Monday, March 30, 2009

I Totally Forgot...

Remember that website I started building? I totally forgot about it. 

It's OK, I hope you will have a good chuckle at my expense.

I have the home page ready to go. I am working on the second page, but I am finding it very tedious. It is where I am listing my published work. Since the website is new, I am having to go back through records to get my ducks in a row. Plus, I am winging the format. So what basically happens is...I fall asleep.

Ah, I dream of a time when I can just pay the $50 a month to let someone else take control of my website. Oh, and I also dream of the day when I am busy enough (writing, not doing laundry) that I have enough information to NEED someone to make monthly updates.

It's the simple pleasures of a good daydream that keep me going...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

And The Winner Is...

Thanks to all of you who participated in Day 27 of Christina's blog tour. I hope you will come back and visit Emerging Author often.

The winner of the signed, numbered copy of Writer Mama is: 

            Kristine Meldrum Denholm

Congratulations and enjoy the book Kristine!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Seven Hundred Fifty

I was wide awake Thursday morning (oh, around 3). Besides enjoying the snow that had fallen since I went to bed, I kept seeing this number rolling through my head, "750." 


A writer-friend submitted an essay to Brain, Child. She got a very thoughtful, but negative response. The editor told her that for every SEVEN essays they publish, they receive/have to reject SEVEN HUNDRED FIFTY.

Again, WOW.

That really put "things" in perspective for me. 

1--Rejections don't always mean bad writing and certainly aren't a personal affront.
2--Someone else simply hit the nail on the head and I did not.
3--All that stuff Christina and Abby have tried to hammer in my head about targeting your market must be so true!

I hope the number dancing in my head will go to sleep now that I have written about it. But I know it will never be totally dormant. Each time I write a query or an essay, it will wake up and remind me that I have to consider all aspects of my chosen market. Even more so than I have in the past.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Celebrating the Writer Mama Anniversary Tour with Guest Blogger Christina Katz

Every so often you meet a person who is truly dedicated to helping others succeed. I believe that Christina Katz is one of those people. The author of two books, Writer Mama and Get Known Before The Book Deal, Christina has helped many, many writers achieve success.

What I have learned from Christina has truly changed my life. One year ago, I thought my career options were limited. Now, my options are limitless. I am developing a writing career that I am proud of, while spending time with the children I love. The book that started it all for me, Writer Mama, is celebrating its two-year anniversary this month. Leave a comment after this post, and you could receive a signed, numbered copy of Writer Mama.

Thanks for stopping by my blog on your whirlwind tour, Christina! 

Post #27: The Author Questionnaire

At some point during the print prep process, you will likely be asked to fill out an author’s questionnaire if you have not done so already. This is a great opportunity to assess the strengths and weaknesses of your current platform and address where you might strengthen your platform to increase your book’s chances for a successful launch.

Here’s the kind of information you’ll be asked for in an author questionnaire:

Your complete contact information

Your college affiliations

Your alumni publication contact info

Magazines and newspapers you have contributed to

Local newspapers

Your agent’s contact info

A list of organizations of which you are a member

Any honors or awards you have received

A list of periodicals and/or reviewers not already listed

A list of local radio/news stations

A list of folks who might blurb or review your book

A short description of your book that emphasizes its selling points

Be sure to ask for your author questionnaire after you have submitted your book, if you’ve not received it already. You’ll want to give your publisher as much time as possible to contact your list. But never presume that your publisher is going to contact everyone on your list. Generally speaking, publishers focus their promotional efforts on a small selection of frontlist titles. So consider yourself the primary, full-time publicist and booking agent for your book and your book launch events.

Today's Book Drawing: To enter to win a signed, numbered copy of Writer Mama, answer the following question in this blog's comments:

How will you feel about filling out an author questionnaire to support your book launch? Will you have a lot of contacts to add to the list, or will you wish that you'd done more networking and staying in touch with others?

Thanks for participating! Only US residents, or folks with a US mailing address can participate in the drawing. Please only enter once per day.

Where will the drawing be tomorrow? Visit to continue reading the rest of the Writer Mama story throughout March 2009!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Ebb and Flow

As I begin this post, I am chuckling to myself. What I have to say today is somehow tied to my earlier post "Balancing Act."

