I'm back from South Carolina and I'm seriously pouting. Well at least as much as my sore throat will allow me.
The retreat put on by the Lowcountry Romance writers was wonderful. I got to meet other author's, aspiring and already published.
Author Ana DeStefano and Agent Michelle Grajkowski did an informative and thought provoking workshop on "Turning your Proposal into and I do!"
Author Cynthia Cooke did her workshop on "Writing Rules for rebels: We don't need no stinking charts!" (Can you tell she's sort of a panster).
Author Debra Webb gave us another even more intimate look into the publishing world, with her workshop "Breathing room".
All this, walks on the beach, great rooms, great food and time to write made for a lovely weekend.
Okay so now here's what I took away from these workshops:
1) Even though we like to think of ourselves as creative, we still need to remember that it's still a buisness.
2) I already knew this but I think it still needs to be said. Publishing means deadlines, deadlines mean that you have to write. Which means you have to make writing a habit. It's a job. This circles back to writing being a buisness.
3) Just because you get a contract it doesn't mean that money will always be rolling in. Make wise choices and uncle sam will knock on your door if you don't pay him. ( Just in case you didn't know)
4) Be prepared. Ms. DeStefano made this clear . Be prepared. Know what you want out of a relationship with an agent. Do you need more than an email? Do you prefer phone calls? Would you like more frequent contact? Would you like them to help build your career or are you just looking for someone to negotiate your contracts.
5) Research the agents you are querying. (Again knew this but figured someone out there would need to know)
6) Go to workshops, attend conferences. It's your job to know what's going on in the industry. You don't have to know it all but you don't want to be blindsided.
7) Excercise your voice. That is, write. Every book is a chance to learn something new and a chance to excercise your writing voice.
8) Sometimes a book has to be shelved. You can always look at it another time and fix or rewrite it. But move on to something new.
9) Professionalism: Watch what you say, how you say it and how you behave. As a matter of fact sometimes it's best to say nothing at all. If you're a Newbie at this buisness then you don't have the clout that some other NY Times bestselling authors have. (There is this thing called the internet that somehow manges to save everything)
10) Persistence is key.
11) Finish the book. revising can wait until it's all on the page. Don't just focus on the first 30 pages. you might just edit your voice out.
12) Don't get bogged down with reference books or someone else method. Do what feels right.
13) Sometimes the process changes from book to book that's okay too.
I can't think of anything else right now but I'll add to this post if I remember. Will put pics up when I finally get them off my camera. Bye.