After starting off the year in spectacular fashion in January, I was so set on making February a worthy sequel. After all, it’s the 2nd month and 2 is my FAVOURITE EVER NUMBER! Right?
Seems February was pretty much against me from the beginning. It started out on the right foot, and very quickly devolved into, well, no feet at all and even the hands failed to protect my face from planting it.
So let’s see how I did
- Finish plotting/outlining D – yeah – some of this is done, but I think I’m missing something.
- Begin drafting D if possible – not happening
Make time for potential edits of L/TDP– did this. I had this done by like the 4th. THE ONE THING I DID.
- Continue CP work (TPR etc) – only did a TINY BIT OF THIS. I suck.
- Read at least one book – yeah no- but I read lots of Lore, doesn’t that count? No? drat.
Do OWM piece– OMG IKR!? I did this. I was pretty proud of it to. So there. Go read it and make me feel better about February.
- Keep up with Social Media – I tried to cheer people on… abysmal failure here…
- Visit everyone’s blogs! – DUDE – I barely visited my own.
On the bright side – I’m helping out with an awesome project for an MMORPG I’m extremely excited for. I’m helping the amazing Vhalen with the Lore of the world. These assignments keep me busy and fascinated, and remind me why I love writing so much. I think, right now, I need that more than anything.
Sometimes we just need to take a step back and remember the small things – like love of creating.
I do have high expectations for myself for March – at least compared to what I managed in February. I’m determined to succeed and cheer everyone on, and I WILL be visiting those blogs.
Don’t forget to sign up for March!
Here are my March goals!
1. Play with Ds outline (to see if I can figure out my problem)
2. Work on Pantheon Lore (SO MUCH FUN)
3. CP work
4. Keep up with Social Media
5. Read a Book
6. Write OWM piece
7. Writemotivation stuff
So – I’m actually being a bit easier on myself this month. I hope I can figure D out. It really needs to be written lol
Anyhu – I really hope lots of people had a far better February than I did. If you did – awesome. If you didn’t – also great – let’s make March pay for February’s general suckiness.
With Brenda Drake’s #PitchMadness once again on the horizon, I wanted to touch on the pros and cons of contests.
Writing is a choice – sort of. You can choose to make time for it or go insane, at least, that’s how it works for me.
That being said – as I’ve previously posted, there are as many different processes for writing as there are writers. No two people will write exactly the same way.
This, of course, means – No two paths to publishing are exactly the same.
If you’ve been around Twitter much at all for the last couple of years, you’ll have noticed query, pitch and first page contests popping up all around. The writing community on Twitter is amazing. It’s supportive, motivational and so helpful it’ll give you back hope for the human race.
In case you didn’t know, I found my first agent through Brenda Drake’s PitchMadness in March 2012. By a weird sort of twist of events, this led me to my amazing current agent when my original agent changed career paths. She was able to refer my finished and unsubbed MS to a number of agents, one of whom was Bree.
That aside – for me, contests worked. Immediately. They don’t work for everyone. Not everyone finds their agent that way, or for a very long time. However, just like querying, taking part in contests is a very valid choice to pursue on the road to publication.
With social media becoming more entwined with everything people do, there’s no better way to reach out and interact with agents, editors, publishers and fellow writers.
You can attend conferences and network, you can query oldschool style, and these days you can network (to an extent) via online social media outlets.
However, don’t dive in thinking that contests are the be all and end all. Just like you would when querying, make sure you research those agents taking part and offering as a result of online pitch type contests.
A nice little check list of things to do:
- Research the contest – does it have a history?
- Is it run by reputable people?
- Who is participating?
- If it’s a contest that announces its agent participants on a blog – who are these agents?
- Are any of them people you might have queried but were closed?
- Do you think this contest will give you exposure/a chance to network that you wouldn’t otherwise have?
- If they’re not people you would usually be interested in, make sure to examine your motives for taking part. Don’t waste an agents time if you don’t think you’d accept an offer from them anyway if you were to receive one.
- What type of contest is it: Is it a 130char pitch contest?
- Can you condense your pitch enough for this?
- Is pitching in such a condensed style something you even want to do? Be wary of doing something just to do it.
- Also, make sure if it’s a pitch (request by favouriting contest) that you don’t just send to editors and agents. Make your choice about your path. Be certain garnering a request from an editor is what you want, over an agent.
Remember: Not all agents will participate in first page/query/pitch type contests.
They prefer to be queried in the old manner. Don’t rule this method out of how you plan to go about things.
Always research who the best agent might be for you and pursue them via whatever means you can/choose to.
