Thursday, September 26, 2019

Hope for a Writerly Existential Crisis

If you've reached a point in your writing life where you dread sitting down at your laptop, you're not alone. 

If you've found yourself questioning if you're writing the right thing or wasting your time and resources, we've been there. 

If you're wondering if you can even call yourself Writer anymore if Procrastinator, Second-Guesser, and Impostor seem like more appropriate titles, even the New York Times bestsellers have felt that way.

Let's do a little heart work today. In your favorite journal, the comments of this post, or even a clear corner of your mind, let's start with this question:

What does low maintenance, joyful, sustainable writing look like for you? 
What do you need to do to get there?

I wish we had a blog post with the perfect answer for you, the secret formula to clear, productive writing regardless of inspiration, mood, or energy levels. 

If we told you that, you might focus more on the doing than the being.

But we do have some reminders as you work through this question:
  • A little bit of progress in regular intervals really adds up.
  • Writing is like a muscle that needs exercise and gets easier with repetition.
  • If you're called to be a writer, it may look different in different seasons. Sometimes it might even be just for your own eyes, but every. single. word serves a purpose.
  • When trying to redefine your writing life, *WHY* you write is more important than *WHAT* you write.
  • If you wait for the energy burst, the whiff of inspiration, or the right mood to start writing, it may never come. You create the energy, the inspiration, and the mood by writing scared, writing often, and writing anyway. 

Laurie Tomlinson is the award-winning contemporary romance author of That’s When I KnewWith No Reservations, and The Long Game, currently featured in the Once Upon a Laugh novella collection. She believes that God’s love is unfailing, anything can be accomplished with a good to-do list, and that life should be celebrated with cupcakes and extra sprinkles.

You can connect with her on her WebsiteFacebook, and Instagram.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

7 Conference Countdown Tips-It's Two Weeks Away!

I am an unusual mix. I make lists, organizing my day, yet when a conference approaches, I come down with a terrible case of procrastination. 

This can be a deadly disease...for the story we hope to pitch, the classes we think we might be taking, the individuals we might get appointments with, and the crucial networking we can do.

This alone is a good reason for me to start preparing TODAY for the conference.

1. Let's start with the easy task. What outfit should I wear to the awards ceremony? 
I had this taken care of two months ago. Note the word had. Last night, I tried on my dress and looked in the mirror. Sigh. I rummaged through other dresses back in my closet and chose one. Tried it on. Added accessories and checked the mirror. Yes, I could check this off my list. 

If there will be a character costume night, try this outfit on as well. Put all the pieces in one place.

2. For networking, check your business card stash. If you have bookmarks or any other related items get them out. Blow off the dust. It may be too late to order more. Perhaps a local vendor can make up a few for you. Yes. You should bring business cards.

3. Prepare or review your one sheet. At the first conference I attended, I had no clue what this was. A one sheet is an organized flyer providing information about one, or one of the manuscript/s you will pitch at the conference. Editors and agents will say, "Do you have a one sheet?" in your meetings. Search our blog's topics for past posts addressing one sheets.

4. Practice your pitch ten times every day. Know it as well as your name.

5. As conference time draws near, I will look over the scheduled classes. The houses and agencies represented at the panels. I reread the information provided for the agents, editors, and mentors. The more prepared I am, the less nervous I will be, and the better chance I will have to well represent my manuscript.

6. Gather all flight, shuttle, hotel, and conference reservation information. Have you asked someone to take you to the airport? Will there be someone there to pick you up when you fly home?

7. The conference has an app. The best feature is the updates. You will know classroom changes, additions, cancellations. Download the app ahead of time.

These are a few of my favorite reminders. What did I forget? Take a sec and comment below something to remember for the upcoming conference.

The Alley Cats are excited to see you there. Nearly the entire group is able to attend this year. Look for us. Say hi!

~Mary Vee

Photo by Mary Vee
#TipfulTuesday #ACFW #Conference #MaryVeeWriter #procrastination #WritersAlley 

In Mary Vee's newsletter, readers take a virtual trip to various places. No bug spray. No packing. No passport. Explore something new in each letter! Sign up today at The next newsletter hits email boxes September 15.

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Mary Vee -Rock climbing, white-water rafting, and hiking top Mary’s list of ways to enjoy a day. She was homeless for a time, was a teacher, a missionary, and married an Air Force vet. Mary has been a finalist in several writing contests and writes for her King.
Visit Mary at her WebsiteBlog, and her ministry blog to families: God Loves Kids. Or chat on Facebook or Twitter