Monday, 17 August 2015

Ready. Set. WRITE! Week #11

Welcome back to Ready. Set. WRITE! My co-hosts, Alison Miller, KatyUpperman, Jaime Morrow, Elodie Nowodazkij, and I hope you’re looking forward to yet another productive summer! If you’re new this year and you’re wondering what RSW is all about, it’s a summer long writing intensive for writing, revising, or planning your WIP. It’s also a way to keep each other accountable. Every Monday we’ll share our posts, keeping them brief in order to maximize our writing time and minimize on blogging. Sign up on the linky at one of the host blogs each week, and remember to visit other participants’ blogs to cheer them on as well. For more info on RSW and a link to our lovely stash of buttons, click here.

How I did on last week’s goal(s)

My goal was to tear apart three scenes that needed to be rearranged and somehow integrated better. I got that done and did some minor revisions on the next scene as well.

My goal(s) for this week

I’m aiming to revise the next two scenes, both of which are pretty long.

A favorite line from my story OR a word or phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised

I sift my fingers through the soft, dark hair sticking up over his forehead and try to keep my voice calm. “I know this sounds crazy after what you just put yourself through, but please be careful. Don’t do anything foolish…or…or heroic, or anything that might get you killed, okay?”
“Heroic?” He tries to smile, but his chin is too sore to move his mouth much. Blood stains his teeth.
“Yes, heroic. Sometimes you’re too noble for your own good.” I comb through his hair again and again. “You have a dangerous penchant for saving people and making sacrificial gestures.”
He stares up at me, eyes copper bright. “Sounds like someone else I know.”
“Guess we’re quite a pair then.”
“Yes,” he says, his fingers finding mine in the grass. “We are.”

The biggest challenge I faced this week

Depression. There, I said it. It’s one of those unpleasant things people don’t like to talk about, but the more I hang out in the writing community, the more I realize it’s pretty much an epidemic here. So this was one of those weeks where it was a challenge even getting out of bed, and the query rejections kept firing at me, which didn’t help. I’ll confess I’m losing steam on this revision. While I still maintain I wrote this trilogy for me—because I love the story and to prove to myself that I could do it—it’s tough revising book 3 when book 1 still isn’t attracting any real interest after querying off and on for two years. I'd be lying if I said I didn't want an audience to share it with or to see it on the shelf in a bookstore someday.

Something I love about my WIP

One of my biggest goals with this series was to make the ending kickass. I’ve known since starting book 1 how book 3 would end, and getting my characters and the plot to that point in the most exciting, gut-wrenching way possible has been my focus. Sounds obvious, but I've read too many series that went out with a fizzle instead of a bang. I poured everything into those last chapters, and I love them. So did I succeed? I’d like to think so.

Thank you for last week’s encouragement, everyone. As you can see from this post, it was much needed. I really hope this spirit of accountability and cheering one another on will continue past the end of August when RSW is done. Hang in there with your writing projects while the summer is winding down!

Moving right along…

Last week, Alison’s awesome care package was up for grabs, and I’m happy to announce that the winner is:


Congratulations, Crystal! Hope these treats provide some fuel and fun for your writing sessions!

Our final RSW care package was put together by Katy, and it’s full of lovely things. If you’d like to win this fantastic parcel, remember to enter on the Rafflecopter below—one entry for each week of participation in RSW and the contest is open internationally. Good luck!

Here’s what Katy’s parcel contains:

● “If You Obey All the Rules You Miss All the Fun” Journal
● Floral Mini Sticky Note Pad
● Lined Floral Note Pad
● Jelly Bellies
● Starry Pencil Pouch
● Honey Pear Hand Cream
● Lavender Lemonade Candle
● Peppermint Mints
● Various Washi Tapes
● Eos Strawberry Sorbet Lip Balm
● Writerly Quote Pencils
● Bigelow Vanilla Chai Tea
● Twizzlers

A little reminder: The last week of RSW (August 24-31) you’re invited to join us for our Manicures & Manuscripts event, when we’ll be treating our tired, over-typing fingers to manicures that somehow reflect our WIPs. If you’d like to take part, start thinking of ideas for how you’d like your nails to look!

Best of luck in this last giveaway and with your goals this week!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Last week was a success! Goal plus some always good. You can totally tackle the next two this week :)

    Your scene is so sweet and cute!!!

    Awe it is hard. That is one of the reasons I think I have never finished any of my WiPs. But I find that the community has been so supportive that it does help. I'm sorry your book hasn't gotten the interest you want but as you are wanting to share your story with the world, have you considered other options as well, like self publication?

    Congrats Chrystal.

    This weeks prize looks yummy!

  2. Hugs. Lots of hugs.

    And if you need anything or an ear or whatever, let me know.

    I'm so sorry that it was a rough week for you and that rejections didn't help. I've read book 1 in the trilogy and I definitely want to know what happens next so even though I know I'm not a bookstore or an agent or anything, you do have an audience waiting to read book 2 and book 3 <3

    I love your excerpt, Erin.

    Hope this week goes better and that you also make sure to take it easy on yourself.

  3. Congratulations on exceeding your goal (because you definitely did), and good luck with your goals this week!

    I know what you mean about the depression, and how things like last week just really don't help at all, but please don't be discouraged! Like Eve says, you could consider other routes like self-publishing, which I know doesn't sound quite the way you'd wanted to go but does a lot more, IMO, to get books in the hands of readers. And I have to say that based on your excerpts I'd love to be one of them! Your writing is gorgeous and your characters sound lovely, so please don't lose heart!

