3 S.R. Johannes: It's great to W.R.I.T.E alone.....

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

It's great to W.R.I.T.E alone.....

Marketing Muse: No Blind dates please!
Don't go into a book signing unprepared. There are a few things you need to market effectively for a book signing: BOOKS! (be sure they are ordered), A few pens that work (Sharpies are best), business cards, a takeaway about your book (brochure, postcard, flyer, bookmark), free giveaways (candy, pencils, bookmarks, etc), and a plan on what you will talk about and what you will read.


W.R.I.T.E Alone!

As some of you know,I am working on my last round (fingers crossed) of edits before my agent submits my book. My husband came up with the idea of using the Marriott points I had accumulated but had never used when I was consulting.

What a great idea! I never thought about it. And from now on, I'm going to be sure I get points at any hotel I stay at because these little points - all bunched together - come in very handy!

I spent the whole weekend at a hotel writing, editing, cutting. I don't get much time to write in long chunks of time. I usually am writing for the 3 hrs my little ones are in Mommy's day out, or the one hour my kids nap in quiet time, or the 1 hour my husband jogs at night or the 1 hour after my shows are over.

To write in a long chunk of time, holed up somewhere is AMAZING!!!! I felt so wonderful this weekend, so alive, so happy. Ordering in room service, sitting in sweats with hair pulled up, looking out my window at the blue sky was so good for my writing.

I tallied it up. I got about 20 hours of work done in 2 days. That is like 2 weeks for me! I realized in those moments how alive and truly happy I feel. At the hotel, when everything was quiet, no kids, no hubby, no responsibility, no chores, no task lists, no phone, no playdates, no doggie needs, no mess, no obligations - my mind was so free. so open. so present.

There was nothing to do but listen to the air conditioner hum while I write and write and write.

I realized over the last 6 months I had gotten away from that a little so it was a good place to go back to. In the process of finding an agent and stressing about the agent process, I forgot to love writing. I appreciated the process and loved my work but I forgot to love how I FEEL when I am doing it.

This is why W.R.I.T.E....

W is for wonderment - I love to wonder. Wonder about worlds, wonder about what "ifs", and wonder about life. Where else can you be whoever you want, go wherever you like, and see places you have never seen.

R is for revenge. Revenge is not acceptable in today's society. (Stay with me :) In writing I can take out all the aggression I've built up on my characters. Come up with perfect come backs to snide remarks. Pay back those who have hurt me.

I is for Imagine - Sometimes, my characters fill my need or lack of time for more friends. Sad right? But I laugh with them, cry with them, shoot I even argue with them. (Are you all scared yet?). They are real to me. If I cant go to a party , I can just write about one.

T is for Therapy. Lets face it a psychologist charges 180$ an hour. Where else can you work all your issues out in less than 300 pages, say the things you always wanted to say but didnt', and redo your mistakes.

E is for escape writing helps me unwind. I have a huge imagination that can get wild and a little out of control. To have some way to escape and focus that energy makes me feel light and happy.

I know it is hard. Especially for you moms with kids, people who work full time, and those with financial constraints.

But I recommend taking a day to yourself (you deserve it) and go write with nothing else to do. Go to a coffee shop with free wireless, use your miles for a free stay at a hotel, beg your significant other for $, find a family member for a stay at their 2nd house, beg a friend who is going out of town to house sit. There are so many creative ways you can get the space you need - even if it is only for a day - to just reconnect to why you write in the first place. Why you are going through all this hassle and pain and rejection and work.

Some things I looked for in a room:
free parking, free wireless or internet, access to easy food to save on room service for 3 meals and snacks, refridgerator for drinks/snacks, desk, window.

Now make a plan...

Find a place...

Be alone...

Sit...

Write...

Breath...

and be happy!

You deserve it!

30 comments:

Lazy Writer said...

I'm so jealous! I liked the part of this post where you talked about how you got so caught up in the publication process you forgot to just enjoy writing. That's where I've been for the last few months. This week, I decided to change all that. I'm taking a break from agent hunting and getting back to writing. Maybe a weekend alone in a hotel would do me good!

Corey Schwartz said...

Oh, good for you, Shelli! It sounds awesome!

Tess said...

Your are right - it's the best feeling. Sometimes we do allow oursleves to get caught up in the desire of the moment and forget that euphoric feeling that comes with the actual process of writing.