Remember – anything you do with your writing is a choice. Whichever way you choose to pursue publishing, be it traditional or author publishing – is a valid for you. Don’t let lectures, or other’s opinions sway you in what you want to do. Just promise me you’ll always make your choices informed ones.
Hope this helps some people!
Let me know if you have any questions.
Most people who know me, should know that I met my husband in Everquest 2 in July 2005 and moved to the USA to marry him on June 1st 2007.
What you don’t know – is how much MMORPGs (Massive Multiplayer Online RolePlaying Games) have influenced who I am as a person and a writer.
Everquest, as envisioned by Brad McQuaid, was released in 1999. I was perfectly happy with Myst and Zork type games, and pen and paper RPGs. I never had any intention to play the game. I bought the PC so my then boyfriend could play. One night I was bored, so I thought I’d give it a go.
Looking back, Everquest graphics by today’s standards aren’t very much. But back then? They were amazing. The whole world that opened in front of me on my old monitor was amazing. Rich with colour, vibrant with virtual life – Everquest out the front of Felewithe (The High Elf City) was beautiful. Roaming hills, winding paths, deadly giant wasps and those pesky orc pawns that pathed and seemed to know when a newbie was most in need of a death…
Everquest reinforced my love for fantasy. It had an amazing Pantheon, immersive story lines behind every god and race. True racial conflict where some couldn’t set foot in other towns unless and until they worked hard at their faction. Where storming the Orc Citadel meant you needed to rely on people you didn’t know to support you and hopefully make it out alive.
With every step through the world, you built your own adventure. Forget choose your own adventure books – this – THIS was experiencing fantasy. This made me want to write even more, to create worlds like this for people to lose themselves in.
It took HOURS to cross from one side of the world to another. Kithicor Forest was harmless enough during the day, but woe betide anyone who set foot in it after 8pm or before 8am game time. You’d better stick to the wall and hope the undead didn’t crawl out and maul you.
Guild raids were an amazingly complex operation with 72 people in groups of six, and usually outside help from ‘recruits’ in another couple of groups. Keep in mind, in the beginning, there was no voice chat. I have Everquest to thank for my typing speed
You wanted to make friends, to seek out fellow players/adventurers and fight with them. And you sure as hell remembered people who left their keyboards, or ran off with loot from a monster. It was an amazing community, an enjoyable experience, and in many cases a test of player skill.
These days, however, there is something missing. The worlds in games are beautiful and vibrant, but the immersion ends abruptly. You have all the eggs to satisfy everyone, and it leaves a sense of camaraderie lacking. Today’s games have dungeon finders that teleport you to and from dungeons where you might never again meet the people you grouped with. There’s no need to get to know people because many of the encounters are fleeting. Quick ins and outs.
While these games can be fun, and defeating big boss fights exciting – there’s an essence that today’s games lack. Community, and the need to rely on other people to get through tough challenges including leveling.
I’m guilty of racing to 50 in new games in a 72 hour period, because for me, that’s one of the only challenges left. Waltzing in and killing everything with a group of aoe (Area of Effect) spells and abilities, can be fun, but after a while, it gets dull.
When I played Everquest, dividing my attention could kill my group or raid. In newer games? I can watch a whole TV series over the nights I raid and still excel. There was real danger to dying, you could actually lose your corpse. The whole world was so vivid, almost tangible.
Let’s not forget that without Everquest, I’d not have played Everquest 2, I wouldn’t have met my husband and I would never have had my beautiful baby girl. For me Pantheon signifies an immersion sorely lacking in other games today.
While it might be a niche game – I know there are people out there who want to play this sort of game, want to experience this type of camaraderie again. We miss it. We need it. We want it.
With Brad & Co at the helm, I believe we have the right team.
Pantheon needs to be made.
February has not been the best month for me.
First up we had lots of packing and arranging and shopping to do so we could go on a family ski vacation. Why no, I don’t ski. I would if snow weren’t involved. See my conundrum?
Anyway – it snowed every single day of our vacation – and while a certain tiny toddler was adorable, we pretty much just stayed in our house. Altitude sickness smacked all of us in the face, and it wasn’t pretty.
Then we got home, to find out that our Great-Gramma was in the ICU. She was transferred to Hospice late Monday afternoon, and passed away quietly while sleeping on Wednesday morning around 9am. We didn’t expect her to be gone so soon. And even though she had a full and beautiful life, it’s hard to let go of someone who influenced so many people in beautiful ways.
Thank you Gramma Wilma – for being there and brightening everyone’s world. You will be missed.
Needless to say, writing hasn’t been the most prominent thing on my mind. I’ve been very stressed, and sad, and snowed in – and none of those are conducive to productivity for me.
