Monday, June 21, 2010

THE TRUE PATH OF A WRITER

A big *cheese* to all you father's out there. Happy post-Father's Day!! Hope yesterday treated you well. Could never have enough good mojo to hand out to our dads.


A special smooch goes out to my dad and of course my hubby, daddy to our offspring. You guys are my heroes. Luv.


Also a quick thank you to LM Preston who featured me as a spotlight party guest to her book release on her blog, release party site, and her website. It's my first official interview. Check it out if you have time.


On to today: I am here to motivate you. Yup, a combo: I Image Monday and Light Bulb Moment. Don't fret; it won't be too scawy.


Light Bulb Moment
THE TRUE PATH OF A WRITER

Last week, I started feeling restless. It'd been coming on for a few weeks. I knew the kids were off for the summer in less then a week, and I found myself stressing over it, trembling at the thought of their all-day presence getting in the way of my writing.


For me, there comes a time where my light bulb grows annoyed, and instead of blinking at me, it decides to smack me in the head. I can be dense and incredibly blind. 


Well, a two-by-four epiphany began to sneak through that restlessness I spoke of. I actually felt nauseous for awhile. (all good; don't worry.) I spent most of those days debating what needs to change, how to go about it, and took time to weigh my options.


I'm a goal setter by nature. I see what needs to be done; I devise a plan, and it gets done. Period. I was that way when I had set off to chase my dream of dancing professionally (which, if you're a newer Alleywalker, I veered from to stay home and care for my mom who developed MS). 


From the moment I decided to devote myself to writing seriously, I had a plan. The only element that wavered was time. I had no idea how long it would take to reach my goal of publication and a career.


I was fortunate to have one of my first stories receive H.M. (I've mentioned this before.), where others could see my short story. That was sweet but short lived. Nothing since. It didn't take me long to realize the world was much bigger than I'd imagined, even in my make believe worlds. I knew it would take lots of hard work, and I embraced the self-challenge with passion--which I have not lost; it's grown stronger.


When I began two years ago, I lent myself to every writing or publishing source I could find, wrote nonstop, and studied some aspect of writing each day. Increasing my vocabulary, grasping the elements to creating a fantastical adventure from arch to paragraph structure to dialog and voice, and discovering manuscript structures to agent desires and publishing were my main concerns.


Then I began to blog. 


And found all of you--my precious gems, who encourage me more than words.


I finally realize what has been bugging me. I feel like I'm chasing my tail, not able to give all I can because I've spread myself too thin. I not only have 2 blogs and 2 writing communities, but my studies, kids, home, hubby....All of which I ADOREBut something must give if I'm going to become all that I can be. I need more balance to afford me more focus on my manuscript, and preparing my query and synopsis.


So...drumroll please.....


Dah, dah, dah!!


I've decided to try a new schedule for the summer. If it works out well, maybe I'll keep it; maybe I won't. I'm cutting my posts to Monday-Wednesday-Friday, with an occasional post in between.


With that being said, I've come up with a tentative schedule for postings. Mondays will be for interviews and I Imagine Monday and Monday Exercises, and Fridays will be a freestyle full of surprises. Wednesdays will be special. I've decided to introduce one of my new characters to you through episodes I'll write weekly. She wants me to take her from her early beginnings before she wormed her way into my YA fantasy, paranormal romance. (not sure if all that is possible, but that's for another post.)  


So if this doesn't pan out, it's her fault. *grinning* Want to know her name? Come back next Wednesday, June 30th.


I Imagine Monday
MOTIVATING WORDS  


While I was writing my post for Oasis for YA yesterday, I realized I had a lot more to say on the subject of the sanctuary that we writers call words. I find lots of comfort--as well as frustration (shh...don't tell)--in words. There are words that move us, words that conjure images, and words that make us go yuck! Let's talk about a few.


Garble - a word used to confuse or corrupt. Maybe even to mislead.


Harbinger - an indication of the approach of something or someone. Maybe a storm or a shadow. (great word) 


Kitsch - tasteless, outlandish, often pretentious bad taste. 


Then there's some of my favorite words: descriptive words - guileless, trendy, impervious, ravishing (love this one), peevish. If you've ever read my work, you are more than away I tend to over describe everything. I'm learning to tone it down, but I just love imagery. 


One more - moxie, love this word. I almost can smell it. 


What words do you find comfort in?

26 comments:

  1. A lot of writers switch to the three time a week blog. I think that's fine. And it helps your readers like me who love reading blogs but can't squeeze them all in.

    I'm struggling with the same problem--squeezing in enough time to write with working full time, taking care of a family, and reading blogs. It's making it hard for me to see how I can have my own blog too. I know I'm spending too much time on blogging as it is. Any suggestions? Maybe you could do a blog post on this.

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  2. balance is a tricky thing. I've only recently gotten into blogging, but find I do spend way more time on it than I'd imagined I would. the victim has been the online writing community where I used to lurk constantly. I'm glad you found a way to get back to your writing (at least on Tuesdays & Thursdays). Looking forward to meeting your MC.

