When You Write

I was at a writer’s retreat recently and someone remarked about how much I had written in a short amount of time (about 4 years). They mentioned that they were older and had not written even a fraction of what I had written. You know what, though? My first thought was, I have not written enough, and that I have been making up for lost time, but when I thought about it, that wasn’t what I said. You know what I said? You will write when the time is right for you. And, you know what? I meant it. Writing is not a race or a competition. It is about writing the right things with the most sincerity at the right time and place.

As they say, you do the best for you. You can compare, yes, but remember you can only do you.

Cooking With The Smiths

Ohhh…the cookbook is almost ready. So, I had the honor of writing down all of the family recipes. It was quite a chore–possibly the hardest writing task I ever had to do. However, it is completed. The edits have been sent off and it looks great. Stay tuned for the final project. I’m so excited!

Completing a Series

Recently, I was asked by a writer on how to complete the third installment in her series while the first installment was still undergoing editing. The concern was, what if the edits substantially alter books 2 and 3? Should she even pursue book 3, or should I wait?

I’ve had this dilemma in my own series (Medusa), as I will be possibly changing one important fact (shortening the time frame for the events in the book) in book 1 as I convert it from poetry to prose. Should I do this, it will actually sync up with what I had written in book 2. So, I have a later book that will influence the rewrite of book 1.

So, the question begs, do you stop all work and just focus on the book that you are editing or do you push on with the 3 book? In the other writer’s case, I told her it is better for her to finish the third book while the muse is still working, at least to lay down the framework for what needs to happen to wind down the series. At the moment, she cannot do anything to book 1 as it is with an editor.

In my own work, I have worked on both projects at once. Revising book 1, while also writing book 2. Why? Because I need to keep going to get to book 3. Yes, I know along the way, I will have to rewrite some sections in the portions already completed. However, sometimes it is best just to push through and edit later.

Anyone else run into this?  Personally, just finishing one book is an accomplishment, let alone trying to finish three 🙂

J.L.

Celebrating National Poetry Month

Free books of poetry! Hey, you don’t see that often, do you? Here at the blog, I am celebrating poetry, not only by offering the poetry boot camp and providing excerpts of my own poetry from my latest book, Weathered Fragments, Weathered Souls,
I would also like to share the gift of poetry.

So, I am giving away one signed copy of both of my books, plus other poetry books I have enjoyed. Free. What is the catch? This is a contest, so I can’t give books to everyone (would love to, if I could), but I will do a drawing to determine who will get the books. I will have at least 3 prize books, but if there is enough participating, I will add more.

How do I enter, you ask? Easy.

#1 Like any posts from this month (April). This includes the blog, Facebook, and Twitter.

#2 Double entries if you Share, Retweet, or Press This (via WordPress).

Winners chosen around the first of May. Winners will be posted and notified. You have 7 days to claim before I redraw.

Sound good!

Let’s celebrate poetry!

Back from hiatus

Took a break after writing all those poems. I am excited to announce something new coming up for June. I hope to do another mini-poetry month marathon, which will include another round of prompts for all of those looking for boosts in their creativity. In addition to this, I have another surprise up my sleeve for all of you that follow me on this blog. Stay tuned. You won’t want to miss this.

Happy New Year

Thank you for reading this blog. Your support and correspondence over the year (and beyond!) means a lot to me. This blog has grown a lot since I started it over a year ago, with many, many works added to it. I hope to continue to add more content over the next year to make it an even better experience for you, the reader.

Even after being fortunate enough to have published about 60 works (thank you, dear editors and journals!), I still feel like a new writer at times, and often wonder how other writers go about writing and submitting their works for publications.  Enter Trish Hopkinson’s New Year post about her blog and submission totals for the year. Reading her stats, I am in awe of her blog stats (it is an awesome blog, check it out here, if you haven’t already!) and of her submission stats too, so I decided to look at my own.

Using Duotrope, I looked up my stats for 2016. I write mostly poetry, though, I also write and publish fiction and nonfiction occasionally.

In 2016, I submitted 197 works for publication. These are Duotrope stats.

187 were poetry –this does not include my Alaska Women Speak submissions, of which I had 9 poems published. Duotrope does not list them, so they are not included in the raw numbers.

7 nonfiction – This number leaves out 1 AWS submission as well that was published.

3 fiction – This number, again, leaves out 1 AWS submission that was published.

Overall, I had a 14% acceptance ratio, without the AWS submissions counted. Poetry acceptance was 13.1, fiction was 100% (OK, believe it or not, I just got lucky here for this year, for one of these pieces was rejected in 2015, which doesn’t count this year). Nonfiction acceptance was 16.7%.

In 2017, I plan to submit to more tougher markets (yeah, I know, isn’t it hard enough to get published without MORE rejection!), so my acceptance rate will probably decrease quite a bit next year.

38 works were accepted for publication in 2016, with 3 to be published in 2017.

Not bad, definitely, but as a writer I always strive for more challenges.

Next up are goals for 2017, which I have not articulated yet.

Writers out there, how was 2016 for you?  Please post and share!

J.L.