Revisions Are Finished But The End Is Nowhere In Sight

I remember clearly when I wrote THE END on the Ultimate Justice manuscript. And then there were a couple dozen revisions as I learned more about writing, and added layers of depth to characters and filled gaps in sub-plots. When it felt polished, I remember working on the synopsis and cover letter, and then the search for agents and publishers interested in the genre. And who can forget the rejection letters?

Then several editors were interested and I was giddy. The hardest part was over. I found the perfect publisher for me and my book. It was a great feeling. Finally, all that hard work would pay off. Ultimate Justice A Trey Fontaine Mystery was going to be published.

Then came working with the editor. Maybe the hardest part wasn’t over yet. But I was getting close. The revisions felt like they’d never end. But then the final revision was sent. Now, surely, I would be able to take a break.

Not so fast. The day I sent the final revision in, I was feeling pretty good. Until the next email brought a long list of things to do!  Now it’s my bio, and a headshot for the back cover. A blurb for the back cover.  Blurbs for the press kit. Ideas for a cover. A teaser for book two of the series. And I am to choose an excerpt of 500 -800 words to place on the website. Oh! And the website!

And now that I’ve written the teaser for book two, well…uh…I guess I better get crackin’ on book two!  My energy died a few weeks ago. My imagination is fried. My wrists are in braces and my back swears I cannot sit in a chair for one more minute. So, for now, I’ll go take a break. And then I’ll figure out how to start again.

Best Advice For Writers: BICHOK

Writers are always trying to improve themselves. Whether it’s the novice who nervously  asks advice, or the mid-list writer who takes a class every month, we writers know that we can’t sell our work unless it’s stellar.

I’ve taken classes, still do. And never pass up the chance to listen to successful writers, hoping for that kernel of truth that will help me be a better writer and ultimately, more successful.

Of all the the advice I’ve gained through the years, there is one thing that I’ve memorized and learned to live by. BICHOK: Butt In Chair, Hands On Keys. Writers write.

We can take classes, have meetings, talk to readers, make plans, plot, dream, do character sketches, create world. But if we are not writing, we are not writers. The best advice I ever got was to write. Don’t sit at the computer for one hour. Sit at the computer for 500 words. Even 500 sucky words will  benefit your writing. Because you can’t edit a blank page.

I’ve met some very prestigious writers over the years and loved talking with them, picking their brains, and hearing their stories. A wonderful author named Jean Walton once told me the story of a character who wouldn’t leave her alone until she wrote his book. And she also told me that writers write. An excellent critique partner named K. Sue Morgan had great stories about editors. And she never let me get away with sitting idle. Writers write. Kathryn Usher, a funny storyteller and writer once said she wrote on her lunch breaks, and even on her breaks, at work. She edited one story so much I didn’t recognize some of the scenes. She cut into it unmercifully. And told me she wanted to be successful, and that meant, writing, and re-writing.

Don’t be afraid to put words on the page. If you want to be a writer, get busy. Grab a notebook and pen, or a keyboard, and write. Write junk. If you can’t think of anything else to write, a story about your childhood will do. You have to start somewhere. Don’t be afraid.

For the most part, writers are a good lot. We’re willing to help each other. So if you need help, ask. But above all, write.