Great reminder for me today, thanks.

Lisa and Laura said...

Ooh, we've been feeling the same way lately! It seems that sometimes the whole getting published process gets so stressful that we forget why we're working so hard in the first place: because we love to write!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Beautiful, Shelli. I'm so glad you got to do that and so thankful you reminded us why we all write (or at least the writers I hang out with!) Whenever I'm not reveling in it, the writing is lackluster.
Can't wait to hear the rest of your tale on the road to publication so I can scurry off to buy your book!

Heidi Willis said...

so glad your weekend away was productive! The fact that you loved just being with your writing shows it's what you're meant to do!

Katie Ganshert said...

Shelli - what a great blog! Your time at the Marriott sounds heavenly. My husband has taken my son for the weekend once to Wisconsin to visit his family and left me behind. I got SO much writing done. I can imagine leaving the house would be even better. :) I like your acronym.

cynjay said...

I did the same thing when it was time to turn in final copy edits. Being able to read it straight through without interruption was priceless - save those points!

quixotic said...

This is an excellent post. I'm so jealous that you got to get away and write. It's awesome to get some quiet time and just do it! I love your acronym too! So perfect!

Kristin Tubb said...

Yes! Nothing beats a writing get-away. It is way too easy to get wrapped up in the business side of things, and forget about the sheer joy in creating. I have a mantra that I say every time now before I sit down to write, and part of it is, "...and don't forget to HAVE FUN!" :-)

Great post, Shelli. Thanks!

Danyelle said...

THis sounds wonderful! Good for you on what you accomplished! Good luck with your revisions! *crosses fingers*

PurpleClover said...

That is absolutely awesome! I wish I could take a hotel weekend. I really need it to work on my book. The good thing is, I have vacation coming up from school and my sitter still needs the income so she's taking the kids three days a week while I do whatever I want! I'm going to write write write!

Anna C. Morrison said...

A weekend away with nothing to do but write! That sounds fantastic. Even if I am here by myself, which is not often, the dishes and laundry and dinner preparation and phone and email all distract me from my original purpose: writing. I'm glad you were able to accomplish so much. What a great idea!

Suzanne said...

Ummmmm. Why did this post make me cry? I am not kidding. I am crying.

C.R. Evers said...

That is awesome! I'd love to be able to do that some day, but I figure I can't justify it until I have an editor or agent that has first given me a deadline. ~sigh~ dare I dream.

I did get to go to a writing retreat in PA. That was pretty awesome. I didn't have a lot of time to write, but it was time focused on writerly things. Very Kewl!

Great post!

PJ Hoover said...

Yes, I am convinced. I need a weekend like this!
I'm so glad it went so well!

adrienne said...

That sounds fabulous.

Christina Lee said...

ooohhhh sounds soooo dreamy (as my son is screaming my name as I type).

Shelli said...

Lazy writer, tess, tricia - i think we have to try and remember why we write :) it's ez to forget

Shelli said...

corey lisa and laura - thanks you should try it :)

Shelli said...

heidi, cynjay, kristin, danyelle purple clover - good to see you guys. any writing time is good but away from the house and life is great :)

Shelli said...

katie, quixotic. anna - thanks for stopping by - I love finding new blogger buddies :)

Shelli said...

CR, PJ, Adrienne - it was fab. try it!

Shelli said...

suzanne - ah hope that is a good thing :)

christina - thansk for stopping by. your blog was funny today :)

Hardygirl said...

Wow! Bliss!!

I'm just counting down the days until my kiddos go to school--to be able to write consistently every day knowing there will be no interruptions.

sf

Solvang Sherrie said...

My husband took the kids out for a day so I could write and it was bliss. I totally agree that having a big chunk of time with no distractions is fabulous for the muse!

Jennie Englund said...

Really inspiring, Shelli!

Love the acronym. I hit the "T" hard in my blog today!

Stephanie Faris said...

Great idea! Only, not having Internet access for a weekend might be a good thing for me. Free wi-fi might just tempt me to play on the Internet rather than working...

Sarah said...

T for therapy. Amen!
This is a great post and a good reminder to fall back in love with writing.

Lauren said...

What a great idea to just get away for a couple days and get stuff done! Congrats and good luck with the submissions.