WHAT TO DO?

I’ve been thinking about trying the November Novel in a Month. Would this take time I need to get cover letters, outlines, queries, resumes, market analysis, and sample chapters ready to send out to the thirteen possible publishers I’ve identified for my Mary Colter book? They do need to get out because replies take anywhere from one month to six months.

But writing a 50,000 word draft of a novel in thirty days would be a challenge – one that might be the very one I need to jump start my publishing – however doubtful. The topic would be my life as the wife of a Protestant minister. It would start while I was still in college and declared to my friends that I never wanted to marry a minister. It would continue through my marriage to a US Navy man, university, seminary and four ministries, three in upstate New York and one in Warsaw, Poland. I’m not certain it would be exciting or memorable, but it would document Richard’s fifty years of ordination and how ministry affected me and our family life.

In writing magazines, I read about lack of ideas for writing. I have two unedited novels on my shelves. A middle grade novel in first person about a young boy rafting logs to market on the Delaware River in the 1700s in my head. It would be fun to research and write. My computer holds about a third of a middle grade sequel to my completed novel “A Long, Long Summer” (which also needs marketing). I need uninterrupted time to finish it. Then I have an idea for biographies of noted women composers. Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, and other men are celebrated, but what about Amy Beach, Fanny Mendelssohn, Clara Schumann, and others still living.

I must decide how I should use my time, which seems to fly into the wind. Do the needed marketing, or try something totally new? I’m tempted.

What do you think?

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Find a Writers Group

Writing can be a lonely occupation or in some cases, an obsession. For me, I need an outlet. I need someone to read what I’ve written, to comment, and frankly, to cheer me on. Meeting regularly with a writers group can provide this outlet. I am fortunate to have a group that fulfills my needs.

My group is one which is particularly geared to helping one another to be published. We listen to and carefully critique one another. Recently, I asked them to help me cut words from a picture book manuscript that was too long. I came away with over one hundred words fewer in manuscript. Tightened it is a far better piece.

Some writers groups are for beginning writers, who want to learn to put a story together, whether it is a short story, a memoir, a poem, or a novel. If you want to write, I urge you find the group that meets your needs. If you attend one and you don’t feel comfortable, don’t be discouraged. There are others. You will find strength in others who are anxious to grow in their writing, too.