Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Missed Opportunities

When I first joined RWA, over a dozen years ago, my writing was all over the place, writing a little of this and a little of that, not finishing anything or having any clear idea of what kind of writer I wanted to be. I knew that wasn't the road to success but I think for many writers it's a familiar path. I have a lot of ideas for different genres but I write slowly ( might have mentioned that once or twice before LOL)

About three years ago I decided to concentrate on short contemporary romance for Harlequin. I've had a bit of positive reinforcement with requests for fulls, like your writing but not this one, send us something else, etc. So, I've kept my head down and continued to write short contemporary - but I'm still slow as molasses. And, I write somewhere between the tone of a Desire and a Presents so I'm writing books for each line. Intellectually I know it makes more sense to focus on just one line but somehow the books just turn out to be a fit for one or the other. They're both short contemporaries so I can revise for the other line if they get rejected.

I wrote the first draft of After Hours With the CEO last year and sent the partial to Desire in Dec 2010. I'm just past the three month waiting mark and hopefully will have a response before the conference.  I started to write my next short contemporary and it has a very "Presents" feel. So, when Desire announced an online pitch, but the MS has to be finished, I have nothing to pitch. Missed Opportunity.

I went to a retreat two years ago with my Dream agent who reps mysteries, planning to have a mystery to pitch. But ended up giving up my pitch appt to a friend because I'd had a request for a full from one of my short contemporaries and just couldn't get something together at the same time.  Missed Opportunity.

We've had editors visit our local chapter and I've had to skip the pitch appointment because I have nothing to pitch. We have an editor coming to our chapter in Sept and I want to have something to pitch but the MS I'm working on doesn't fit with her.

91 days until national conference. My first one. Besides being expensive, and inconvenient when you're a single parent of teenagers, I wouldn't allow myself to go until I felt I deserved to. And that meant having completed MS to pitch.

I've joined an online group of Pro's - 50k by Nationals. I have an online critique group, an inperson critique group, online goals group for our chapter, a "Success Team" group. I give talks on self-defeating behaviors and finding time to write.  And still I have only a little over 10,000 words on my current MS.

I don't want to miss any more opportunities. Anyone have any tips for me? How do you find the discipline to just "do it." Any advise on  how to write faster?


Janet said...

You could be writing my autobiography here, Anne! I absolutely understand what you're going through and where you've been.

This is the reason I took a step back. The guilt was killing me - the guilt of not writing, of squandering opportunities, of feeling like a fraud. And then I felt guilty over stepping back *sigh*.

When you find the answers, I hope you post them - I need all the help I can get.

But I know you'll love the ocnference (the one I went to in Surrey, BC was fabulous). And with the editor coming in Sept - couldn't you just have a face to face to discuss trends/ideas/writing in general?

Anne MacFarlane said...

Janet, comforting to know I'm not alone. sometimes I feel as if I just overthink everything to death.