Tag Archives: art

Another rough draft done….

…and now the real work starts.

I started writing for publication the fall of 1997. Back then I wrote religiously.

And after five years of rejections, I started fiddling around. I pretended to write. I wrote in spurts. I played at being a writer. But those rejections slayed my writing spirit. Another five years of rejections killed that spirit.

Honestly, even though I’d write a book a year–usually–, that book wasn’t heartfelt. It was almost fearful. I tried to write to the rules and to what I thought Harlequin would want because Harlequin was my dream.

Two and a half years ago (or maybe three) I put my thesis online. Honor and Lies was my heart. My professors loved it…which isn’t always a good thing. I mean, you don’t want an audience of professors to be your only fans.

But what did I have to lose? The book was sitting on my computer and in the MSU library. It was a tribute to my grandma, and I wanted to give it a chance to be shared by others.

A couple months later I published a couple romances and that was that. I figured I had a backlist of written works, I’d go through them and post them and whatever happened, happened.

Only I started The Artist’s Way with colleague Scotty Coppage and I started working again. It was bits and spurts at first.

The first book I wrote to self-publish was Dead Girl Walking, the first of the Sharlene Gallagher guardian angel mysteries. And since then I’ve written everything to self-publish.

Last summer I came up with a business plan and a publishing schedule. And my arm quit working.

If you know me in real life or kept up with the blog, you know I mean it quit working completely.

For a month I cried because all my plans were flowing away with every day the arm got worse. Not only that, but with each non-writing day I saw myself growing closer to the “writer” Mary Beth. The girl who wrote some, when the muse hit, when she wanted to, instead of the committed writer, working on her craft.

Right before NANO one of my former students Emma found out about my arm and suggested the Dragon software.

In two weeks I wrote an novella using spiral notebooks and dictating to Dragon. The arm wasn’t an excuse. Since then I’ve worked on novels and novellas. I haven’t worried about the business side. I embraced the creative side and the excitement of creating characters and worlds and conflicts.

I’m not writing for anyone but me.

And I’m loving every minute of it.

Suddenly I’m not okay publishing the books I’ve got lined up on my computer as possibilities just because they’re done. I’ll go over them later. I want them to be the very best they can be. Sexy, scary, heartfelt…whatever it is they’re supposed to be, I want them to be that times a ten million.

Self-publishing gave me this even though I haven’t published a word since August 25.

I’ve written hundreds of thousands of words since then. I re-discovered my voice, my art.

And I’ve learned to trust in my creative soul. To pray first then write and let the words work.

I’m not ready to publish the books I’ve written since August 25. They’re all in different stages of the revision or editing process, but I will be soon.

For now, I’m happy that I’m writing and creating and loving it and hating it and working the craft.

It’s so funny to think that because of self-publishing I’m writing more–and better, I think–even though I’m not publishing a word.

 

 

 

That moment when…

I added Within Temptation to my current WIP playlist. Within Temptation is a mainstay of my Sharlene Gallagher book playlists. It instantly pulled me from the book mid-scene. Won’t do that again. Music is powerful stuff.

I’ve rushed this book. The plot is all kinds of crazy. Good thing it’s the crappy first draft. If I can whip this cold from hell into shape I can finish the first draft this weekend, I think. If I can’t whip the cold into shape I’m going to be an unhappy camper. I’ll share my unhappiness here, I’m sure.

Speaking of unhappy and cold, it’s going to be 12 here in two days. It was 80 today.

To end on a happy note, a fellow teacher gave me a GREAT gift today. I can’t wait to get it framed and hanging in my house. It’s the second gift of art I’ve gotten this week. I love my job and the people I work with. ❤

36

 

 

 

The List of Laters

Life.
I talk to so many people who say they’re going to live their dream “later.” When they’re “done with school,” “done with this lesson,” “done planning this party,” “done losing this weight,” “done moving,” “done cleaning house, raising kids, getting the perfect job.”
I’m as guilty as the next girl of putting life off until I’m done…whatever.
But, you know what I’ve discovered?
I can put the art off until the end of time if I wait until my list of done’s gets done.
The simple fact is there’s never a perfect time to create. There’s ALWAYS something else to do.
But my art is worth my time. Putting it off until I’m done with the million things that need doing will leave me sitting in my easy chair swearing I’ll get to my book “tomorrow.” And you know how those tomorrow’s go. One day you wake up and ten years have flown by.