Upcoming Writing Weekend

My husband encouraged me to take a weekend to myself to write. I was going to attend a writing conference and possibly pitch to agents, but I guess they don’t do that at this particular conference anymore, be it because of covid or whatever reason. And writing conferences in general can be SUPER helpful, but I felt like the availability of panels to cost ratio wasn’t worth it to me. Hard pass.

So the hubs said, well, why don’t you still go write somewhere and also just take time for yourself? Because the fact is I don’t think I’ve ever spent a whole night away from my kiddo during his entire existence. A few hours, yes. But not a full 24, let alone weekend. And sometimes I feel mom burnout. Hence next weekend I’ve got a hotel booked out of town in a relaxing area where I can write and walk and not have someone crawling all over me demanding my constant attention.

I’m not going to lie, I think it’ll be hard to be away from my boys. But I know this is important. And I’m hoping to have all the pieces sorted I will need for querying agents: the query letter (at least a decent draft), the synopsis, and a list of potentials. I’m hoping to read a little too, since it’s usually a choice between reading or writing these days.

Have you ever taken time away to go write? Or can you write just about anywhere?

I’ve taken time. And I’ve learned to at least plot with my kid around. It’s just getting ideas out, so I don’t feel like it has to be solid gold yet. But it’s been an interesting process. I can go solve a toddler tantrum crisis, get him snacks and whatever he needs, and get back to it. Not huge long stretches, but you squeeze in a few minutes here and there and it’s amazing what you can get done.

I’ll update you more with either a post while I’m in the midst of my getaway or after—or both. As the k-dramas say fighting!

Sort of a view I’ll have | Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Getting Ready to Query

As it happens with most writers, the time arrives when they’re ready to query an agent. I’ve done this many times before and the process is never really a joy (unless you get requests of course). But I still believe in the traditional process. To me you’ve got to do the work either way and I like that a publishing house has more reach than I do as one person. But to each their own with this process.

I’ve finally got my MG Fantasy manuscript in submission state. I think it’s been two years since I started writing this. A lot of that time was putting life on pause for a baby. But now that baby is older I’m back to writing.

Do any of you feel almost possessed by your ideas? I’m a plotter and so I write a basic outline for each novel idea I have. And sometimes it can become a crazy obsession until it’s out. Which is why I like being a plotter. I can get it out in short form so it’s not taking over my total life. And then I can write it at my leisure. I am one of those who enjoys editing too. It’s interesting to see what themes and changes pop up during the first few drafts and how you can shape that into something great.

Look forward to more news on this.

But in fun writing news, I recently won first place in three categories for a contest my writing league held. There’s a little prize money, which is nice, but for me it’s the accolades. And the judges give feedback, which I am 100% about. I feel like when I was a newer writer, having people critique my work was hard. But as I came to realize how much stronger it makes my writing, I’m all about it. That’s not to say everyone’s feedback will be helpful, but it does help to at least consider each critique and see if you do need to strengthen an area or make even a few changes to help. It’s an interesting process.

Good luck to all you querying folk out there. I’m really good at helping others with their queries, at least I feel like I can make some improvements, so if you’re about to query, feel free to hit me up for a quick review. Let’s get these books agented and out to the world!

Writing When You’re Busy

Most of us will reach a point in our lives when we feel like we’re too busy to write. Whether it’s a challenging job, parenting, or other life events, it’s going to happen. So how do you squeeze it in? I’d like to hear from you. Here are things I do to make time.

Outlining on My Phone

I’m a plotter, at least in the sense I write an outline before I write the actual story. I don’t have to have all the details ready yet, but I like to get a bare bones idea of the story before I really flesh it out. And it is writing. You’ve got to get those ideas out sometime.

Now I don’t always write on my phone. I prefer the ease of the keyboard vs. swiping ad infinitum. But sometimes you don’t have time to sit down and type. I do find myself waiting, especially in our pandemic world. Maybe it’s waiting for a pick up, or the flu shot, or a really long shopping line. So why not make the most of the time and get a few ideas down? That’s one of the many reasons I love Google Docs. You can sync up what you’re doing from anywhere. That way you can continue your idea at home, on your computer if you like. Or perhaps you’d like a long soak in the tub? Keep going on your phone (just be careful not to let it take a plunge, lol).

