Monday, April 28, 2008

Cracking the Whip on the WIP


It occurs to me as I blog in three (!!!) different places, that some day I might run out of words. I think about the four full manuscripts I've completed, and the dozen or so novellas that have yet to find a happy published home. It's probably my fault, since I haven't been terribly aggressive or organized about querying or craft, or consistent in any one genre. Nor have I entered many contests. My luck with the first one I entered (first place!!!) has made me not want to jinx anything.
I recently broke down though and entered Mistress by Midnight in something. Mind you, the book is unfinished and has no plot to speak of, just a lot of angsty, thwarted desire and a generous dollop of indoor and outdoor sex. I want to get it finished by this year's Golden Heart. My last foray into Golden Heartdom resulted in scores of a 9, an 8.8, an 8.5, a 6....and a 2. Someone did not like Third-Rate Romance, LOL. Which just goes to show how very subjective reading, writing and publishing is. But one judge liked TRR enough to give it a perfect score. That's the judge I'll concentrate on when I'm muddling through the mucky middle of MBM wondering what to type next.

But aiming for the Golden Heart presumes I'll still be uncontracted by November. This summer will mark five years of haphazard writing for me. Those five years include four moves and three job changes. If it sounds like I'm making excuses, I'm not. I'm pretty stunned I've written as much as I have, even if you wouldn't want to read most of it. *g*
Five years seems like a long time. I've avoided thinking about how long. But I want to someday see "Maggie Robinson sold the ___th of ______ completed manuscripts. She has been writing for _____years."

And then? Why, I'll have to write another book! What if I've used up all my words by then, or lost all my marbles? I've decided to cut back my MRMR posts to once a week. Maggie Robinson Means Romance on Mondays, with the possible exception of something earth-shattering to share, like fellow Vixen J.K. Coi's debut My Immortal on May 15 (Check out the dynamite review she got here ). Every now and again there will be a contest. I'll still post Sundays on Romantic Inks and every two weeks on Vauxhall Vixens. That's plenty of Maggie, plenty of meaning, and I'll have more time to focus on the romance part.

I filled out a questionnaire the other day so I could win a bundle of books. One of the questions was, "How many hours do you spend online every day?" I lied and said 1-2 hours. I feel like an alcoholic looking for my next bottle of blue ruin already, but I've GOT to limit my online obsession. It's time to go on an Internet diet. Let's see how long I last!

Now, if I could just lose twenty pounds, things would be perfect. What do you give up in order to find the time to write, or lose the extra weight? Any suggestions as to how I can avoid clicking on to Internet Explorer 1,000 times a day? Do I need to join a 12-step addiction program? Will you be sitting next to me in the church basement?

15 comments:

Kelly Krysten said...

I think I'm definitely with you in the church basement. I procrastinate on-line A LOT. But it's so much fun!*g*
As fot the extra weight, I joined weight watchers and gave up HUGE portion sizes-well, sometimes I give up large portions. Other times I use my flex points.

Gillian Layne said...

Yikes.
I'm sitting here typing to you at 5:22 am while waiting for the tea water to boil, putting off getting ready for work.

That pretty much says I should probably cut back. :)

Actually, my blogging has slowed way down, and I'm shooting for once a week as well now. I'm guilty of surfing when I know I'm going to be interrupted anyway, and so diving into the WIP is not so appealing. :)

Maggie Robinson said...

Gillian, I'm glad you visited anyway!I've convinced myself it's okay to drink my tea and eat breakfast and surf when I first get up, read my fave blogs, the newspapers, etc. THEN I'm going to write before work. If only I can cut back to 1-2 hours a day like I lied about, that would be great. Now if I could just weigh what it says on my driver's license...

Kelly, portion size is the way to go. When I go to restaurants, I am stunned at what you get. If I ate it all, I'd die!

J.K. Coi said...

Ah, the constant lure of the internet. I think we're all guilty of overindulging in that area as well as in others. I too have to make a conscious effort not to go online, and I've said it before that sometimes I'm even forced to turn off the internet so that I can get some work done (like I'm going to be doing in about 10 more minutes)

Tiffany Kenzie said...

