Friday, 10 May 2019

Rejection Snoopy-style

When I was at the height of my submitting phase I wonder if the agents felt this.

You've got to love Snoopy.

Thursday, 9 May 2019

Writing but not as you know it

In our bible study in Zac's Place we've been reading about how Jesus treated the outcasts in society, and last week we began the process of writing a collective psalm or poem/song.

I asked questions and people shouted out answers that I gathered together on a flipchart. I took it home with me and arranged the ideas and words into a semblance of order, trying not to add too many of my own words, and not to leave out any ideas. The only editing/censoring I did was to change fuck to screw to make it unobjectionable to anyone who might look for a reason to disregard the truth and honesty of the words.

Here are the pages
 and here is the sheet describing how people have felt when treated as an outsider.
how being an outcast feels
And here is the finished psalm:

A song for the outcasts, the lost and the lonely
Walk with me, talk with me.
In my life I have experienced everything you feel. 
I know what it’s like
To be judged and found unworthy.
To be insulted and reviled because we’re different.
To be looked down upon and rejected.
To be isolated and invisible.
Vulnerable and violated.
To be blamed and shamed.
A little, ugly, unloved, failure,
Abandoned and forgotten.
Humiliated and frightened.
Rejected and ignored.

Screw you society!
Who are you to judge?
Look first at yourself. 
For you and me, we are all the same: one in Christ.
One day you will be the outcast, you will be hurt
Because hate leads to blindness.
Have you never made a mistake?
God is good; he listens.
(But he doesn’t answer, does he?)
If you haven’t walked a day in my flip flops
Don’t slander me.
I will not be talked about like some dirty renegade.
I will not believe your lies.

You have heard this before, I know, but believe you are loved.
You are of worth, special and accepted.
Don’t be afraid, you are not alone;
I see you; I am with you.
Don’t let your anger separate you from my love.
I have a plan for your life.
A plan without condemnation.
A plan to give you hope.

You are lost but you are found.
Come sit, eat with me. 
I will walk in your flip flops.

Thank you for those who have given.
Thank you for those you have given.
Thank you for the shining light of hope in my darkness.
With you I am strong.
You are my safe place.

Sunday, 5 May 2019

Friday, 3 May 2019

The Insecure Writer's Support Group First Wednesday

The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time - and return comments. This group is all about connecting!

I missed the last first Wednesday as I was on holiday - and I'm not up enough with technology to do a timed post - and I'm a bit late writing this post so I hope I'll be allowed to remain in the group.

My tardiness and lack of blogging are the subject of my post this time. Whenever I look on Twitter I see people tweeting about the number of words they've written today/this week and I think, how do they do it?

I'm retired but my days seem full. Grandchildren take up a lot of my time it's true but what happens to the rest? Why do I not have hours to sit at the computer writing? Perhaps here is the crux of the matter: I do have hours to sit at my computer but I am inclined to waste that time. I would argue that it's not a waste if I'm going on Twitter or Facebook with a view to marketing/building my online presence. But that's not true. I browse, get distracted, make cups of tea, think about putting some washing in etc etc.

And I have the idea that I can't possibly work on my novel if I only have twenty minutes to spare. I need a couple of hours of concentrated effort at least. But again that's not true.

I am always writing in my head. Every thing I do I find myself viewing as a potential blog topic or a new direction for the novel, so my brain provides a running commentary. I can make myself laugh or cry with the power of my head writing. But put it on 'paper'? Oh no, that way lies disappointment, the discovery that the words up there don't translate to the brilliant amazing prose I dream of.

So many excuses. 

Last Sunday evening I told myself, 'Tomorrow is the start of a new week. I will be better.' And I have been 'better' this week. More focused, organised and effective. I still have a long way to go but I do enjoy the satisfaction of going to bed knowing I've ticked everything off my day's to-do list.

Ah well, tomorrow is another day.

Friday, 26 April 2019

Writer's resistance

It's not writer's block; it's more writer's resistance.

The fear that grips me when I find I have some time and I could do some writing on my new novel. I have no idea what's going to happen next - or even what's already happened it's been so long - but that's not the problem. It'll be fine. 

I suppose it's the fear that it's all rubbish really.

If I could just pluck up courage to open the file I'd see, 'No, it's not rubbish,' and I really believe that. So why is it such a struggle?

I have designated today a PJ and writing day. That's something I never do but I feel urgent action is needed to break down this resistance. Which, of course, is why I'm writing on here and on my other blog and on Twitter and on Facebook. 

As soon as I've finished here I will get to it. I promise myself.

Thursday, 18 April 2019

How do they do it?

Nearly a month since I last posted. I was on holiday. For a week. And, um ... fill in some excuses, please.

Back now and determined once again to make my mark. Ha ha, I laugh as I write that. Until the next time I hear my brain say. How on earth do other people manage to be so active on social media and write and market books? Many of them have full-time jobs too, and a family.

Must be more focussed focused. (Must remember there is only one 's' in focused.) Must not be so easily distracted. Trouble is that it's spring now. When the sun shines - occasionally - and it's too nice to stay in.

But for now I will settle back contentedly and revel in discovering that I am smarter than I thought. Read on.

Typical notes I write to myself
Before I went on holiday I wrote a note to myself listing things I needed to do on return. With some time to spare this afternoon I began to work through my list. All was going well until I came to this note: RUBY - pitch.

Ruby? Well, if I am to pitch it must be a small press publisher so over to Google. Nothing came up. Curious. 

I asked on Twitter for any ideas and was helpfully pointed in the direction of Choc Lit's subsidiary, Ruby. Aha! Went to their site and found a submission form. All this was now familiar, so familiar in fact that I wondered if I had already pitched.

I wrote on here a few weeks ago that I had done some submitting but hadn't mentioned names. Tapped fingers on desk. Vague recollection that I'd written down details of submissions. Somewhere. My notebook maybe? No. A scrap of paper? I hope not. Wait ... a cog is ticking over in my sluggard brain. Did I set up a new excel file? Please tell me I did. Yes!

I am a star! 

And, no, I hadn't pitched to Ruby but have now.

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Dogs don't judge

dog quote
Unlike publishers. They judged and deemed to be unworthy.

Yes, I've had a rejection. Having not sent anything away for ages, in a flurry of hopefulness I submitted manuscripts to several publishers, and today received the first inevitable 'no thank you'.

I had forgotten how painful it is. Even when you don't really have any high hopes. Or maybe I tell myself I don't while deep down I still believe my novel is the best thing since my last novel. Also rejected.

The pain won't last forever but each time it takes a little longer to get back up. No more submitting for me.