Thursday, January 29, 2009

I HATE Interviews. I LOVE interviews.

I hate talking on the phone. It is a battle for me to pick up the phone & call a hotel to make a reservation.

Why? I DON"T KNOW! My hands get sweaty, I trip over my words.

So lets imagine how it is for me to schedule an interview and then have to conduct it. I get so nervous before hand that I could throw up. I hate the way my voice sounds on tape and I think it about it the entire time. I shake like a leaf just trying to dial the number.

Then I get started talking to the person I am interviewing. I learn so much. Sure, I am able to write an article much easier after speaking with an expert, but it is also a real time of growth for me.

Today I talked with Andi Grant, founder of Give2TheTroops. What an amazing person. She works full time and dedicates an unthinkable number of hours to her her organization each week. Talk about changing lives and being a motivational figure. Wow!

Find out how you can help Andi and thousands of other volunteers support our troops by visiting the website

I wish I could hang on to this euphoric feeling for my next interview...but I know that it will be more sweaty palms and shaky hands...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Not In The Mood...

Writer's block, bad day, in a it what you will, but it is bound to strike sooner or later.

I struggle to write on the days I am not in the mood. Sometimes I would rather be walking the dogs, cleaning the house, anything other than staring at my computer screen.

Then there are the times when I stay up until all hours of the night/morning, running with an idea that won't allow me to sleep. My best work is done during these times. The ideas and words show up on the screen as if someone else were thinking and typing them. In the morning, I might be surprised with what I have written. Pleasantly surprised.

I read an interview with a successful author who touched on this very idea. He claimed that, if you want to pay the bills, you ignore the mood and get on with the business.

Writing is often called a craft. I think the craft in writing is the ability to produce solid work while daydreaming about flying a kite, watching Oprah, eating ice cream...

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Always Target A Market

I submitted an essay to Newsweek and I haven't heard back. Time is up and they clearly aren't going to buy "Time To Go." I didn't think they would, but you never know unless you try.

This is a good lesson for me. I didn't target a market. I just wrote from the heart. Now I don't know what to do with this piece. It just isn't a good fit for anywhere. I am so angry that I wasted all of that time and effort on an essay that had no target market.

This is my first real rejection, though it didn't come in the form of a rejection letter. The time simply ran out.

I will not make this mistake again, but I take it as a good sign that I am learning from mistakes and tucking them away so that I never let it happen again!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Pushin' It Up

The cursor is flashing before my eyes. The words are on the tip of my tongue. Now type, Julie, type.

But I am frozen with...fear? No, nerves...yes, that is it. My nerves are tingly. I am trying something new and I am anxious to succeed. I am not sure where to start, but the logical place seems to be here, in my desk chair.

Ok, I am being overly dramatic! But I am nervous about writing and submitting my first query. Will my hook be catchy enough, will my clips be sufficient, can I make good on the deal (if and when it is offered)? Can I handle the rejection?

Of course I can. I am a writer and this is what writers do. I am ready to push it up a notch.

So here it goes...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Hamster on the Wheel

Writing has its ups and downs. Life has its ups and downs. Interruptions are plentiful and I am fighting for time in my office-closet. There are days when I feel like a hamster running on a wheel--pounding away on the keyboard, but never really getting anywhere! "I write on Tuesdays and Thursdays," has become a mantra I repeat to myself, my husband, my overflowing laundry hamper and my friends. But the momentum slowed and it is heck getting it up and running again!

I need a success. I need to publish something with a prestigious byline and a pretty pay check! Where-oh-where are those editors who just must publish my work? I know you are out there & if you could just give me a ring tomorrow, I think that would get my momentum back up and running at an acceptable level.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Full Steam Ahead

I am ready for 2009. Have I mentioned this already? Today I solidified my goals, and I am ready to write.

I am relaxing about the niche because I have faith that with every single article and essay I write, I am honing in on my "thing." I am feeling really good about sampling different topics and genres. I am taking niche out of my vocabulary for a while. That's the last time I am going to say it. I promise. I am not even sure I like that word.

The best part--I feel like I am gaining momentum doing exactly what I should be doing. Writing.

How lucky that I can do so much from my own home, often with my 4-year-old in my lap or playing beside me and my 7-year-old begging to play Webkins on my computer. So much better than a cubicle with only a computer for company (been there, done that).

Ah, this is the life. Now if I could just get a response from that interview request...

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Balancing Act

I have taken the last week off from writing. And from real life, too! I am already dreading getting back into the routine Monday when school starts, hubby goes back to work and I am a part-time taxi driver, part-time writer once again. 

As I filled up my January calendar, I had the opportunity to ponder my priorities for 2009 & hopefully head off some of the stress that builds when I am in the midst of my juggling routine.

1--I am a wife and a mother first and those roles will always be most important to me. It is OK if I have to drop any other aspect of my life (temporarily) to be available for my husband and my children.

2--Exercise. I have to put exercise before writing because it is a matter of health for me. The more fit I feel, the more productive I am. This is a hard one for me because I'd rather be writing than exercising! However, I am certain if I plan well, I can fit both into my schedule.

3--Writing. I have enjoyed the beginnings of a new writing career in 2008 and I have no plans to slow down. In fact, I am entering 2009 organized, prepared and ready. I will continue to explore different avenues available to me so that, when my youngest starts kindergarten in 2010, I will be ready to be a full-time writer!