Predictability

I’ve been doing some reviewing of books off Netgalley. This has allowed me to expand my reading into areas I might not have explored and to authors I might not have known about. I’ve found some gems. But this week, I started reading a romantic suspense and though it was written well enough, I knew in about twenty pages how the book would play out. I skipped to the end and discovered I was right. Now with some books, this predictability isn’t a problem. The journey and the characters will carry me through. This book? Not so much. I didn’t engage with the characters in that twenty pages and I wasn’t interested in knowing more. So that’s a did not finish book.

Predictability as a writer is necessary. There are things a character will not do and if you break out of those limits, then the unpredictability is bad. Readers engage with characters and need to know that what they are doing makes sense within who they are. And if they go ‘out of character,’ there has to be a logical/reasonable reason.

On the other hand, you want to be unpredictable. You don’t necessarily want to go with the obvious. You’ll sometimes hear the advice that when you’re plotting, you should brainstorm ideas about what should happen and you should go with the fifth or later. That way, the story will be fresh and not obvious, and yet your reader will say, of course! It makes perfect sense! How did I not see that coming?

I heard a story once about A.E. Van Vogt. He was known for unexpected twists and really fresh stories. The story I heard was that he once said that every so many words or pages, he’d take a hard right turn and do something completely unexpected. It was very deliberately done, rather mechanical. He didn’t think, so this is how the story is going, he thought, how can I jump out of this groove to somewhere else entirely? It takes enormous talent to be able to do that and still tell and coherent story with good characterization.

Whisper-of-Shadows-768x1152This, right now, is important to me because I’m 2/3 through the draft of this novel, and I stopped dead. It took me a day or so to figure out that I’d done two things wrong. I’d let two characters do something out of character for them, and the road I’d taken was too predictable. So I have to rip out about 15k words and figure out a new road that’s both exciting and within character, both predictable and unpredictable.

So I’ve spent the past couple of days figuring out where I jumped the shark and trying to plot out new and interesting ideas. My brain has been a little cottony on the subject, but I’m making progress.

What’s new in my book world? Riley’s dad is back and murder and mayhem are on the agenda: Whisper of Shadows.

 

author pic francis

Diana Pharaoh Francis writes books of a fantastical, adventurous, and often romantic nature. Her award-nominated books include The Path series, the Horngate Witches series, the Crosspointe Chronicles, and Diamond City Magic books, and the Mission:Magic series. She’s owned by two corgis, sp

ends much of her time herding children, and likes rocks, geocaching, knotting up yarn, and has a thing for 1800s England, especially the Victorians. For more about her writing, visit www.dianapfrancis.com. She can also be found on twitter as @dianapfrancis.

Plot Stitching and Seam Rippers

I made it through Home Ec without doing myself bodily harm.

seam ripper

Considering that the girl at the table next to me ran the needle of her electric Singer sewing machine right through her finger (and broke the damn needle off IN her finger), I figured that I dodged a bullet.

One of the tools we used in that class was a seam ripper. It was a pointy little sharp hooked thing that slid under stitches and cut through thread so you could take out a crooked seam. Part of sewing is ripping out your mistakes and putting the pieces back together again. And while I haven’t sewed anything since that long-ago class, years later, I’m thinking about seam rippers, and how sometimes you have to tear things apart to re-stitch them. It happens when you’re sewing a shirt, and it happens when you’re stitching a plot together.

I’m working on the new epically-epic epic fantasy that still must not be named (seriously, we don’t have a final title yet, and I’m not allowed to tell you about the world yet). I finished the draft, read it through, and decided that while I liked parts of it, there were other sections that weren’t working, or that needed to get moved around, condensed and smashed together with other parts, or expanded. So I took a mental seam ripper to it and took it apart, then stitched it back together.

Sew it up, rip it out. Move the pieces around, sew it up again. Rip out different parts. Repeat until it’s right.