I’ll list out my #writemotivation points, just because I need to. Focus – that’s the key.
- Finish plotting/outlining D – in the process of
- Begin drafting D if possible – end of the month
Make time for potential edits of L/TDP– Already done
- Continue CP work (TPR etc) – in the process of
- Read at least one book – yeah I’ll get to it
- Do OWM piece – This weekend
- Keep up with Social Media – not really yet
- Visit everyone’s blogs! – I promise the second half will be better
As you can see, I’m not my usual productive self. I promise I will try to get back into cheering mode, and come visit everyone. I hope everyone else is having a much better February. I’m definitely not in the mood for Valentine’s Day on Friday.
How is everyone else doing?
Short and sweet title. The month feels like it flew by. Baby is almost walking solidly by herself. Our house is still getting overhauled but is in the last stages. And I’m still suffering from massive lack of sleep – but let’s not go there, shall we?
Let’s get to the point, shall we?
Finish Edits on L– Done Send L to agent– Done and received feedback back Continue research on D– Done and Initially outlined CP Stuff– Finished 2, in the middle of 1 Read a book– Hey – I didn’t say it had to be published so since I’ve read 3, I’m counting it. Visit Blogs!– I visited everyone AT LEAST twice Still working my way through but I did this Get started on writing process posts– Technically I’ve started this. I have one complete and two others started, but I’m not entirely happy with how little I managed OWM piece– Done and Done 5 super secret short story projects– DONE AND DONE
So – technically I’ve done all of my list. I’ve also almost finished the edits my Agent sent me on L. This is a good thing, but won’t be finished until Sunday. CP Stuff is ongoing, so I’ll just continue that into next month like a good multi-tasker. I think I’ll change my Read a book to read a PUBLISHED book… My brain skirts it too easily if it’s not specified.
You will also notice that I added a 9th, because I did manage to get all 5 of those done and I’d like to take a moment to preen about it. Thanks Not sure when I can announce the super secretness part of it, but I’ll leave it at that for now
Now, incase you haven’t heard me mention it, and let’s face it, if you follow me anywhere, you’re probably sick of the spam – but Brad McQuaid is making the successor to Everquest. I’ll be popping a post up next week on why this is so important to me. Needless to say, if you like the MMORPG genre and a challenging game, go check out his KickStarter and pledge.
Remember to sign up for #Writemotivation February - make sure your goals are realistic for yourself.
YOU CAN DO IT Because I said so
I know – pretty unoriginal title there, but WE WORK WITH WHAT WE HAVE, right?
This week has been a little slow for me. If you’re not already aware of it, I’m a HUGE MMORPG fan. I met my husband in Everquest 2, I play them until my eyeballs hurt – hell, I’ve even played through Gallstone pain – that’s hardcore lol. But there’s this game seeking kickstarter funding that I practically NEED to get funded. It’s called: Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen – If you like MMORPGs that challenge you – GO PLEDGE PLEASE I will platonically love you forever!
ANYWAY – Let’s get onto the writing part of this, shall we?
Finish Editson L Yeah yeah DONE DONE Send L to agentDONE ARGH SO NERVOUS Continue research on D– Awww yeah pretty much done and almost ready to outline
- CP Stuff – YES 2 down 1 to go!
- Read a book – *whistles innocently* Do CP books count?
Visit Blogs!I AM DOING THIS Get started on writing process posts– I have got started – I DID ONE OurWriteMind post for January– GO HERE – I made it extra special creepy
I’m almost there… ALMOST
That being said – It’s time to sign up for February – or at least get thinking about it.
Head on over to the sign up page and do your most realistic!
I’m hoping to get into a more than once a week blogging schedule come February with my little group of posts. I’ve only got one prepared for now – I’ll try to get a few more under my belt in the next week.
How has your January been? Will you earn that cookie badge?
So we’re almost done with January.
I think I live in constant fear of just how fast 2014 is going to fly by. The fact that publishing is pretty much just a drawn out waiting game – doesn’t help.
So, what to do? Focus on writing more books, researching more potential worlds and trying not to bite my nails to the quick.
My goals as they stand right now:
Finish Edits on L– Done Send L to agent– Done Continue research on D– AWWW YEAH DOING AND OMG OMG OMG SO EXCITED (to be fair I didn’t say I had to finish the research)
- CP Stuff – 1 down, 1 half done, 1 waiting
- Read a book – 2 started
Visit Blogs!– YES and YES – I will keep this up! Get started on writing process posts– I’ve already started! I’m on a roll
- Write OWM piece & pick prompt – Narrowing prompts down and have first draft of my piece done
I kind of cheated I guess, since I said to continue and then to start on something – I’ve not finished those things, but they’re definite works in progress of a continuing nature – so I think that’s a given.
