Skip to main content

Featured Post

Writing from the Dark Side

Heh! I started out calling this blog post "Blogging from the Darkside" and then went to "Writing from the Darkside" and then went on to finally arrive at "Pubbing from the Darkside".  This little tidbit of information should be able to give you a little hint over what has been happening at the Oliver Homestead since I last posted.

Big News! I am part of a great collaboration with a collection of Writers who decided that if a romance book should be done, it should be done by us! Hence, the beginning of what is now know as Welcome to Serenity Harbor, Maine.

This is huge! This is ginormous! All of the books are set around the fictional coastal Maine town of Serenity Harbor. We didn't limit genre, only that their characters fall in love in Maine.

For me, this was a return to something that I love... well, yes... it was a return to writing. I've blogged a little bit about some of my struggles with illness that left with being unable to write for a whi…

Fears...

This was preempted by a talk given by Marley Gibson from the New England RWA chapter on Networking. It was a wonderful talk in which I learned a great deal about seizing opportunities when they are presented to promote yourself. I highly recommend it if you get a chance to hear her speak.

Okay, if there is any one subject that most writers are qualified to speak on it is the subject of fears. After all, we deal with them daily with our characters and we deal with them daily with our own personal writing fears. I don't know of any writer who doesn't have at least one fear directly related to their writing and if they tell me they don't then I want to know what kind of medication they are on because I need to go get some. Any time that we as writers put anything out there for others to see we run the risk of rejection, the fear of being rejected... whether it is by a critique partner, an editor, agent, or the general public when our book hits the shelves... we have all experienced that that momentary or monumental element of fear.

Here, I am going to talk about just a couple of the ones that I deal with on a daily basis. There is the fear of failure, that we won't be able to complete the manuscript, or that it will be accepted. There is a fear of success, and for those of you who scoff at this, it is a very real thing. There are many people who have sabotaged their own careers because they were afraid that they would not be able to live up to the expectations presented to them. These are the people who don't believe others when they are told that what they have written is worthy, or they prefer to back away when given the opportunity to present themselves to someone who is projecting interest in them. Let me tell you about a writer who as a rule at times comes across confident and knowledgeable... but one year at the great RWA conference she ran into Suzy Editor in the elevator and, after striking up a friendly, non-confrontational conversation with the editor was just starting to get over her fears of the editor walking in disgust at her very being when IT happened.... (que the gloomy music). Suzy Editor asked the writer what she was working on... and immediately every thought escaped the writers mind. She was left completely blank and worse she found herself responding in a way that sounded as if she wasn't dedicated to what she was doing... something along the lines of "Oh, I'm working on a Romantic Suspense, but it isn't done yet." Arghhhhh! Instead of taking the opportunity to pitch when asked she failed miserably and lost the opportunity. That writer was me! Yup, I was the brainless idiot in the elevator! And the reason that I failed was because every shred of confidence in myself and my writing disappeared when attention was turned to me.

Okay, so how do we combat this? Sometimes, it just takes time. Sometimes, it is nothing more than giving yourself the quiet time to stand back and say to yourself "This is ridiculous. I can't let this get in my way." And sometimes, you need to hear that there others who understand it the way you do. That they have been there just as you have. As you can see from this post, I've been there.

Here are just a few goals that I've used to combat the fears:
  • Give yourself permission to feel these things, but not to let them control you.
  • Understand that not everyone is looking to tear you apart or reject you and that most times they are just as nervous about meeting and connecting with people as you are.
  • Give yourself a goal for pushing through the fear. I will put out 3 queries to an editor.
  • I will speak to seven people at conference that I don't know. I will tell four people about my upcoming book.

    But most of all, understand that we are all human and if you see me at conference please don't hesitate to say hello. Maybe that way we can both get through the awkwardness.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Another Loss...

Another young person from our community passed away yesterday.

For me, all I know is the grief I feel that yet another life has gone way too soon. Maybe I'm getting old. I've seen far too much of this and it's heartbreaking every single time, whether they are related or not. We are community. We are family. In this case, he was family, but that doesn't mean anything when you grow up in a small place. Every child is your child. And every hurt they have is yours.

Out of this long list of young people that have left us too soon, there are so many left behind that still mark the holidays, birthdays and life events that they have missed. We struggle, knowing that the pain we feel is as much for ourselves as it is for them. We share our memories with others, many times through social media, so that their memory, their presence lives on around us.

Every day when my son leaves I tell him to be safe. He finds it funny that I still continue to do so, but if it's that one re…

10 Things I learned from Hosting a Guest on my Blog

Hosting on my blog is a new experience for me. It's something that I've thought of undertaking for quite some time, but until now I wasn't sure that I could do. Thursday, I hosted friend and fellow adventurer, Diane Amos, who talked about her path to publication with her latest Five Star book, Promise Me Forever. We talked about this for awhile before attempting it.

Neither of us was sure just what was going to happen, but in the end I was happy with the results. We ended up with 27 visitors for the blog and around 10 comments (I think). This may not seem like much, but considering that this is about five times the normal visitors/daily that I get I was pretty darned happy with it. There were a few things that I worked out along the way and I'll pass these tips on to anyone who may be interested in hosting or being part of a blog tour.

1. Decide the topic to be discussed keeping it to something that will be of interest to your blog readers. If you write a research bl…

IT'S OFFICIAL: SERENITY HARBOR ANTHOLOGY COMING THIS MONTH!

We have the cover and that is a really good thing! Especially, since it's a really great cover!

This has been THE project for the last six months. Much of that time has been spent writing my part of the anthology, a novella called ONLY YOU. Another part of that was working with my friend and cohorts to come up with this great anthology! Why wouldn't you enjoy it?! It's filled with stories of love that are all set around the fictional Maine town of Serenity Harbor. Want to know which town Serenity Harbor is patterned after? We'll never tell... well, maybe we will!

Anyway, who can write better about love in Maine than a bunch of Maine Romance authors! I gave you a tantalizing tidbit the other day from my story. Poor Nate Cooper, he doesn't know what he's up against when he decides to take on Kara Simpson. Lucky for him, he's got the whole town behind him!

And what is this rumor of sheep wandering the streets of Serenity Harbor, Maine? Well, you'll just ha…