One of the benefits of experience is spotting things that need to be ripped out and stitched up differently on your own, before they get to an editor. If you’ve been called out on something on a previous book, you add it to your mental list of things to watch for on future manuscripts.  Then when you read over your draft, you’re going through your checklist, looking for places to use your seam ripper, places where you need to go back and take the manuscript apart so you can put it back together better this time. The more ‘missed stitches’ you can find on your own to fix before the book goes to the editor, the cleaner the manuscript and the less the editor has to send back with comments. I’d rather find and fix my own mistakes before anyone else sees them; somehow, that’s less intimidating than having them pointed out by someone else.

At the same time, it’s incredibly valuable to have other people find the dropped stitches you can’t see. That’s where having a good editor and good beta readers comes in handy. They’ll add to your mental checklist for the next book, so you can watch for those issues the next time. And even with all of that help, there will still be a comment in a review that strikes true, that makes you realize you could do something better, and now you know to watch for yet another thing to make the next book even stronger.

It’s part of the craft. It’s humbling and exhausting, frustrating and exciting, and it stokes all your writerly insecurities, but then at the end, once you’ve done all the restitching, you read through the draft and go, ‘Yes! This is what I had in mind!’ And it’s all worth it.

The April Survey results are in! This month was all about writing reviews. Here’s what our awesome survey respondents told me.

Question 1: How often do you leave a review? 58% said ‘sometimes if I’m not too busy’, 17% each said ‘always/only if I like the book’, 4% said ‘never/only for authors I actually know’

Question 2: What motivates you to leave reviews? 75% said ‘I know they help authors’ while 70% said ‘I loved the book’. 62% said ‘to help others discover the book’ and 37% said ‘I like to comment on the author’s work’ while 33% review when they hate a book.

Question 3: The top reason by far for not leaving a review was ‘too much of a hassle’.

Question 4: Over 86% knew that reviews are considered by potential book buyers, while 65% understand that the number and quality of reviews influence both the Amazon algorithm for visibility and for the ‘also read’ suggestions. 52% recognize that the good reviews lead to more visibility on Goodreads, and over 35% know that plenty of good reviews help on sites like Bookbub and Promocave.

Question 5: What encourages you to leave a review? Over 70% said getting a free review copy from NetGalley, 63% said knowing that reviews help authors, 37% said being personally asked by the author/helping other readers discover an author, and 29% said having an author thank them on social media/meeting an author at a convention.

Thank you for participating! I’ll get the free ebook prize out to our drawing winner!

The May survey is all about how you like to interact with an author at a convention. Here’s the link. I’ll do a drawing for one person to win 4 ebook short stories, one from each of my series, at the end of the month from survey respondents!

G&GRed-Gold LeafDo you like a little Steampunk with your fairy tales? Check out Gaslight and Grimm, with our story The Patented Troll, a clockwork riff on The Billy Goats Gruff.

The first three Blaine McFadden Adventures novellas are now together in one collection, King’s Convicts–find out what the Velant Prison years were really like, and how Blaine, Piran, Verran, Dawe and Kestel came to have each other’s backs. Kings Convicts Draft 1

 

 

A Special Release Day Quick-Tip Tuesday

David B. Coe/D.B. JacksonShadow's Blade, by David B. CoeWelcome to a special release-day edition of Quick-Tip Tuesday. Today is the official publication day for Shadow’s Blade, book III of The Case Files of Justis Fearsson (following Spell Blind and His Father’s Eyes). I have a giveaway going on my Facebook page; my publisher, Baen Books, is giving away five copies on Goodreads; I’ve been posting teasers from the book and last week I recorded an interview for the Baen podcast. Pretty standard release time stuff.

I love this book and this series, and would very much like to write more in the Fearsson universe, so if you have not yet started reading the Fearsson books, please consider picking them up and giving them a read. And if you have been reading them (thank you!) and have been waiting with bated breath for this newest volume to drop, now’s a great time to order your copy. We’ll wait. [Cue hold-time music . . .]