Today, I feel calm. I feel like my writing is taking on a natural ebb and flow. My goals and responsibilities are achievable if I refuse to allow stress to overtake me. I can play with my kids, write a spur-of-the-moment essay (and submit it), turn in my monthly Military Spouse column (before the deadline), complete my assignments in writing class and do the laundry. Heck, I've even watched Twilight twice this week.

I firmly believe that, when we are where we are supposed to be, that there truly is a natural ability to achieve. I am not suggesting that we can sit on our bums watching soaps all day, waiting for inspiration to join us on the couch. I am suggesting that we really can achieve a balance in our lives if we don't fight against the natural rhythms of our current situation.

I like feeling this way. I will revisit this post when I get harried and bogged down with life's demands.

Friday, March 20, 2009


Did I really do this?

I did.

Today I purchased my domain name and have begun the process of creating a website. I feel so grown-up!

Why did I make this (to me) leap? Because I am missing out on some serious self-promotion opportunities. Every time I send an editor a bio, I cringe because I have no website tagged to the end. I know, I could put my blog address, but that just didn't seem right to me. For me, it wasn't exactly what I wanted to project to my readers or possible employers.

Backup--did I say self promotion? Yes indeed, I did. Let me explain something that I have learned in this business--this is a big one. If I don't put myself out there, I won't be "out there." I don't magically pop into editor's heads for a great writing assignment, I don't mystically get selected for a blog tour and I don't mysteriously become a reputable writer if I sit in my office closet all day just waiting. I have to make the first move.

My career as a freelance writer only started thirteen months ago. Since then, I have said at least 100 times, "I was just in the right place at the right time." That is not true. The truth is, I put myself in the right place at the right time.

So I am building a website. It might look hokey for a few months while I get the hang of things. It will probably drop off of my radar for a while as life temporarily takes over career aspirations for a while. But I will have a web presence, my published clips will (eventually) be available on my website and I will be putting myself out there.

A website is the right step for me right now.

I firmly believe that, for each of us, regardless of our career status, NOW is the time to make our presence known.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Balancing Act

Monday I cleaned out closets and worked in my garage. We are preparing for a move.

Tuesday I spent the entire day working on an assignment for Pitching Practice with Christina Katz. In between driving the carpool and attending a meeting, of course.

Wednesday was all about my children.

Thursday I am back in the office.

Friday I have a string of commitments beginning with a doctors appointment at 7:30am and ending with a movie night for my kids and two friends at 9pm.

Next week is Spring Break.

How do we busy moms balance it all? Sometimes, I feel like I don't! Working from home is a blessing and a curse all at once. On Tuesday and Thursday my writer-self either cleans frantically before the girls leave for school or runs from the door to my office, ignoring breakfast dishes on the table, unmade beds and piles of laundry.

Sure, no boss is breathing down my back. But, no boss is breathing down my back. My workload is up to me. It is my responsibility to set and achieve goals. I must be accountable for my career.

And I love it! Being responsible, both for successes and failures, is one of the best parts of this job. I am absolutely free to do what I want and to do it to the best of my ability. And next week, when Spring Break cuts my writing time severely, I won't have to "ask" for time off to take my kids to the zoo.

Kudos to each of you who are tackling the balancing act. Keep up the good work.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Blogging is overwhelming. I am not overwhelmed by keeping up my own seems I always have something to say!

I am overwhelmed by all of the blogs available for reading. How do I choose which ones to read? I could use all of my writing time reading other people's blogs. I would learn a lot, but I wouldn't get much done.

So how do you choose which writing-related blogs to read, how much time to spend on blogs and blogging? Do you set aside a certain amount of time each day? Do you choose one or two blogs per day to read, risking the chance of getting behind on the others?

Perhaps most overwhelming of all is my realization at just how much competition is out there. Everyone seems to have something to say!

Thoughts to ponder...

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Take My Advice...

Writing is a great way to learn, and that is one of my favorite outcomes of article writing.

I just completed writing an article that outlines ways to spend quality time with your children. As I interviewed my specialist and began writing the article, I felt more and more guilty. Do I spend enough time with my daughters? Well, of course I am with them a lot of the time, but do I actually take advantage of the time we have together?

No, I do not.

I learned that I need to re-prioritize.

Meals must be cooked, laundry must be folded and yes, sometimes I just need a break. I have realized that those things would happen more quickly if I would first carve out some time with my kids to play and enjoy their imaginative minds.

I am going to make a new commitment to myself and my children. I am going to read my own article and then do what it says!

I wonder what I will learn from my next article...