Tag Archives: Love Letters

Dear Misbehaving Manuscript,

It’s not you it’s me. Okay, so maybe it is you. We’ve been together for two months now and honestly there were points when I loved you. Oh we used to be so good together! Remember that time we added 3,300 words to our word count in one afternoon? Remember that time we laughed over that little joke in chapter three? Or the times I thought we were going so strong that nothing could break us apart?

What happened to us? There are some days when I don’t even want to work on you. Days when you cause my characters to say boring things and do stupid stuff. Times when there are so many typos you could have been written by a sleepy second grader.

Le-sigh…Even though right now you are causing me to want to pull my hair out, I still believe in you. In us. And I won’t give up on you. At least not today. So please stop misbehaving or I might be forced to punish you by… inserting so much purple prose even Stephanie Meyer would be jealous? ( His eyes were like the clearest of diamonds, sharp enough to cut through her tender heart and bruise her sweetly innocent soul.)  Or  I could end every sentence with an exclamation point? You wouldn’t like that, would you?!!!! Maybe I should let my grandmother read you? “He put his what, where?! Really, Jamie!” (How does one punish a manuscript anyway?) Regardless of what I do, what I won’t do is give up on you, no matter how badly you tick me off. So shape up. Pretty please.

Love always,

 Your crazy writer Jamie.

Am I crazy? Absolutely. But all writers go through a time when they are just not getting along with their WIPs. So how do you renew the magic? I do what many writer’s are loathed to do. I stop wherever I am and go back. Sometimes all the way to the beginning(AH!) and read it all over to see what I liked about it, what I think can be improved and to check to see if things are going the way I planned. This way I can fix it before I do major damage.  But most of the time it’s not the big stinking mess I think it is. Having an honest critique partner you trust or a good mentor is also helpful. Sometimes just to cheer you on or the steer you in the right direction.

Sharing time! I want to know what you do when your manuscript is misbehaving. Do you write it a letter? Do you take a break? Move on? Cry a little? Drink? Play Angry Birds? Tell your friends. Any and all comments are welcome.

A Place in the Sun

Goddess of the type...This week the Scribes are sharing what joining a writer’s organization means to us. Please stay with us all week to see our stories.

This year I became a writer. What makes one a writer? I don’t know. For everybody it’s different. But for me I became a writer when I decided to stop sitting on my hands and get my work out into the world.

I had no idea how to go about that. I did a little research discovered that no, I could not just send my manuscripts off to the big six and expect a book deal. (Sigh.) I also learned that a literary agent might be helpful but soon discovered that they weren’t very easy to get. So, for a long time I did nothing,afraid to send out my work for fear of rejection. I was at a loss. I took solace in reading my favorite authors and imaging that one day my book would be on a shelf near their’s.

Shortly thereafter I noticed that one of my favorite romance writer’s had the words RITA Award winner next to her name, actually many of my favs did. What the heck was a RITA? All I could think of my elementary school bus driver, who wore ice blue eye shadow and had a nasty smoker’s cough. So I googled it (Thank God for google) and discovered that a RITA is an award given out by the Romance Writers America or the RWA. An organization for writers? Sign me up! I joined, immediately forgetting about that new pair of boots I was salivating over.

I started getting their magazine (the RWR or Romance Writers Report) every month. Which I would read cover to cover, taking in all the advice my brain could hold. One month they announced the recipients of the RITA and in the contemporary section the winner was Kristan Higgins. I had never read her work before and thought the cover was cute so I ordered it, enjoyed it and put it aside. A couple of months later in the contest section of the RWR I noticed one called The Write Stuff  and after I stopped singing New Kids on the Block,(You got the right stuff, baby…) I entered. I needed feedback on my writing and knew that the winners of these contests got their work seen by an editor.I thought I would give it a shot.

Months later I got my scores back. One judge gave me really fantastic constructive criticism that got me thinking about my work in a way that I never thought possible. And when I scrolled down to see who this person was, it was none other than the fabulous, beautiful, awesome shoe wearing Kristan Higgins. I was so excited that I called my mom and told her about it.

To which she replied, “Who’s that?”

Putting aside my frustration with my mother’s lack of knowledge , I sent Kristan an email thanking her for her comments and asking her for some writerly advice. It was through her I learned of my local chapter of the RWA, an organization I never thought of joining. It was there I met fellow newbie and Scribe, J Monkeys, the mastermind of this excellent blog.

I was nervous at my first meeting. But when I walked through those doors I felt a type  kindness and support that I didn’t know was possible. I was always that kid who didn’t fit into one group. I never had a place where I felt I truly belonged but that all changed when I found them. For once I was in place where people wanted me to succeed and I wanted the same thing for them.

This is my love letter to them so to speak. So thank you to the President who loses so much of her writing time to make out chapter thriving. And thank to the Vice President who brings us the programs that make us better writers. And thank you to the author that introduced me to this group. And thank you to all the members who went out of their way to make me feel like I belonged.

So why join a writer’s organization? Knowledge. Support. Friendship. Who couldn’t use a little of that?

Your turn! Are you a apart of your local writer’s group? If not, what’s up with that? Share your thoughts, stories and comments. We love hearing from you.