Ah, you’re back! Good. Let’s carry on.

My fellow MW contributors and I have celebrated releases here before. At this point, you’re probably all too familiar with the drill. We’ve written of the tension, the fear that this book’s sales won’t meet expectations and will make it that much harder for us to sell the next one. And we’ve written as well of the flip side, the thrill of having a new book out, of seeing our latest title in print form. It never grows old, and I promise you I never, ever take it for granted.

But on release days in particular I am reminded of advice I have offered here before, and since this is Quick-Tip Tuesday . . .

Shadows-Blade-RR-banner-2-1Success is something I have tried to define for myself. I would love to make bestseller lists with every release. I’d love to have starred reviews in every journal. I’d love to see Shadow’s Blade, which I think reflects my best work to date, nominated for a truckload of awards. But those things all lie beyond my control. I’d be lying to you if I said that I don’t take poor sales to heart, and that I don’t take personally each less-than-stellar review. I still get rejections, and I take those personally, too. I know I shouldn’t. I’ve told all of you that you shouldn’t either, because it really is good advice. But this is far easier said than done.

We all have things we want to achieve, and I have been trying recently to catalog them — to compartmentalize them, if you will — in such a way as to cushion the disappointments and highlight the successes. So let’s try it. Let’s think in terms of Goals, Ambitions, and Dreams.

I look at Goals as those things I can control and realistically expect myself to achieve. I have been editing my first series, the LonTobyn Chronicle (Children of Amarid, The Outlanders, Eagle-Sage) for re-release later this year. I have the rights back and I’m basically self-publishing them, although not quite. More on this is the near future, but for today suffice it to say that I’m going through each book in the series and cleaning up the prose, making the books leaner and more readable. My goal is to have all three ready for publication by the end of the summer. I also want to pitch three more Fearsson books to Baen. I’d like to have those contracted by the fall as well. And I have an idea for a Thieftaker novella. I’d like to have it written by the end of they year. Those are goals. They’re fairly lofty, but I think I can get all of them done. And while Baen’s willingness to contract new Fearsson books lies beyond my control, I do think there’s a decent chance it will happen.

Shadows-Blade-RR-banner-1-1Then there are my Ambitions. I’m hoping that the reissue of the LonTobyn books and the re-release over the next year and a half of my Winds of the Forelands and Blood of the Southlands series, will bring me a good number of new readers. I have sales figures in mind for these books — numbers I’d like to reach. I don’t know if I can get there, but I do believe that if I’m smart about publicizing the releases and reaching out to my current readers, I can reach the levels I have in mind. I would also like to see the new Fearsson books build on the numbers we’re seeing so far for the first set. And I’m hoping the new Thieftaker novella will help me build support for a continuation of the Thieftaker franchise in some form. These are ambitions rather than goals, because I have far less control over these things, and far less certainty that I can make them happen. I’m confident, but I’m not sure, the way I am about my goals. If I don’t get all that I want, I’ll be disappointed, but my failure to achieve those things won’t be for lack of effort.

And finally I have my Dreams. The re-release of my backlist brings those books the recognition and commercial success I hoped they would enjoy the first time around. The Fearsson books catch fire and catapult me onto bestseller lists. The groundswell of support for the new Thieftaker renews interest in the first four Thieftaker novels and turns them into big sellers. Clearly, I have almost NO control over these things, and chances are none of them will happen. But I can dream, right? And if even one of them does turn into reality . . . Well, I’ll be really, really pleased.

So I’m going to push myself to achieve my goals. I’ll do everything I can to make my ambitions come to fruition. And I’ll dream a little. Because here’s the thing: Dreams can’t come true if I don’t push myself to be ambitious. And I can’t entertain my ambitions if I don’t put my butt in the chair and meet my goals.

