Quick-Tip Tuesday: Realistic Expectations (and a Little Math)

In my last post a couple of weeks ago, I wrote about writing on a daily basis. I basically said that while no one should tell you that you have to do this in order to be successful, writing every day, despite life’s intrusions, is what professionals do. It is also the best way to build skills. For reasons I’ll get into soon, I hate the phrase “practice makes perfect.” But practice certainly does make proficient.

Still, while I recommend writing each day, that’s only half the story. No matter how often we write, or for how long, we need to set realistic expectations for ourselves. Because if we write every day, but we expect too much out of those writing sessions, we can do more damage than good.

I’ve said this before and I will continue to say it until people stop listening (you are listening, right?): writing is […]

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On goals and collaboration

I’m so excited that it’s finally release week for The Map to Everywhere, the first in a four book middle grade fantasy adventure series I’m co-writing with my husband, John Parke Davis! YAY! In honor of the release, I wanted to share a bit about the origins behind the series because this entire journey really has felt like a dream come true.

From an early age I knew I wanted to be an author even though I wasn’t really sure how one became such a thing. During my final semester in college I realized that if I wanted to write for a living, I’d better get started actually writing something I could sell. So I picked up a romance novel I’d begun drafting years before. I finished that book in 2000 and shopped it to agents, and while I got a few positive responses, nothing much came of it. I […]

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Goals – 2014 Edition

I’m off work for a week. I try to take the week between Christmas and New Year’s whenever I have the vacation time left over because it’s typically dead in our industry and it’s a good time for management to not be in the office. My sales people don’t have customers to call, because they’re all on vacation, so if I’ve got the plan for next year in place (kinda) it’s a good time to take off and leave the mice to play for a few days.

With that, my head immediately turned future-wise once I finished with Christmas dinner yesterday. Money was tight all around my family this year, which made for a less consumer-centric holiday and more introspection, which was nice and a little more relaxed. I did pick up a nice new pair of slippers, though, with better soles than my old pair so I can […]

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Writing More, Faster, Smarter

Several months ago, I attended a writing seminar taught by a highly-acclaimed writer who has seen success in multiple genres, both through traditional and self-publishing. I’d heard rave reviews of this writer’s presentations before, and I eagerly looked forward to his words of wisdom.

Alas, he was ill-prepared, pretentious, and condescending.

But I gained one nugget of wisdom from his presentation: In the modern world of publishing, writers need to do More.

More what?

Yeah, we need to do more publicity. Or the right publicity. We need to do more social media presence-ing. Or the right social media presence-ing. We need to do more career planning. Or the right career planning.

But most of all, we need more content.

For some of us, content has been relatively easy in the early days of self-publishing. We had backlist books, where the rights had reverted to us. We could take those […]

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Recap/Resolution post, 2013 edition

Every year I like to write up a recap/resolution post. While I know that not everyone is into New Year’s Resolutions, I like taking at least one time a year when I reflect on where I am, where I’ve been, and where I’m going. Originally my yearly reflection was limited to me figuring out how many words I’d written the previous year. This started in 2006 when I started my ten year plan to become published, which was a fairly straightforward plan that consisted of writing, revising, and submitting a book a year.

I’d reached the end of the 2006 without finishing a book (much less revising and submitting it) and I was feeling down because I’d failed in my goal my first year out. So I sat down and counted up how many words I’d written in order to prove to myself that I was actively working toward my […]

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On Writing and New Year’s Goals: Conquering Our Inner Demons

Happy 2012, all! Like A.J., I usually begin my year with a new set of goals and plans. I bring high hopes and great ambitions to every new year, and I was glad to have the chance to list my goals for 2012 in response to A.J.’s Friday post. Chances are, if he hadn’t written a Resolutions/Goals post, I would have.

But I have to admit that my thinking about this coming year in particular is somewhat different than it has been on New Year’s Days past. 2012 will mark the launch of the Thieftaker series and the “career” of D.B. Jackson. With the single exception of my very first year as a published author (Children of Amarid was released in May, 1997) this is the most important year of my professional life. And as this year dawns, I find myself thinking less about specific goals and more about matters […]

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Writing Life: Reassessing Goals For the Year

The other day my 12 year-old made a remark that brought me up short. We were talking about plans for the fall, and she said something along the lines of, “Well, you know, the year is basically over.”

Whoa! Hold on there, Sweetie!

I suppose she’s to be forgiven. School starts for her today, and so as far as she is concerned, summer is gone and the rest of the year promises to be a slog until Christmas break. But those of us who are old don’t like our lives being trimmed that way. And, more to the point for the purposes of this post, those of us who have work to do and goals to meet don’t like giving up a full four months out of the year.

So, rather than take her comment to heart and spend the rest of the year eating Oreos and watching Buffy reruns, […]

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