I don’t think I’d get as much writing done if I didn’t employ this method, because I also…

Editing on My Phone

Already have a story written? Time to polish that bad boy up. And no better way to do it than… you guess it, your phone, haha! Seriously though, I’ve heard many editors say it’s good to change up the way your story looks to edit it. What they meant was font change or print out. But I think that can apply to your phone, too, because the page spacing will be different. I’ve caught many errors that way.

And editing still counts as writing.

Setting Aside A Specific Time

Setting a goal of ten minutes a day or even 30 minutes on Wednesdays is another way to make the time. You can get a lot more written in ten minutes a day than you think. And ten minutes a day is more than 0 minutes a day. So is 30 minutes on Wednesdays. My husband is an exercise science major and he always touts the “better than zero” plan for exercise, which is even exercising 5 minutes is better than zero.

I think the same can apply to writing. Maybe you can only get that one line out today. That’s still one line more than zero. It would be nice if we could all take the time off to write the great American novel. Even many published authors will tell you they still have to keep a day job, which means time is limited. So do “better than zero.” I’m honestly saying this to myself as much as anybody.

What Do You Think?

What are your thoughts on making time for writing? Have you got any tips or tricks? Let me know in the comments.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

Finally Checking In

Okay, here I am. Whew. I did some things though, so be proud.

  1. Blog Again. A post. Yeppers.
  2. Edit my MG Novel. A few changes, but there will be more since I submitted it to my writer’s group.
  3. Enter at least 2 writing contests. No progress here either.
  4. Regularly attend my writer’s group. I almost forgot. We were watching Squid Game when my phone reminded me. Whew!
  5. Bonus Goal: Write the sequel to my MG fantasy during NaNoWriMo. At least it’s still October, right?

An itty bitty baby does keep you busier than you think. Remember in college when you had all the time in the world somehow? I feel like I did. I could play Diablo until the wee hours of the morning and still have enough time to get my homework done. Ah, Diablo. The good old days. Ah, video games. The good old days.

What are you missing about your good old days? Are you hitting your goals? Let me know!

Photo by Lisa on Pexels.com

For the Sake of Story

Back in November for NaNoWriMo, I put together a sequel for SHADE. (And I won myself a discount on Scrivener. Holla!)

Anyway, I had used most of October to meticulously plan out the novel which is what made it really easy for me to write. Once I have my idea outlined, it’s more or less a paint-by-number, though I do leave room for my muse to take me in other directions should it choose.

December came and looking over my nice little rough draft I realized something that I would fight against for months. Book 2 seemed more and more to be me trying to cram two books worth of story into one.


But the plot twists!

Another murky middle to deal with?

Splitting a book in half is too hard!

But then all those other moments get pushed to Book 3!

Can I really make this split work?

What about the children? Is anyone thinking of the children for goodness’s sake?

Thankfully, I’ve faced these hard moments before. When it came to Book 1, after a writing conference in New York I knew I had to make substantial changes, not unlike the changes I’m probably going to make now.


For some of you rewrites are not any kind of problem. It may be your curse. But for some of you the idea of having to majorly revamp your book scares you like Reevers scare Captain Mal.

For the sake of story, suck it up, and do it anyway.

How do you know if you need to revamp the story? The easiest way to find out is beta readers. And some of the best ways to find beta readers is going to writer’s conferences and networking. Your fellow writers will appreciate a beta read themselves, so offer to exchange chapters or even full novels, get feedback and see what’s working and what isn’t.

Another way is right here on the WordPress community. We’ve got some of the best people on here who have loads of experience who can help.

Hopefully it doesn’t come as news to you that golden ink doesn’t drip from your pen—or keyboard. Think of it as getting the translation of the story in your head right. I’ve often noticed while some things in my stories change substantially, the essence tends to remain the same.

And I’ve probably said this before, but revamping or splitting books can often bring about creative discoveries you might not have stumbled upon otherwise. I created a character from a book split I doubt would have come to me any other way—and he’s one of my faves.

If you really want a story that’s going to be significantly impactful to your readers, it’s going to take some work, and often that work will be uncomfortable and hard. But you owe it to your readers and to your craft to present only the best possible.

It is my own personal goal to make every book I write better than the previous. My hope is that my skill will continue to grow and be illustrated in my writing as it goes forward.

What do you do for the sake of story? Have you had to make substantial edits or changes to a book that you didn’t want to make at first? What are your personal goals for your craft?