If I define my success only by whether or not my dreams come true, I’m setting myself up for failure. If, on the other hand, I define success by whether or not I meet my goals — whether or not I sit at my keyboard and write the best books and stories and series proposals I’m capable of writing — then success becomes something I can control. Success becomes a matter of personal achievement rather than something founded on a set of impersonal metrics I can’t influence. And I prefer it that way.

Keep writing. Define success on your terms. And, to quote John Hartness, buy my shit.

Making Money Mondays – Yog’s Law

Hey y’all – I’m having some real life headspace issues today, and can’t quite get the post I wanted to write formulated in a coherent fashion, so this is a reprint from my website from several years ago. It still remains pretty relevant. I’ll be back in two Mondays with my head on straight. Thanks! 

Blame Kris Rusch and her excellent blog for this post. Kris writes one of the best business of writing blogs out there, and if you desire a career in this business and aren’t reading her stuff, you’re probably missing opportunities. But anyway, that’s irrelevant here, except that she mentioned Yog’s Law in a recent post, and it inspired this rant. So…sorry about that

Yog’s Law, simply put, states that “money flows to the writer.” Traditional publishing companies and writers use this anthem to decry shady business practices by vanity presses and unethical agents, and in those cases it is very valid. If an agent charges a “reading fee” to look at your manuscript, they’re not a real agent, they’re a scam artist getting paid to read books. Agents get paid to sell books. When you make money, your agent makes money. Same as a sports agent or an actor’s agent. None of these people get a thin dime if their client isn’t working. That’s one reason agents have more than one client — so they don’t starve!

And the statement used to be just as valid in the publishing world. Unscrupulous vanity presses trying to pass themselves off as legitimate publishers would come up with fees for all sorts of things that publishers typically do for their authors for free, like editing, layout, formatting, cover art, etc. These are red flags when dealing with a publisher – if they want you to pay for these things, and you’re an author, then you’re not dealing with a publisher, you’re dealing with a crook.

But the world is different now. I say that a lot, because we’re living in the flippin’ future, people! Seriously, my cell phone has more computing power than the machines that put men on the moon! So the world is different, and the usual laws don’t always apply in the same ways.

Or do they?

Does Yog’s Law still apply just as firmly as it used to?

Yes. But in the case of a self-published author it’s important to understand that sometimes the PUBLISHER has to spend money so that the WRITER can make money.

And those people often inhabit the same body. That’s where the wicket gets all sticky. As a self-published author, or even someone just reading about and paying attention to self-publishing, you need to understand that there are times when you wear the writer hat, and times when you wear the publisher hat. When I’m ripping apart Return to Eden: Genesis next month, I’ll be wearing my writer hat. When I just paid a guy to redo all the covers for my Black Knight Chronicles books, I was wearing my publisher hat.

Yes, money should flow towards the writer. But sometimes the publisher has to pay for things. And those two roles may be fulfilled by the same person. So whenever you hear someone toss around “money flows towards the writer” just understand that they haven’t thought through the fact that sometimes you’re the writer, collecting the coins, and sometimes you’re the publisher, spending them.

 

Friday Fundamentals: Copula Spiders

 

I admit that I really enjoy teaching writing; therefore, I tend to read about writing quite a bit as well.

When I came across Attack of the Copula Spiders: Essays on Writing by Douglas Glover, I had to read it. It is, in short, about how to write a novel. I’ve not finished the book yet, and I admit to skipping ahead to the chapter on copula spiders (page 43, if you’re interested in that sort of thing). So, that’s where we’re going today.

Turn with me in your books to page 43.

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Today’s post will be my thoughts on reading about spiders.

Ron loves spiders!

Not that kind of spider! This kind of spider!

ceaa172158f903827d33e1cd70544ad4

I posted this image on Facebook not too long ago and got quite a few different reactions, so I’d like to test it here and see if the results are the same.