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  3. Chocolate! Okay, maybe that's more the taste and endorphin rush more than anything.

    I, too, am spending way too much time blogging. I love doing it, and hate the thought of missing some great posts, but I need to have time for other things, too. So like you and everyone else, my schedule is down to MWF (with the odd post on one of the days). Since a lot of bloggers are slowing down during the summer, fewer are checking the posts on the other days, so it doesn't make sense to blog then, either.

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  4. Totally understand Sheri, no worries. And we can do your guest post and the other stuff we discussed whenever you're ready! Thanks for being such a good blogging buddy.

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  5. Hey girl! You need to do what's best for you!! Always! ;-)

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  6. You're not the only one who has had to cut down on the blogging. It seems to be going around. I'm sure your new schedule will work out great! Good luck!

    ~JD

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  7. I'm feeling the spread too thin issue. Hopefully it frees up some up that restlessness for you.

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  8. I would actually prefer it if people would reduce the amount of posts they do each week. Now that I find I follow SO MANY blogs I can't keep up the pace at all. Even if I manage to read them - there's often not enough time to comment on them all!

    I think your new schedule will benefit everyone!!

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  9. First of all -- I LOVE the luscious new wallpaper. I want to roll around on it!

    This is my first Monday of summer vacation (witness: here I am, reading & commenting on blogs at 9:00 am!), and I am also pondering schedules. I listed a To-Do list on my blog this weekend, but that's only a partial list and doesn't even address reading other blogs, reading books, writing reviews that I owe, etc...

    I'm trying to ponder how to structure my days. Do I write myself a schedule, as if this were a teaching day, and address my tasks like scheduled classes? Or do I just wander free-form, working on whatever trips my fancy?

    How do you do it?

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  10. I think this is a great idea, Sheri. I can't wait to meet your protag! Plus, I love, love, love your new blog! Did you make that banner yourself, or have it made for you?

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  11. Thanks for the support, everyone. And I surely will support any changes to schedules you have to make.

    @Ann Marie, you make a great point. When you follow a lot of blogs--which I feel is really beneficial--it's hard to visit them all. I follow quite a few and don't want to miss anything of that particular writer's journey but can't visit daily. I try an mix it up. I think blogging less often but with more punch will be better for all.

    Thanks for the Hotheads about my new blog look. Still not sure if this is it but it's closer than the pink. Ugh. Sorry, I would never have made it as a PINK LADY. They'd of had to change the name for me. LOL.

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  12. I love your new blog look! It's very 'bordello of blood' lol. It sounds like cutting down to three days is what works best. I've kind of unofficially cut my blog posts down too. I stopped putting pressure on myself to post just for the sake of posting and now I only post when I really have something to say. I hope this helps you clear up your busy schedule so you aren't stretched thin!

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  13. I"m a teacher, a mom and a writer and summers SUPER stress me out. I've started to come up with LOTS of realistic goals for myself and sticking to them. I've also discovered if I take my kid to the pool, she'll nap for 2-3 hours. NICE!

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  14. Good luck with the new schedule! Hope it works well for you. So easy to spread ourselves too thin.

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  15. When I see the word moxie I think of the Target line of chocolate truffles, Choxie. And I can smell it :)

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  16. I like the word 'moxie', too. It has moxie.

    Yeah, balance. If you figure out the trick, please let me know. But 2-3 posts a week is a good start.

    Happy Monday,
    Lola

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  17. Go, you, finding the balance! It's so important! Take care...!

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  18. Oh my gosh Sheri! I'm gone for one week and your whole blog changed! It's great! (I'm a little jealous...in a good way.) =D

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  19. Leave the blogosphere for a few weeks, and the whole thing changes! :) It's looking very snazzy here, Sheri!! I like the Mon-Wed-Fri posting schedule, and I agree with Ann Marie--I for one won't miss as many posts. Good luck writing this summer--I actually feel so much less stress with the coming of summer.

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  20. My kids' last day of school was today, so who knows how my summer schedule will change. But, I look forward to your regular postings!

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  21. You're smart to try balancing things in a way that works better for you. We'll all still be here, whether it's > or < 3 times a week. LOL!

    I love the words you listed. I also love: plethora, behemoth, multiplicity, vacillate, daffodil, moose, and cajole (to name a few). He he.

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  22. Dude, I love your new layout!

    And yes, I'm feeling this too. I think it's fine to take breaks. I've stopped feeling guilty about it. I do my best and that's all I can do. Have a great summer!

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  23. I only blog three times a week and I think that's plenty if I ever want to actually get my writing stuff done! So I totally understand.

    I love those words!! I have to say that I really really like the word grimace. lol. I catch myself using it wayyyyy too much.

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  24. Hi, Sheri! coolio blog~
    sounds like a lot of folks agree (as do I) that a blogging schedule is a must. Being a freelance writer by trade, I was just sapped after blogging 7 days a week and keeping up with family, etc. It's tough.
    I like your stuff, though & look forward to getting to know you @yalitchat~ :o)

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