I’ve visited every blog on the #writemotivation Roll Call Page. If you’ve made one or more posts in January – odds are I’ve commented on it/them. If you’ve not updated your blog in a while… I read it, but sort of floundered on what to say.
There’s still two weeks left of the month. I fully plan to finish at least one of the books I’ve started and to finish my two crits. February needs to be pretty much cleared so that I can write D – YAY!
So – how is your January going so far?
We’re just over a week into the month – year – whatever and so far, I’m right on track where I want to be.
I know this can all change in the blink of an eye, but here’s hoping I can keep up this pace without burning out too much
On January 8th from 8am EST until 8pm EST I helped Brenda Drake host #PitMad. I love the opportunity this sort of thing gives to people, but I realize it’s not for everyone. Methinks I feel a post about that coming up
Anyhu, onto the goals so far this month
Finish Edits on L– DONE Send L to agent– DONE (and chewing nails has commenced)
- Continue research on D – (in the process of)
- CP Stuff – 1 down, 2 more to go (that I currently know of)
- Read a book – yeah haven’t picked one yet
- Visit Blogs! – one week of this DONE!
- Get started on writing process posts – What? Posts? Me? Suuuuuure
- I’m a new point – Write OWM piece for this month
So – as you can see, I’ve got a good handle on this month at this point in time. Also – I should have added write OurWriteMind fiction prompt for this month, so, consider that added… If you’re not sure what OurWriteMind is, go take a look. I warn you – everything I write is pretty dark
I also need to add a todo list for the #writemotivation site, but that will have to wait for a week or so.
In the midst of all of this, my house is also getting the interior redone. New paint, fireplace, sink… It’s nice and all, but really is a bit of upheaval.
Anyhu – that’s how I’m going so far this month. What about you?
My goals are pretty simple at first glance this month
1) Finish Edits on L – already started
2) Send L to agent – see 1
3) Continue research on D – see below
4) CP Stuff – always
5) Read a book – HAVE TO PICK ONE
6) Visit Blogs! – Awwwww yeah
7) Get started on writing process posts – I WILL DO THIS lol
D is a historical YA Horror If I can pull it off – and in order to do it accurately, I have a hell of a lot of research I need to pile into it. This is a first for me. Sure, I write contemporary horror or science fiction with a creepy twist… and I set it in our current, very detailed, world. But researching the past and trying to get the buildings, the streets, the clothing, the etiquette and the speech right? That’s a challenge. So this month may look pretty tame for me – but this research is very important.
Anyhu – that’s pretty straight forward. My second pass edits on L are going well so far. I’m sort of excited and nervous about this book. Different category for me. First time, so we’ll see how it goes.
2014 feels all new and exciting. It’s invigorating to be kicking it off! How about everyone else? Is January off to a good start?
It’s that time of year again folks, the time when I bite the bullet and write a ridiculously long todo list – challenging myself to accomplish it by the end of the year.
I think I’ll try and be more realistic in 2014
Or at least, that’s my plan
Writing Goals (subject to PBM – Plotbunny migration)
- Finish 2nd Pass L edits
- Send to Bree
- Beta read for my crit partners
- Research D
- Outline/Plot D
- Draft D
- Research H
- Outline/Plot H
- Draft H
- Edit D
- Send D to Bree
- Edit H Send H to Bree
- Potentially re-edit TDP
- Research AI rewrite (Subject to PBM)
- Plot/Outline AI rewrite
- Draft AI rewrite
- Edit AI
- Send to Bree (PBM)
- Make sure to get the Blog Post series on my process completed and posted
- Use OurWriteMind to refine condensing of prose
- Maintain WriteMotivation
- Maintain Personal Writing Blog (redesign)
- Attend at least two Writer’s things (Conference/Workshop/Retreat)
- Read at least 18 books
- Maintain my healthy eating habits
- Exercise more (at all)
- Develop and maintain Kami’s schedule
- Stick to our budget
- Fly the parents over
- FINALLY Meet Jami & Owen
Internet Related Goals
- Maintain and develop #Writemotivation site
- Keep up with #Writemotivation and other Blogs
- Maintain social media activity
- Blog at least once weekly
Okay, so that’s me set for 2014. Hoping to reach all of my normal goals and do a clean sweep for the year. We’ll see how that goes, but I plan on helping myself along the way with #WriteMotivation
How about you? What are your resolutions or as I prefer to call them – goals?