Monday, March 1, 2010

Monday Meeting and Going After the Candy

So, I think that friday's Friday Feature rubbed off on me a bit, and in the stylings of Laura, I'd like to share a personal story, and attempt to link it to my writing life.

Every night, during the darkest hours, my daughter, four, comes and "visits" me. She sleeps the rest of the night in my bed. Now, I have reverted back to my pre-children deep sleeping habits, and rarely wake up for this phenomenon. Except that I when I do wake up, I have cricks in my neck and little elbows in my ribs. I haven't been successful in breaking her of this routine. I've done charts and stickers and talked to her about growing up, but nothing has worked. So, now I am reaching to the very bottom--way, way, down to the very dregs--of my parenting toolbox (see how shallow it actually is!), and I am pulling out my candy bribe. If she sleeps through the night in her own bed, I will take her to our corner store, and let her pick out a piece of candy.

Yesterday, I awoke to a kiss on my cheek, and a happy child exclaiming, "Mom, I love you MORE than candy!"

Yes, the highest compliment I can imagine receiving from a four year old. I am loved more than candy!

But, it got me to thinking. And wondering about my writing. If my submitted finished draft, awesome in its awesomeness, out doing great things in the world, is my candy--which it is--then what is keeping me from getting there? What do I love, more than candy?

I must love the safety and security of a warm dream wrapped around me. A warm dream undisturbed by the rejections of agents. As long as I stay in the warmth of my blankets, the warmth of my dream, my candy will continue to also be a dream. Does that mean that I respect fear more than I love candy?

So, I continue to hide in my blankets, safe and secure, and continue to move forward slowly on my revision. I say things, at times.

"I am learning and absorbing and taking my time to make this story the best it can possibly be."

"I want my knowledge and writing skill to catch up to my ideas."

And I believe those things. But I also think that it's time to throw off the blankets, get out of bed, shed the dream, and go after the candy*.

So, for my Monday Meeting, I'd like to proclaim March my revision month. I'm going after it. I want my candy by the end of the month. Who's with me? Who can taste that caramel goodness?

I also want to invite you to an awesome interview this friday, with the incomparable Anita. Check out her blog, so you can ask her informed questions. She's going after the candy right now, querying agents. Go Anita!

So, what's your candy? What are your goals for the week? What do you love more than candy?

*Shoes. Shoes are also my candy.

28 comments:

  1. Pizza. I definitely love pizza more than candy. And coffee.

    There's nothing wrong with waiting while revising to make sure. Because once you query an agent that's pretty much your only chance with that agent.

    But, there also comes a time when I've done the best I can and it's time to be brave and query. Maybe I could do better in another year...but, that's a long time to wait. And yes, in the past, I've held off querying projects knowing I wasn't ready and knowing the project probably needed a full rewrite. But now, my goal for march is to finish the polishing, personalize my query and send them off. :) Good luck with your final revisions, Heather!

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  2. Whoa. Way to start the month, my friend! First off, I am glad that you have decided to take the covers off and show some leg. Good luck on the revisions, I am here when you need me. Secondly, my candy is...reading. I have been neglecting reading lately and I have an exciting theme for April, so I want to get a lot of writing done this month and devote some time in April to reading.
    Goals of the week: Rewrite PB that has been glaring at me for weeks. Finish step 3 of the Snowflake Method.

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  3. I'm with you as March being revision month. I have major rewriting to do. And,I loved that story about your daughter and the candy.

    I think my candy is hoping my book sells but really I need to spit that out and work on my next book, regardless of what happens with the first one.
    ps.
    I left you a little something on my blog.

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  4. Okay, it is like you threw down the gauntlet. Can I be as bold as you? And if I am I'm definitely going to need candy because I'm so scared. Or really something better than candy. It may possibly be wine and I better not rely on that either. Okay, I'm going to do the scary stuff that finishing requires. March is revision month.

    And Anita!! Yay, looking forward to Friday.

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  5. Oh yeah, I forgot, I am super excited to read all about Anita and I am hoping to find blackmail worthy material.

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  6. What a great story about your daughter! I do love this blog!
    My candy is ironically, losing the winter chub that I seemed to have attracted eating...um, candy.
    March, I'm going to somehow find a way to get fit AND work on revisions. Wait a minute - I think Paul has already come up with that!

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  7. Great post, Heather! I love the story about your daughter and how you tied it to writing and to fear: fear of rejection and getting out there. For me, I need to stop revising the one book to death and get to work on the next. Thanks for the encouragement!

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  8. Good luck to you on revisions! I revisioned with and without my critique group for months. And it does make the story so much better! I'm out querying now a handful of agents. It makes me nervous and want to eat candy! And I do like to eat much what is bad for me: candy, pizza, fast food, Coca Cola. I am going to go eat a Reese's peanut butter cup now. I really am!

