11. Not Managing your Time Correctly. How very appropriate that this lesson falls on today (or rather yesterday). Yesterday was crazy. Once a month, my husband and I do a day trip to Washington to spend the day together. Usually it is just a day trip. We get breakfast or lunch in the old part of Bellingham, we walk around for a while, we buy the world's greatest chocolate milk and then we head home. It's a nice little tradition we started about two years ago. It gets us out of town, away from our phones and besides all that, the old part of Bellingham is beautiful. If you live nearby and you've never been, go. You won't regret it.
The day before yesterday, unfortunately, some whack
job in a white car decided to drive through the Peace Arch border
crossing and shoot one of the female border guards in the neck.
Thankfully, she is in stable condition, and even more thankfully, the
shooter is not. He shot himself. I'm not usually so jaded about loss of
life, but I think in this case, exceptions can be made.
I was afraid our trip over the border would take much longer than
usual, so we left extra early (which for me, is never fun, as I am
anything but a morning person). We got back, and I headed to work while
the husband went for dinner at our friends' place. I was supposed to
finish work at 5:30, but alas, it was not to be.
long story short (well, shorter anyway) I didn't get home until 8:30,
and by the time I sat down to write I was way to tired and what came out
was muddled garbage, so I decided to call it an early night and start
So no, I do not manage time very well. I
would love to be one of those people who can adhere neatly to a
schedule, but I am more of a roll-with-the-punches-as-they-come kind of
girl. I fit the writing in where I can, which means some days I write
-67 words by going back and taking out a section I'd already written,
and some days I write 8,398 words. Depends on the day and my motivation.
Perhaps I should try to schedule in my writing. I'll pencil that in for later.
12. Failing to Learn from the Masters. Mayer
talks about picking up other authors' successful work and looking at
the mechanics of what she has done; to look at the how instead of the
what. He recommends reading something you in a genre that you don't
particularly like so you don't get lost in the story, and instead you
see the structure of the writing. Maybe. I could try. I'm not picky when
it comes to book. I'll read almost anything, but I'm not usually very
good at getting though books I don't like once I've started reading
them. I have ADD when it comes to reading, and if I'm not drawn in right
away, I'll put it down for later and never end up coming back to it. It
might be worth a try though. Can anyone recommend a really horrible,
well-written book for me to read?
13. Not Having an
Idea That's Different Enough. I don't know if this tip necessarily rings
true in the world of romance. Yes, there are about a billion stories of
gay cowboys that fall in love despite all odds. There are a billion for
a reason. Cowboys are hot. Gay cowboys are hotter. Gay cowboys that get
all angsty for each other? Yes please. Every time. As long as you're
not directly plagiarizing someone else's work, I think that for the most
part, if you would read it, other people would too.
Doing Enough Work Prior to Actually Starting your Writing. This is part
of the learning curve for me. The first time, I started with the first
word of the introduction and moved through the story one chapter at a
time until I hit the end. I made it up as I went, and if I didn't like
something later, I went back and changed it. This time, I actually took
the time to write out a tentative outline. I made a collage like I did
for Buffy's Angel when I was in the sixth grade. I know everything there
is to know about these characters, their families, friends and what is
going to happen to them next. It has made writing easier this time. I
have direction; I know where I'm going. It turns out that my high school
English teacher was right about writing outlines. They help.
being said, everyone is different. I was curious how other people
write, so I asked on the DSP forums. Turns out no two writers do it the
same way. Everyone has different things that work for them. Most of them
said they make it up as they go. I find the outline helps, but then
again, I have the memory span of an amnesiac goldfish. True story.
15. Not Being Able to Succinctly Say What Your Work Is About. This
one I don't think I have a problem with. I have a million ideas for new
books, and they are all written in one sentence on a scrap piece of
paper. Too succinct? Is that a thing?