News! – Write Now Columbus – January 2020

News! – Write Now Columbus – January 2020


News! – Write Now Columbus – January 2020

I may be too sick to write an essay because I came down with the flu, but I’m not too sick to share some happy updates.

Mango Publishing just signed me to a NEW PROJECT! In Spring 2020, Mango will release You Should Be Writing: A Journal of Inspiration and Instruction to Keep Your Pen Moving.

You Should Be Writing is not just another pretty notebook. The “blank” pages include wisdom from writers who have trudged the trail before us and left breadcrumbs we can follow. I hope you find it helpful on your writing path.

Be sure to follow me on social media, so you don’t miss the cover reveal and other news!

My next class is this month, on Sunday, January 19th from 1PM to 5PM in Upper Arlington and I’m booking other events into the spring.

As always, I wish you happy, healthy writing. Please let me know how things are going. Your success is my joy!

Five Structures to Help You Achieve Your Writing Goal

“Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” – Harriet Beecher Stowe

My memoir, formerly titled Twenty-Six Point Freaking Two: How a Sedentary, Middle-Aged Manic Depressive Became a Marathoner (with the help of her dog) has a new working title: Depression Hates a Moving Target: How Running with My Dog Brought Me Back from the Brink.

But that’s beside the point.

The real news is that the manuscript (whatever you want to call it) earned a spot as a finalist in the 2018 William Faulkner – William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition in Nonfiction. The winner will be announced in September at the conference in New Orleans.

How in the heck did that happen?

It happened because I followed the instructions of my writing coaches, the award-winning authors Tania Casselle and Sean Murphy. Among other things, they advised me to enter every single contest for which the book was eligible.

Every! Single! One!

Still, how does someone who continues to have depressive episodes so crippling they make it difficult to get out of bed some days achieve such a goal? My secret? Structure.

The following five structures work for me:

1) Classes and Workshops.

The idea of entering every contest (or submitting to every publisher) that fit my book came from two extremely qualified writing instructors. Suggestions might come from other students as well. In either case, these people could help you do what might not occur to you, what might seem too difficult, or what you might think is a waste of time and money.

2) A deadline.

The final days of a contest or publisher’s reading period usually is enough to spark me into action. It’s that pressure cooker effect. There’s no time for perfectionism. I just have to get it done.

3) Tracking Tools.

I love and Submittable. Real numbers don’t lie. I can see my submissions and percentages. The geeky part of me loves this. Plus, Submittable recognizes people who collect the most rejections in a month. Anything like that helps.

4) Accountability Partners.

I tell a friend I’m going to do something. I tell my little writing group. I tell my husband or my neighbor. I tell the regulars at the coffeeshop where I write. Eventually, one of them will ask about my goal. I don’t want to let either of us down.

5) Online Groups.

These are a different breed of accountability partners. But be careful with this. Choose wisely. I’m in a secret Facebook group for artists collecting rejection letters. If I’m not entering, I have no rejections to report. Telling these kind strangers is oddly satisfying.

But here’s the true secret. At some point, these external structures become internal. They light a fire inside me and I’m surprised to find myself motivated to attempt things I would never have done before. Magic? Perhaps. But I’ll take it.

What kind of structure do you need to meet your goal? What will help you not give up? I’d love to hear about it.

Taking a Class; Not Taking a Class

“Love has its own time, its own season, and its own reasons for coming and going. You cannot bribe it or coerce it or reason it into staying. You can only embrace it when it arrives and give it away when it comes to you.” – Kent Nerburn

Write Now Newsletter offers classes, writing groups and other opportunities to learn from and commune with writers. But when is it time to take a class and when is it time to stay home and write? When do we need to hear something new or to hear someone remind us of things we had forgotten? When do we need silence, long walks with the dog, and each of our own voices telling us where to push forward and when to pull back? I ask myself these questions often.

The rhythm of my class taking and time spent with other writers varies. I’ve enjoyed attending classes with many instructors. It’s a pleasure to meet new writers and share time with a professional who’s living the life I hope to live. At other times I don’t need yet another voice telling me how to write or giving me tips on how to get the writing done. It’s a balance. I look inside and see. Is it time to be inspired by someone else or do I need to inspire myself?

Right now I’m taking two on-line classes. I download the self-paced lessons and read them. I post questions on-line for others to answer. And, I do the work. When I’m finished, I go back on-line and let everyone know how I’m doing. Because these courses require actual work on the manuscript, it feels like I’m splitting the difference.

How do you balance taking classes with the pen to paper or fingers to keyboard work of putting words on the page? If you’d like, please leave a comment below.

Verified by MonsterInsights