“A copula spider occurs when a student uses the verb ‘to be’ so many times on a page that I can circle all the instances, connect them with lines, and draw a spider diagram on the page. Now there is nothing grammatically wrong with the verb ‘to be’, but if you use it over and over again your prose is likely to be flaccid and uninteresting. The reason for this is that the verb ‘to be’ is only a linking verb, a connector, something like an (=) equal sign. It does not make a picture or an image. It has no poetry” (49-50).

He later goes on to write, “The verb ‘to be’ doesn’t tell a story” (50).

Side note: There’s so much in this book that I’d like to talk about that I’ve considered requesting to teach a class on it. We’ll see if that goes anywhere.

The concept of the copula (linking verb) spider is one that I’ve been pondering for a few weeks now, and I think I have decided that it’s a valid point, something writers should consider.

However, that statement comes with a disclaimer.

Just eliminating linking verbs and replacing them with action verbs does not make one a good writer. It’s all the little things combined, all the things that we often take for granted–the experience we get from reading the classics of literature, new releases that take the industry by storm, or prize-winning novelists; the attention to detail in describing a room or an ancient ruin; the way we touch language and play with the words to see which one fits just right.

I believe the copula spider is just one tool in a vast toolbox that writers develop over their careers.

David recently talked about going back to some of the work that he’d written at the beginning of his career and recognizing how much his writing had grown. I think the same thing is going on here. We, as writers, should be aware of these things but not let them overtake us as we evolve and change and grow. Similarly, we shouldn’t depend on these kinds of things as the sole method of development. 

Share your thoughts in the comments below.

To Agent or Not To Agent? Part Two

Today we’re welcoming back Barb Hendee. Barb is the nationally best-selling co-author of the Noble Dead Saga, along with her husband J.C.  She is also the author of the Vampire Memories series and the recently launched Mist-Torn Witches series. If you missed the first part of this great post, please read it here: http://www.magicalwords.net/misty-massey/to-agent-or-not-to-agent/

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Why You Might Need an Agent

1) Negotiating Contracts

Now, here, instead of an agent, you can go with an IP (intellectual property) attorney and just pay a one-time fee. I know a few writers who have done this and had a good experience.

Again, JC and I are with John Silbersack at Trident Media, and our agency is always on the lookout for new “clauses” that are suddenly slipped into contracts. Sometimes even innocuous-sounding clauses can have long-term impact. Trident Media has its own legal department, and we are more comfortable using the combination of our experienced agent and the Trident legal team when it comes to negotiating a contract.

[Note: No matter who negotiates the contract, it is up to you to read every word, ask questions, and make sure you understand each clause before you sign it. Remember your grandfather’s advice and never sign a document before you’ve read it.]

2) Inside connections

For me, this is becoming increasingly important. With the changes in the publishing industry, and the mergers, and the vanishing imprints, even people who are very connected are having difficulty keeping up.

I think it would be challenging for a new writer to try and submit an unsolicited manuscript in the current market because just figuring out “where” to send it and to “whom” to send it has become tenuous.

Our agent is well connected, and even he’s had trouble with this. Just last month, he sent my Victorian romance to a long-time editor at Berkley, and by the time it reached her desk, her position had been “eliminated.”

3) Getting your manuscript in front of a New York editor

This last item is the “thesis” of my blog post.

Is it possible to somehow get a manuscript on the desk of a New York editor without an agent? In theory, yes. I don’t have to look any farther than myself.

In 2001, I got a little novel called Dhampir through the slushpile (without an agent) and onto the desk of an editor at Ace/Roc. She read it and made an offer.

However, keep in mind this was 2001, and the publishing industry was different fifteen years ago. Some of the imprints were acquiring a lot of books. Borders and B&N were doing well, and mass-market paperbacks were booming.

Also, by 2001, I had sold one novel (for a professional advance) to a small publisher, and I had a long list of professional short story sales. My cover letter and my writing credentials somehow got me out of the slushpile. I honestly don’t know if these would have cut any mustard in the current climate.