I haven't found the cure for the internet.


for me, I gave up TV. I just didn't have time for it anymore, which is probably good, because I get antsy and twitchy when I watch it---it's the crazy in me.

My blogging has gone from four times to two times a month. I like it like that. I can't do more than that. I don't think I'll ever run out of words, but you never know---gotta take these things in stride.

terrio said...

Hi. My name is terrio and I'm an internetaholic. *waits for group response*

This is how bad it's gotten. My daughter informed me this weekend her teacher is giving them a new assignment. For four days, Mon-Thurs - they are to go screenless. No television. No computer.

At first I think, good for her. Until Kiddo drops the bomb. "And she says our parents have to do it with us." Well, I never. I threw a fit. We argued sitting in the bookstore cafe in Williamsburg. I cannot go without being in front of a screen for four days. Is she crazy?! We're down to five on AI! DWTS is just getting to when they do TWO dances a show!

Yeah, I'm gonna need that 12 step program....

irisheyes said...

I think you're probably gonna have a hard time fitting in that basement room in the church, Maggie. I've a feeling they're already booked to capacity!

I just told my daughter this morning NO more internet before school. That's the first place she heads, before breakfast, before making her lunch. It's unreal. This monster definitely has a hold on us all.

Her mother is not much better. I'm gonna really have to practice what I preach when school lets out. Having them see me sit in front of the screen all day would not be a good thing! Sheesh!

BernardL said...

Every time you inadvertently click on the Internet instead of writing, drop and give me fifty sit-ups. I'm not sure how many manuscripts you'll turn out, but you should have a 6 pack in no time. :)

Maggie Robinson said...

Bernard, you are such a joker. I'd probably have trouble doing 5 sit-ups...

J.K., I'm thinking of investing in a kitchen timer. Or oven mitts, but then I couldn't write. *g*

Tiff, I already gave up TV too. Now I read about Dancing with the Stars in People mag. Reading's good, right?

Terrio, the teacher is obviously a communist. Are there communists anymore? Or deranged.

Irish, it really is such a time-suck. Before I know it, I've been at it an hour...or three.

Santa said...

I am the last person to ask how to discipline oneself and follow a regiment to get anything accomplished!

I am glad to hear you are going to be writing and perfecting those fab manuscripts you have and all the other ones you have brewing!

Janga said...

Maggie, I love your blogs, but if it is a choice between a blogging bonanza and reading Paradise and other gems sooner, I will definitely cast my vote for the latter.

I have been making summer resolutions, and limiting my Internet time is at the top of the list. I won't even allow myself to count the hours I spend reading and commenting; I just know that it is way too many for me to meet my writing goals.

Elyssa Papa said...

I procrastinate way too much or I get focused on other things. So when I query, I don't write and vice versa. Some times, I think it's good to step away and clear your head to return to your WIP.

I'm selfish, and I miss when Maggie doesn't blog. So, I don't want her to stop blogging. Especially with us Vixens. LOL. But I get snippets of her awesome new WIP every day, so I'm lucky. *g*

Maggie, you will get an agent and become published.

Maggie Robinson said...

Aww, Ely, you're sweet. From your lips to God's ear. I'm still blogging way too much as it is!

Janga,your comments are so treasurable (is that a word?) that the blogosphere will be a paltry puny thing if you stick to your resolution. But I'll be your BB (blog/bulletin board) sponsor if you'll be mine. Together we must beat this addiction, LOL.

MsHellion said...

OMG, yes, I have got to stop clicking on IE so often. Damn. I'm with you. I've been writing 10 years, and only have 2 manuscripts...and neither of them have placed first in a contest. (Though I did have the UNCOMPLETED one get first. *sighs* A long time ago.)

Get cracking. I admire your determination to stop the IE obsession.

Now if I could do the same! (And I would have SO lied on that form.)

Maggie Robinson said...

Santa, I have this picture in my head of you hanging out in Starbucks writing and net-surfing. I'd be too distracted people-watching, so you must already have more discipline than I do!

Hellion, I must say since I posted this blog I've actually cut down some (well, a very little some) online. But “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one small step”.