Thursday, December 7, 2017

Yikes, It's December!

Though I've always loved Christmas, I don't do near what I used to do in preparation.

For one thing, Christmas gift giving had to be cut way back for two big reasons:

1. Our family got too big (though I love every one of them.)
2. Our income was cut drastically when the VA decided hubby was no longer 100% disabled, and the 40% disability they agreed upon they are now deducting from his retirement, so in reality, he's not getting any disability.

And no, as a writer, I don't make enough money to supplement. We're doing okay, but because we wisely saved, but spending it on gifts wouldn't be smart.

Enough of that. No tree either, but I did decorate with the help of my great-granddaughters, 3 and 5. That was fun.

I attended the San Joaquin Sisters in Crime chapter's Christmas party, and that was enjoyable and I got to see friends I hadn't seen for awhile. I also volunteered to do a program in May--I have a great topic.

Oh, and I brought a book to show and sold it.

I have yet to address Christmas cards--except one, because I received one. I know many authors send cards to their fans, but I've never done that.

We plan to host Christmas Eve dinner like we usually do--I've ordered the honey baked ham. Only a small portion of our family lives close enough to attend, but they will fill our house.

Another thing I didn't do is participate in any holiday events. My favorite one didn't happen, and the others were outside and I don't put up a tent and haul a table around anymore. There is always next year.

So how am I going to turn this around to focus on mystery? I am still working on my Rocky Bluff P.D. mystery, though it's going well, I haven't had much writing time.

In the meantime, I did a giveaway of one of my Deputy Tempe Crabtree mysteries, Seldom Traveled. It's one of my favorites for several reasons.


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Writing through Rejection Part II

Writing through Rejection Part II Publishing

 December 5, 2017
 Linda Lee Kane
Publishing is frustrating.  No matter how much – or how little – success you’ve had, parts of it will always be out of your control.  But the writing is completely in your control.  And for me, I try to keep the two as separate as possible.  I still think of creating the books as something fun I’m doing for myself, and the publishing and marketing side as a job.  Obviously, they have to overlap, but the more I can keep them separate (I even write in a different place than I do marketing and other publishing work), the more I keep the joy in the writing process.
Before I was published, I used a lot of methods to keep myself motivated while I waited for “the call.”  First, I surrounded myself with people who really understood what it meant to be a career-oriented writer, because they were doing it too.  I met up with a critique partner at a coffee shop one evening a week, every week (which meant that no matter what else was going on in my life, for those hours, I was always writing).  I joined writers organizations, especially local ones, where I could sit for a few hours a month soaking up industry and craft knowledge, and sharing frustrations and excitements of the business (seeing other people succeed reminds you that you can do it too!).
Secondly, I focused on methods that kept me writing.  I set goals every week with my critique partner (that accountability is important) and the two of us also set rewards for meeting those goals (it’s amazing what I’ll do for chocolate or a spa trip). I set aside a regular writing time that I tried to stick to, because then it becomes habit and that’s important too.  If I ever couldn’t write in that time, I edited, because at least then I was still moving forward.

And perhaps most importantly, I believed I could do it.  Remember what I mentioned about stubborn and determined?  Those may be the most important tools in your arsenal.  Of course you have to hone your craft and learn the industry and keep writing, but at the end of the day, when one hundred agents and editors tell you “no,” you have to believe in yourself enough to think “I know better than they do.  I’m going to get there.”

Linda L. Kane MA in Education, PPS, School Psychologist, and Learning Disability Specialist, is the author of The Black Madonna, Chilled to the Bones, and Murder on the Vine, A Daisy Murphy Mystery. She lives with her husband, three dogs, one bird, and six horses in California.