Last week, I decided to do some research. At this point in my career, I am pretty well connected, and I am acquainted with a number of New York editors. I did a verbal survey to see if any of them read unsolicited, unagented manuscripts.

All the answers were the same. Here is a quote from one editor at an imprint of Penguin Random House that sums up the responses:

“It is rare for editors to even see unagented manuscripts. Neither of the senior editors here look at them, and I occasionally look at them. I’m guessing I read 10-15 agented manuscripts for every non-agented one. Basically non-agented manuscripts are just classified as slush so would go into that category. In the last 5 years we’ve only had one author that we acquired without an agent, and he came from the slush pile. He now has an agent.”

So . . . if you want to go traditional, think a bit on this quote.

Everyone is responsible for his or her own writing career. Think carefully, think critically, and no matter what you hear, make these choices yourself.

Hump-Day Help: Breaking up with FOMO

its-cool-ill-just-sit-here-nursing-my-fomoI honestly had no idea what I was going to write about today until I hit “Add New Post.” Such is my life as of late. Ha! I’m actually stealing from my own life and one of my best writing pals advice today. So let’s hear it for Alexis Daria, one of the most awesome people I know AND the best person brought into my life here in NYC when I swapped my 2nd job from Theatre to Writing. She’s also the cover designer for both of my short stories, FYI (Which I get compliments on at every convention). Her website is HERE.

So…what are we going to jump over today, on Hump-Day Help? And WTH is “FOMO”? Why should you break up with him/her? You see, I like to think of FOMO as the significant other who hangs on you and smothers you. Who’s a bad influence on you.

SO…

FOMO_-_The_Fear_of_Missing_Out_and_It_s_Impact

First off, ANYTHING fear related is bad. Period. Operating from that stand point causes you to make bad decisions. Come on, how often in your lifetime have you dated someone you knew wasn’t really a good match for you because you feared being alone (or that you’d end up alone), so you dated and all the wrong people. FOMO is sort of like that in my eyes.

We as writers deal with FOMO a lot. If you don’t, praise whatever deity you claim because you’re one lucky SOB. However, MANY do deal with FOMO, especially self-published writers because they need every opportunity to market themselves and each toe-hold (no matter how unstable) they can grab onto in order to climb that publishing mountain is important.

We’ll take this FOMO concept and apply it to my current issues because Hump-Day Help has always been me taking what I’ve learned (mostly the hard way) and sharing it to help others. In short, convention season is fast approaching, and for the past 2 years I have put out a new book each year by either ConCarolinas or Dragon Con. Why? Well, as John Hartness will tell you on Monday Making Mondays (here on Magical Words) the more you put out there, and the more diverse it is, the more money you can make. And he’s right. Thus my two issues:

  1. I have a wonderful werewolf story that’s ready for a last edit and then a send off to my editor (the incomparable Melissa Gilbert, another MW writer), called Moon Over Manhattan. I could get it ready in time for Con Season (as I call it) but that would mean putting my BIG project (The Curse of Billy the Kid) aside and a mad dash to put the book out. It’s totally doable. I’ve taken two books, re-edited them into YA, split them into 4 books, and given them new cover art and swag in 3 months for release, so this is something I can pull off. But should I?
  2. I have 3 conventions on my plate at the moment, and there are 2 others that I would like to attend. But since EVERY convention is a plane ticket, a hotel, food, cost of printing books, cost of printing swag, shipping cost to send books/swag to location, taxi fare, and time off work, it’s a drain on my finances and to be honest, I’m broke.  So, do I go to these other conventions? Do I go to any conventions?

Here’s where FOMO comes into play.

Let’s tackle #1

Self-published and traditionally published writers feel the need to get more good work out there all the time, be it the continuation of a popular series or putting new stories out there to attract more readers. This is because not everyone in the Fantasy genre likes the same stuff (not a shocking statement, but its important to remember). For example, someone may not be into vampires, but they love werewolves…thus, Moon Over Manhattan would be for them and I’d make a sale where I wouldn’t have if I only had vampire books. Make sense? Okay…so, because of this, we push ourselves, we have a fear of missing out on sales/readers/money and keeping our name out there.

