Thursday, October 29, 2009

Where Life Flies Us

I was in meetings in Dallas most of this week for my day job. Thankfully the flight home was uneventful - no issues with doors not closing. That's the reason my initial flight to Dallas was delayed and eventually cancelled. The good news is I was able to read about 400 pages on The Stone of Tears because of all the delays.

Anyway, I made it home safely and now have several days backlog of work for my day job, work around my house and things to do with friends. And that's not to mention any writing. I have two days left to prepare for NaNoWriMo if I am going to participate. Of course, there is also Halloween to think about.

If you are a writer with a full-time day job, how do you find time to get everything done?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Oxymoron of writers and getting published

Writing is a solitary art. We write alone. We edit alone. We rip our manuscripts apart and start over alone. No one else can pluck our words from our heads and put them down on paper. Only the writer. Often writers are also quiet people, and spend a great deal of time alone due to our art.

But publishing is a social business. It requires a completely different skill-set. It demands that writers reject their nature in order to be successfully published. Pitches. Presentations. Meetings. Marketing. Many very social activities.

As a writer, how do you balance the solitary side and the social side?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Stop Over-thinking and Do It

I read an article the other day about procrastination. I think it would definitely apply to most of the writers I know. We are all the same - we find ourselves cleaning the whole house from top to bottom to procrastinate writing.

The article had one very simple tip. Stop thinking about it and just do whatever it is you are trying to do. As people, we often over-think things. Apples turn into melons in our heads. The bigger something is, the more intimidating it is and the more we procrastinate.

If we stop and leap onto the path we really want to be on before we can cross over the bridge to procrastination, we can accomplish amazing things. Each small step brings us closer to our dreams as writers. So stop (over)thinking and do it.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

2009 OCW Conference - Part 2

Part of the reason I usually love the Ozark Creative Writers' Conference is the scenery. Eureka Springs sits high in the Ozark Mountains, and the sky is always a deep blue. It makes me feel like I am closer to heaven.

However, this year it was cloudy and rainy and dreary most of the conference. It has been raining nearly everyday for weeks now. If I liked constantly cloudy weather, I would have moved to Jersey when I had the chance a few years back. Most people prefer sunny weather, and I think the weather set the tone for the conference this year.

By no means was it a bad conference. It simply lacked the spirit of inspiration that I've felt at other conferences. There is a certain feeling that writers get when they connect with another writer and excitedly share their creations. That's the same feeling a good speaker can inspire.

I am glad I attended the conference. I had the opportunity to speak with an editor from Tor, and I saw a fellow-writer who I have not seen in several years. I also won an honorable mention for one of my poems! I also learned a valuable phrase from a fellow-writer at the conference, "Instead of asking why, ask why not?"

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Poetry Award

My poem, "Plant a Flower" won an honorable mention at the Ozark Creative Writers Conference! I hardly ever win anything there.

Friday, October 9, 2009

2009 OCW conference

I am sitting in my room at the 2009 Ozark Creative Writers conference, and so far, the most exciting thing that happened was the owner of the Inn thought I was a student. I didn't have the heart to tell him I graduated from college 6 1/2 years ago.

Most of the sessions today were about "modern marketing". I already knew most of what was discussed. Perhaps that's because I am younger than the average writer and already know what FaceBook and MySpace are. I consider myself about average as far as computer users go, but after training several people at work on some very basic computer functions, perhaps my generation is gifted with an advanced computer compatibility that others might not have.

Here's to the rest of the conference gong well! Maybe when the sun comes out and the temperature warms up, perhaps so will the excitement at the conference. It's a toasty 46 degrees right now; down from the recent 60s and 70s.