Monday, June 20, 2011

When You Fall Off The Horse...

I love horses.
Hello readers,

This week's topic is "Do-Overs"; regrets, wasted time or money, anything we wish we could do over again. We've all wished we could have a "do-over" at some point in our lives, but since we can't I don't dwell on it. I'm one of those people who believes things happen for a reason. We may not know what the reason is. But what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. A smart person learns their lesson and moves on. Sometimes this means getting back on the horse and doing it right. Sometimes it means finding a new horse. And other times it means accepting the fact that horse-back ridding isn't for you.

Writing has been one huge continuous learning experience for me. Though I've dragged books around with me since I could crawl and grew up in a library and think Barns&Nobel is the coolest store in the mall, I never gave writing a thought until a few years ago.

I don't have any sort of writing degree. My venture started because I was broke and writing was a free activity. I learned the basics on a little site called (okay, so it's really a HUGE site). I did everything backwards. Every newbie writing mistake in the book, that was my first MS in a nutshell... But I took workshops and joined crit groups and I learned and I moved on. Eventually I graduated to a site called where I took even more workshops.

I started my first blog in 2009 I think. That was a feat all in it's own. I had never blogged before. At the time, I was also afraid to look Twitter in the eye, but now we're best buds. Oh, and I write for five blogs now, one of which is a group blog that I am in charge of, and it's now safe to say I've mastered Blogger.

Editing my manuscript was a B#!$@ and I ended up doing it like twenty times over. Of course now I know about outlines and plotting and making notes in the margin and in a notebook and the difference between Content, Line, and Copy Editing and how you shouldn't do them all at once if you want to keep your hair on your head.

Learning to write a query letter took me about a year and made me cry LOL. I still hate them, but they're a necessary evil. The synopsis was shockingly easy. Don't ask me how I pulled that one off! But I wrote my first synopsis in a synopsis workshop and the instructor ... Ahem... Frankie... loved it.

Now, what am I getting at? Oh yes...Do I wish I could do any of that stuff over, knowing what I know now? Heck yes! Would have saved me a year of frustration and some tears. But I can't do it over, so why waste energy wishing that I could? I can only look foreword into the next step - which for me is balancing writing a sequel while mastering the painful art of self-promotion. Mmm, talk about a learning experience. At least my computer skills are improving. I can almost type with my eyes closed, which is good because the screen is taking a toll on my eyesight.

What about you? What do you do when you fall off the horse, get back on? Walk away? Find a Cheetah? Now if this was a blog about men and relationships, this would a completely different post. *Nods*

Have a good week,


  1. Great post, J.D. I agree with you. It's a huge learning curve and the learning is on-going.

    It seems to me you did all the right things.

    I think it's always good to get back into the saddle, whatever career or job we do. But with writing I think it's crucial.
    Writing is tough and we have to learn how to work basically just how to work (aside from the writing)!

    I'm still half scared of Twitter! anyway you go, girl! you're doing everything right!

  2. I have a problem with getting back on really - used to be a writing fanatic but then kind of lost interest in it after I graduated college and got my first job. Looking to get back into it now but haven't figured out the right way to spark my motivation.

  3. Carol - Thanks! I do think I'm on the right track but I know I still have a lot to learn. So far it's been a real treat working with the editors and cover artist. I feel blessed to have been accepted by such a great group.

    Timmy - Really the best thing to do is just sit down and write. Purge ideas onto paper. Remember you can always edit later.

    The truth is, when all is said and done for the first book, you just come full circle back to the beginning, facing a blank page again. The first three chapters are always the hardest fro me to write so I often just purge until the story starts to take form (usually by chapter 5 or 6 it gets good) then go back and edit the beginning. And never underestimate the importance of notes and outlines! I also find that research gets me excited about possible scenes. Hope that helps you a bit.

    JD Brown