Daily Archives: January 25, 2010

Carol: A Check In

The beginning of a New Year can mean starting over. At least it does for me. So does the first of every month and each Sunday. I give myself lots of chances to begin anew.

This is a short blog today. It’s just a reminder. I wanted to check in with you and see how you are all doing on your writing goals.

Are you reading?
Are you writing?
Are you getting through the icky middles?
Are you keeping in touch with your writer friends?
Making sure that your stories are moving forward?
Swearing a lot, but still typing on?
Sharing with your critique group?
Writing, rewriting, and re-rewriting?
Snacking when necessary?
Checking in the The Fam (a nod to my friend Erik Talkin)?
Adding to and taking away from?
Not just moaning and groaning, but growing your novel?
Are you keeping track of new words written?
Rewarding yourselves as you accomplish your goals.


This month I have to admit that I haven’t done the kind of job that I should have–that I wanted to. I’ve spent a lot of time whining, complaining and digging in the fridge trying to find something good to eat (there isn’t anything–ask my girls). At the beginning of the month I gave myself all of January to get my dytopian novel done. CarolB gave me permission to write a crappy first draft. Everyone has cheered me on. And still, I did little.

Last week, two things happened. First I really started rewriting. Doing it. Putting words on the page. Changing scenes. Moving forward. At the same time, I’ve been letting people know about The 2010 Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers Conference (June 14-18— www.foryoungreaders.com). When Saturday came around, I put my nose to the writing grindstone. I wrote and rewrote nearly all day.

I think I gained three fat inches in my butt (my friend Paul Greci, a writer who lives in Alaska and who shares my literary agency, made himself a way to walk and write. Check out his blog and see if you can find what he did–http://paulgreci.wordpress.com/). At one point I looked at what I was writing and said, “I hate this book.” But I continued forward.

While I might not be able to get a draft done by the end of January, I am changing things up a little for myself. This push in writing the dystopian is good for me, even though it’s still hard. The second thing that happened? Steve Fraser sold the dystopian to Griffin, St. Martin’s Press. Another reason to keep writing, huh? So there you have it. A raggedy start for the New Year with a bit of positive change. Some pressure, extra fat, a little balding around the edges, and a book. This could be good.

Next Monday I promise to have a bit about the MFA low residency program in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College. I also promise to continue to work hard on this novel. So I can actually have something to turn in to my editor. Yup, that’d be nice.


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