    I really hope this week is better for you. Don't forget to take care of yourself!

  4. Depression? I know nothing about this. :) I have MANY days where I experience the same thing and after getting rejected over and over and over, that "Why do I even bother?" mantra that plays in my head often and makes it extremely difficult to get any writing done. BUT (a pep talk for you and me :) ) a couple things: first - it only takes one YES (still waiting for mine too...ugh); two - I just try to remind myself to write stories I would like to read and that's what I do and hopefully some day someone in the publishing industry will want to read them too; and three - YOU are an extremely talented writer (your excerpts are a testament to this) so please hang in there and keep plugging away! If you ever need another set of eyes on that query, I am not the greatest query expert, but I will be happy to help!

    In other news, have you considered entering Pitch Wars? Today's the deadline to enter, but you have until midnight so... I think you should totally do it. :)

    Hang in there, Erin! Sending all the hugs and chocolate and adult beverages your way!

  5. Ugh, Erin, I'm so sorry you're feeling down and discouraged. Isn't it wonderful when negative things just keep piling up? You're right -- you're not alone, and I know you'll be able to push through. Based on the excerpts you've shared, those agents who are passing on your writing are missing out on an extraordinary opportunity to represent you. It WILL happen though -- it just has to! Thinking of you and rooting for you, lady! <3

  6. Yay to getting those goals! I don't see how writers could escape depression. What other branch makes people throw themselves completely into hundreds. . .thousands of hours of heart-filled work only to willingly go out to be shot down again and again? From what I've seen of your excerpts, you have no reason to doubt yourself. I keep saying that my first official book will probably be published when I'm 92 ;) Good luck!

  7. I love the excerpt you shared -- it's so romantic, but subtle and that's the best kind. Major props to finishing book 3. I self-publish and love the autonomy it gives me. When I made the decision to go indie, I felt more energized about my writing career than I had ever felt. Just throwing that out there....

  8. The end is always hard for me--really making a lasting impact. Good luck!!

  9. Great job accomplishing your goals, Erin!! And you're not alone in your why-do-I-bother? frustration. So many of us are right there with you, spending all this time writing and wondering if anyone will ever see it. But as long as the story brings you joy, keep going! It will find its audience one day.

    Hope you have a great week!

  10. Great job accomplishing your goals this week! I know how hard it is to keep going through the rejections and disappointments. A particularly rough time in the query trenches last year left me in another publishing-related depression and led to me deciding to back away from querying for the time being. It's tough to keep going, but hang in there!

    I love all the excerpts you've shared, and I think the agents are missing out! Sending all the good luck vibes, and hopefully this week will be better! :)

  11. *hugs* It takes a lot of courage to talk about depression and just know you're not alone.

    I love your snippet, especially the sound of this line: "He stares up at me, eyes copper bright."

  12. I hear you on the depression aspect. It's hard not to look at my reports page at KDP and feel depressed to see a flat line yet again. I haven't sold anything since November, and have gotten far more congratulations than I've ever had sales. I don't think I'll know what to do if sales still don't pick up after I've had two of my covers revamped.

  13. Woo hoo! Good job for completing more revising than you intended. Especially considering that you were dealing with depression. Thanks for speaking out about this since, as you said, we ALL deal with it. Good luck with your goals this week and keep on truckin'.

  14. My heart goes out to you, Erin. When I say motivation is my challenge, it's my nicer way of saying depression. You will totally have someone want book 1 and then they'll chomp at the bit for 2 and 3. The right agent hasn't found your book yet. That's all. They will. Each one of your excerpts proves that. Congrats on achieving your goals from last week and good luck this week. *hugs*

  15. Aw, man, sorry to hear you've been having a tough time lately. It's so hard to keep getting rejections, but a lot of people are right there in the trenches with you and the only way to get what you want is to persist! Persist at writing, revising, and querying! You'll get to yes eventually. Have you considered Pitch Wars? You can enter until midnight tonight!

    Congrats on getting so much done this week despite feeling less than your best. You rock! Good luck this week! :)

  16. I know my comment is a bit late, but I hope it's going a little better for you than last week. Depression is a hard beast to work with, especially when you throw rejection into the mix. There's no easy solution, and I think everyone's already given the best advice--just keep going. You are very talented, and it's apparent you're putting your heart in your work. That will lead to something eventually, whether it's with this book or another far down the road. Nothing you write is wasted.

    Good luck working through those two scenes this week. <3

  17. Can I say how much I absolutely love this challenge? I'm totally going to come play next summer.

    I hear you on the depression. It's been a rough summer writing wise for me. As in, I have a book deadline that's ALREADY PAST *gasp* and I only have 40K of the novel written. In first draft. And it's not moving along. I sit down to write and eek out 300 to 500 words. For an entire sitting. Scary stuff. So I put it aside. I pulled out something I've been working on mentally for years and guess what? 4000 WORDS IN ONE DAY. Methinks we need to mix things up every now and then to stay fresh. Wishing you a strong breeze and epic success.

  18. Sometimes, it's just about taking the next breath, and the next, and then going on from there...

    These characters don't seem like the type to give up. My guess is that the writer who gave them life won't give up on them. Rejections aren't personal assessments of you or your skill. The comments here are, though. I hope you will find something here to hang onto in those darkest moments.

    Sometimes, when we least expect it, that's when the Amazing Thing happens...

    I hope yours is on the way!