minor tweaking. 

So you see it can be a big problem.  I need OA.  Or at the very least a workshop geared to knowing when to quit revising and submit. 
For now, I’ve found deadlines are my coping mechanism tool.  Real ones, like a contest deadline, or my own imaginary deadlines.  I call it  -  The Suck it Up, and Submit, even though it’s only been through 14 revisions. Or another favorite self-imposed deadline -  Step Away From the Keyboard and Send it Already.
Another strategy I’ve learned but don’t apply enough is printing out the draft, revising on paper.  Part of this is the waste of ink and paper, but seriously I need to tell myself, that’s better than the more precious commodity, my work hours and possibly my sanity. Reading from paper, helps me to step back and look at the words at a distance -- more objectively.  If I simply open the document on the computer I start to revise and revise and revise without reading the whole scene, or chapter or piece.
So for now, I’ll keep working my program toward recovery.
Maybe some of you have other wiser ideas or advise on how to deal with the over-editing dilemma.  I am all ears and ready to try almost anything.  Feel free to comment.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Romance Writers Summer Camp

I haven't posted in a while and my last post was a recipe which means either I was stuck or like a few weeks ago sick.  But then things in my household really went to hell.  I hung on but blog posts were the last thing on my mind.

Pulling myself out of the debris, I got ready for a guest post that was lined up for today.  But the way things have been going I should have known.  So instead of a guest author post here are some testimonials regarding the upcoming Marketing for Romance Writers Summer Camp.

Opportunity Knocks at Marketing For Romance Writers Summer Camp. Open the door to: SEEK, TEACH, LEARN, SHARE, SUCCEED...and discover MFRW'S MOTTO of Achievement

For those of you looking to learn any kind of marketing for your romance writing stop by their site, join their free summer camp, read these testimonials from satisfied authors.

Testimonials for Marketing For Romance Writers:

Authors, if you want a site that will give you USEFUL information, from how to make a movie trailer to promoting your book at the local library, join MFRW (Marketing for Romance Writers). There is no promo allowed on this site, so you won't have to wade through endless chatter to get a bit of useful information. Other writers post, leave comments, and share their wealth of information. I'm so pleased to have found this group! Naomi Bellina

MFRW (Marketing for Romance Writers)  helped me discover new and unique ways to market my work and my brand to my readers. Savannah Chase

I think this group is so fantastic I recommend it regular to every new writer I meet when they ask me about being a writer. After producing a book, the next biggest task is marketing it and this group overflows with ideas, contacts, and support. I was first published five years ago and I'm still learning every day. Andrea Jackson

MFRW (Marketing for Romance Writers) Twitter Workshop. Romance Junkies made it again this year in the Writer's Digest 101 best websites for writers and one of the categories they list for us is “On twitter” If it wasn’t for your workshop on twitter RJ would not be tweeting ;-) So thanks again for the great twitter workshop! 

When I first published and learned I had to market on the internet, I was totally lost. Fortunately, I was directed to Marketing For Romance Writers as a place to go for advice and to learn the ropes. It’s the best advice I’ve received in my writing career. Everyone at MFRW has been helpful and sharing, and I am so grateful to have found this valuable resource and these wonderful people. R. Ann Siracusa, author of romantic suspense series

Join FREE- FREE MFRW Summer Camp July 14-15

Feel free to comment on anything, it's that kind of week.