I've been slogging through a new draft and got the bright idea that I just might need some feedback (duh!), so asked if I could join a critique group that meets here in SB and in Solvang. My first meeting with the group was last night. What a talented bunch of writers--excellent critiquers, too. I can really be lazy about writing. Now that I know I need to produce something every two weeks, I'm hoping to change my ways! We'll see. . .
My writing group has a rule about rejections: you get three days for bitching, kvetching, throwing things--whatever your standard practice is --then you just need to shut up about it and move on. I've already broken the rule, stretching my kvetching to a week and I don't see stopping anywhere in the near future. My inner brat is acting up. Think I'll just go for a walk. It's a gorgeous day. Anybody have a great trick for dealing with rejection??
BTW, this morning I reread the opening chapter of Blister by Susan Shreve, one of my all time favorite MG's. At the SCBWI/LA retreat last week, I talked about the literal place from which a story is being told. This one opens with Blister sitting in a tree. Perfect.
Okay, so it's been four months since I last posted. Instead of whipping myself, I'm writing. I'm so in envy of those of you who can just sit down and compose something "camera ready" for the Internet. Or so your posts look to me. Do you really find it as easy as it looks? Because I don't. I feel naked and speechless out here. Words don't come to me as they do (most of the time) when I'm writing fiction. I feel like a clogged drain. Glug.
On the other hand (isn't there always another one?) I had a great time speaking at the SCBWI/LA retreat in Encino last weekend. My mission --chosen for me --was to talk about character. I was daunted at first. What's left to say about character?? But the reception was great, so I apparently said something worth listening to.
So why all the trouble with this blog?
I AM getting back into the blogwater though, so don't give up on me. I'm still learning to swim.
“Hold on to the heart of what first makes you want to tell a story—that seed of inspiration, that character that haunts you, the moments you long to crystallize and bring to life. My goal is to couple that holding on with a practice of staying loose and softened and humble—remembering that the task is about questions, not answers.”
Is a writer someone who does not write every day? Or even every week? (GASP) Then I am not a writer. A "spurt writer", I call myself. I write when the mood strikes or an idea keeps biting my ankle and won't let go, or sometimes when I'm just plain ashamed of myself for being so lazy. Despite all this I've somehow managed to write a dozen MG and YA novels (thirteen counting my adult novel, Call It A Gift.) Spurt writers can blitz when they want to, or need to--meeting a deadline for revision, for example. I love writing. I'm never more alive than when I'm caught up in a character's life, going places I haven't been or didn't know I was going. I've just finished The Last Best Days Of Summer which will debut in the Spring of 2010, another Frances Foster/Farrar, Straus & Giroux book. Frances has been my editor since 1998 and I hope she always will be. She's simply amazing.