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  9. Look! It's Monday and I'm here! I'm on time! I'm on time!

    I love the candy metaphor! (And what a sweet story!) My own candy is starting something new. I can't start something new till I've gotten the old one out the door, to my critique partner or my agent or SOMEbody! In February, I sent book two off to my agent (and haven't heard a peep -- not that I'm stressing about it or anything *nailbite nailbite*), and my reward was jumping into a new project with both feet. I'm totally smitten.

    That means that for me, March isn't revision month -- it's the first month in a long time that I'm finally NOT revising! But that doesn't mean I won't be here cheering you on!

    (Except that I'm likely to be here only sporadically -- and to not make much sense when I AM here -- I know I can't be the only one who gets First-Draft-Brain! But I'll definitely be cheering for you even when I can't find my way to your blog!)

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  10. Funny, I was going to write a post on how revision is like potty training this morning. No really. Ha! But I opted for a more serious post. Why do I do that?

    Anyway, I think the safety net is a good guess. My MS is no where near done but if it was I think I'd keep plunking away just to avoid the moment (months?) of truth, i.e. whether there was immediate interest or maybe none at all.

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  11. Laura--I like pizza too. And, I agree, it's good to be sure before querying. But it's good to set the fear aside as well. Good luck as you set your fear aside! I've got my fingers crossed for you.

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  12. Good goals, Jon. And, thanks for being there! It's good to know that although I am only risking my own work, that I have such supportive people in the wings. And, of course, it goes without saying, that the support is of course reciprical.

    Reading is candy for me as well. Good luck with your rewrite. I'm excited to see the 3rd step of the snowflake method. I still think that it's brave of you to put it all out there.

    I hope that you find what you need on Friday. Blackmail can be a messy business! I'm looking forward to Anita's interview, too.

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  13. Tina--candy now, wine later, when I'm pushing send on queries. And, yes, the gauntlet does seem to be down. Thanks for joining me.

    It should be fun on friday.

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  14. Terry--Maybe we can have Paul travel around, outfitting writers with a special writing treadmill. That would take care of all our writing issues! :)

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  15. Lori--Good luck moving forward! That fear can be strong.

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  16. Kelly--I think that this is my second (or third?) post about candy in a month. I must be channeling that comfort food. :) Congrats on facing the fear, and getting out there! Very brave. I hope that you get some nibbles very soon.

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  17. Sarah--It's Monday, and you are here! Woo-hoo! Drafting is like candy for me too. Fast paced, getting ideas on paper. Nothing better. It's another thing that's going to get me to the revision finish line--that drive towards the next story. I'm going to live vicarious through your new beginnings. I love new-draft brain. That's when funny stuff starts appearing in the fridge. You know, cell phones, ice cream, glasses...

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  18. Casey--You'll have to share the potty training idea with us some time. I'm all ears over that one.

    The safety net is wonderful, until I'm ready to go without. Good luck with your revisions and writing this week!

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  19. Hello Heather-buddy. Checking in cuz I ain't been around for a while.

    So in your analogy, what would be the next stage of gratification beyond candy? Cuz I'm not enjoying my candy very much.

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  20. Hi Ray--Great to see you.

    I'm sorry that you're not enjoying the candy. Sometimes candy is only empty, sugary calories.

    Ice cream? Book deal=Ben and Jerry's? That would be the next stage, right? I hope that things get smoother for you.

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  21. I'm so with you on March as revision month! I'd like to go for the candy by the end... but, for me, I've found that revisions lead to a manuscript nap... and then waking up to more revisions... then nap... then revisions... the covers are so comfy... when to stop hitting the snooze?

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  22. Robert--I'm sure that I'm going to have to hit snooze at least one more time, when I finish this revision. (finish a revision--what?) And, I'm all for the power of fresh eyes (mine and other people's). I think that you are pretty close to hitting your final snooze on yours. Yay!

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  23. I'm totally not getting the snooze button thing...am I missing something.

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  24. Great goal! I'm going to start something new this month. I really am. I swear it. I must. That's my candy. New words. :)

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  25. Jon--it's code for putting your manuscript away for awhile so when you read it again, you have "fresh eyes". Unfortunately, it is what drags on the revision process (mine anyway!) but is very effective in illuminating the problems in a manuscript.

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  26. Elana--New words are awesome candies. That must feel wonderful. Have fun!

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  27. This waiting for candy business is ridiculous. I get the why, but I really can't stand the waiting.

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  28. Anita--This is such a long process at every single turn. Bizarre, really, how we're all sticking to it.

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