As I trot along in my legal career, I often receive advice about how to position myself for my long term goals. Network! Gain exposure! Join organizations and associations! Communicate your goals with others! It seems exhausting. But then when I ask people about how they became partner or in-house counsel or [insert important legal position here], inevitably their opportunities emerged from a combination of everything I mentioned above and, of course, “hard work.”
For better or for worse, I have internalized these lessons—with respect to my writing career. Every time I see an opportunity to network or get my name out there, something inside of me tells me to pounce!
First, was this chance to become a regular contributor to The Write Practice—exposure to 40,000 monthly subscribers for doing the same thing I’ve been doing right here for the past year? Pounce! Guess what peeps? I GOT IT. Every other week, they will feature a post from little ole me.
Then, I learned about this new organization called the Women’s Fiction Writers Association. For $50 a year, you gain access to free courses, resources on agents and conferences, and electronic friendships with other writers and potential beta readers. Of course I hesitated about spending more money on this, but–again–I couldn’t help but gear up like my cutie cat Jack (NOT pictured above) when he spots his favorite toy—opportunity? Pounce! I joined. Since the group is so new, everyone is “friends” with everyone else on the site—meaning I’m now connected to dozens of published and aspiring women’s fictions authors. I’ve even found some writers whose blogs I follow on a regular basis on there. Pretty cool!
So I sort of feel like I am on the right track and setting myself up for success, which is great—except 1) these opportunities also mean more responsibility and 2) I still have to deliver a novel. I’m making progress, but as I’ve mentioned, editing is a bi-atch. It always takes longer than I expect, and the more I do, the more I realize I have to change/fix. I feel like I’m doing this crazy balancing act, where my goal is in reach, but if I’m not careful, everything just might fall apart! (Side note: I’ve noticed that when I say stuff like that, it sometimes causes people to worry—don’t worry! Right now, I feel more steady than not, just not completely secure). That’s all for now. Look out for me on The Write Practice!!
Me and Snowflake Pro are in a fight. On the one hand, the software has been awesome in the sense that it enabled me to develop a foundation for my story. I have a plot, a good sense of my characters (one of my friends is already judging my protagonist!) and I’m excited to work on developing my novel everyday. Great!
The problem is that Snowflake Pro has made me RELY on it. I’m an independent woman—I don’t need that drama! Buuut, I got it today when my beautiful pink computer fell violently off my coffee table. I’d like to blame Psycho Jack (aka my cat when he is experiencing “periods of hyperactivity”), but it wasn’t. I tripped over my power cord when I was half asleep and my computer came crashing down.
The result (as far as I can tell) was that my power cord no longer fit in the socket and my computer died. The computer with my plot, characters all beautifully organized in Snowflake Pro! My reaction was like “no, no, NO, NO! NOOOO!” especially since I needed to get the F out my house to catch a bus to New York (where I hoped to work on the thing). I calmed down and thought “I’ll simply e-mail the document to myself.” And I did. I got my work out of my broken computer by directing all my frustration into forcing the power cord into the comp. The thing kept dying on me but whatever except that I CAN’T OPEN THE ANYWHERE ELSE (because a comp needs to have the software for me to open it). So I thought “I’ll just download Snowflake to my little $300 Notebook that I used to take law school notes on.” The thing is crazy slow now but whatever. The point’s is, I really didn’t like feeling so dependent. But, unfortunately I am dependent. The good news is, I made the bus and I’m going to work on some more character development after I post this baby. Have a great weekend!!
Sad news everyone. My writing group has dissolved. First we met monthly at a member’s house in Bethesda, then every other week and now apparently never. A couple of weeks ago the host quit, and it was a downward spiral from there. Others responded by saying that they could continue, but sporadically. Maybe I/they could host, but only sometimes. We tried to coordinate a time to meet over Skype, but then one of the founding members of the group quit too. A couple of weeks later our chairperson revealed she had a new baby and job on the way so she would have to step down as well. Finally, on Monday we received an e-mail entitled “Dissolution of our Writer’s Group.”
I have to say, I’m actually really sad about this. I didn’t even want to talk about its slow demise over the blog until I was absolutely sure it was happening. During my Christmas break in New York, I met up with a writer-friend (who has been much more prolific than I’ve been) for some wisdom, and she specifically noted that it was great that I had a group of people to read my work. Technically, I think most people are still willing to provide feedback to anyone who requests it, but I really enjoyed the discussion aspect of the group. I liked both debating about a piece with other people, and hearing others analyze what I had written. It’s also informative to see people’s reactions up close.
We agreed that in three months we would check in with everyone to see how people’s schedules look. My guess is that they will probably look the same, and the question will really be—have you been re-inspired to join during the past three months? Regardless, it’s been a great experience and I’ve made some writer friends, which is nice. More importantly, I adopted my cutie cat Jack (below) from one of the members!
In total, I’ve submitted three stories to the group, and I’ve applied feedback from each session to my novel…synopsis? Yup, I’ve figured out what I’m going to write about. I have the beginning, middle and end in my head as well as the stories behind the two main characters. I even wrote 350 words! But I’ll get into that a bit more another day. Today, I’m mourning the writing group. In honor of that experience, below are links describing the good times. Lata!
Baby Steps: Learning to Writer at the Writers Center
10 Things I Know About Creative Writing That I Didn’t Know 6 Weeks Ago
Networking, Bonding and Possibly Drinking
Lawyer Stress Followed By Writer Rest
In the Hot Seat: Critique and Criticism Right in Front of My Face