Now let’s tackle #2

I can hardly afford to do conventions. Dragon Con last year put me in the hole for 6 months. But I do them because it’s the only way I’m getting my name out there at this point in time. Plus, seeing my writing family rejuvenates my soul, which is something I need in order to be a better writer, even though many would claim some writers have no soul (but THAT is a topic for another time). LOL! Problem stems from the fact that I live in a city that hasn’t given me more than a 2% raise each year for over eight years while my rent goes up 4.2% each year (7.7% this coming year if I loose my fight with the reality office) while everything else I have to spend money on also goes up in price. FOMO tells me that if I don’t attend more conventions I’ll miss out on getting seen/heard (I do a lot of panels and meet/talk to a ton of people), meeting important people, and possibly an agent/publisher. Con’s are networking events we writers need. So to not go does mean I’ll miss out…but the fear of that can cause writers to push past their financial means.

Sure, I could leave NYC, and it’s becoming a real consideration, but I love this city so I’m torn. Either way, that doesn’t take care of the immediate issue(s) at hand. Which is, what is to be done with FOMO? Do we tell FOMO to shut up and lock him away in a room (it’s a ‘him’ for me, could be a ‘her’ for you, either way just go with the analogy)…change the locks on the apartment…leave him in New Jersey somewhere and hope he doesn’t find his way home?  No. We need to break up with him. He’s no good for us and we know it. We make bad decisions with FOMO around. He leads us down the wrong path.

FOMO1

So I took step one, I’m not selling books at Dragon Con this year. Sure, I’ll have some of my stuff with me if anyone after a panel wants to buy something from me, but I need to put FOMO away and admit my financial limits. Going to the con and talking to people on panels and off is more important, so I sacrificed my burning need to put a new book out and release it at Dragon Con at the booth. It hurts…boy does it hurt.

Step two? I’ll be having to say no to a convention or two I wanted to add to my list. I have 3 on the calendar right now and those are staying (ConCarolinas, ConGregate, and Dragon Con) but I’m going to likely turn down the others and do them another time. I’m going to have to be happy with going to 3 cons this year. Which is actually one more than last year so it’s still progress, just not as much as I wanted…but hey, I’ll keep from being evicted from my apartment, so it’s a good call.

Step three…deciding about Moon Over Manhattan…I’m still on the fence…I need to let go of the idea that I can get that ready by convention season AND work on Billy the Kid stuff. I do have this day job and a dog and a life too…so…yeah. *sigh* Last summer I gave up on that life thing…don’t think that’s how I want this summer to go.

So, how does ALL OF THIS apply to you? I want you to look at what you do because of FOMO. What does that wicked little man/woman make you do in your writing life that isn’t the best choice? I want you to really consider those choices and find a way to make them better. I know it’ll hurt and cause some panic, but trust me, it’ll all be okay. In fact, I’d love to hear in the comments what FOMO causes you to do! What are you struggling with fear-wise, with your writing career?

Oh…and here are some links I found…for FOMO may exist in your life and affect more than just your writing:

Five Ways to Fight FOMO

Fighting FOMO

Ten Ways to Overcome FOMO

That’s it for me this time around…until next time, write hard, bathe in imagination, and break up with FOMO…you’ll be glad you did.

Tamsin :)

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Originally from Michigan, Tamsin L. Silver is the creator/writer of two YA Urban Fantasy Series, Windfire and The Sabrina Grayson Novels, as well as the Web Series, Skye of the Damned. She graduated from Winthrop University with a BA in Theatre/Secondary Education and a minor in Creative Writing/Shakespeare. She has taught both middle school and high school theatre and run two successful theater companies, one of which in the place she currently lives: New York City. You can learn more about her and find links to all her things at www.tamsinsilver.com