Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Summertime Fun

Yes, summertime fun! But it’s interfering with my regularly scheduled writing patterns. However, when I look at the calendar date and see it’s the twenty-first of July already, I think, oh no! The summer is almost half over and the guilt dissolves. Okay, I feel a little bit guilty. I have got to finish the final revisions on Common Ground. Got. To. I have plans for it. Big plans.

How long have I been saying that for? Forever it seems! I've also been playing with taglines, as you can see from the image (maybe). Emotional. Fierce. Now. I've been doing a lot of playing.

In truth, I’ve been plugging away at Common Ground. I’m at the tail end and the end needed some work but the good news is I’ve figured it out. Figured out where to take the ending of the story but also how to subconsciously let it go once I’ve completed the planned revisions. Talk about being a slow writer. And a slow learner.

Then it’s on to the next stage: agents, queries, and the really big contest, oh my!

More about the submission process in the fall. But about the really big contest? I’ve always imaged entering the Golden Heart. From the moment I heard of the RWA and the contest's existence, I’ve pictured myself entering it. I don’t know why I feel I must, but if I must, I must. My creative visualization didn’t see me winning, just entering. Okay, that’s a lie. I have imagined being a finalist. Oh, who am I kidding, I’ve imagined winning. I’m certainly not going to image myself losing!

As an unpublished writer I image or visualize many things: book contracts, cover art, spines with my name on them, those books resting on the shelves of a bookstore, etc.


1. the act or an instance of visualizing

2. (Psychology) a technique involving focusing on positive mental images in order to achieve a particular goal

We’ve all done this in one form or another - used our imagination to envision the completion of a goal, the granting of a wish, or the realization of a dream. Writing is a hard business and we all need to create a source of visionary fuel to battle the doubts, ennui, distractions and disasters.

I tend to go more for the third person technique of watching the action unfold, much like watching a movie of me. Ha. But I recently read, like five whole minutes ago, it’s more powerful to visualize in first person; to watch your dream unfold through your own eyes, to participation in the action. Feel the pen in your hand, the coolness of the paper, as you sign the contract versus watching yourself sign it.

Furthermore, play it out high definition movie style with sound and color and applause. Ah...that was a lovely evening experience.

So, congratulations to all the 2010 Golden Heart and Rita finalists. The big day to announce the winners is Friday, July 30, 2010. To those of you attending the RWA 30th Annual Conference have a wonderful time! See you in New York in 2011!

What I’m listening to: The House That Built Me by Miranda Lambert (my new FAVOURITE song)

What I’m reading: Delicious by Sherry Thomas (my new-to-me favourite author)

Latest movie seen in actual theatre: The Twilight Saga - Eclipse (last night in fact!)

Latest movie seen on TV: Sahara (took me back to a time when I liked Matthew McConaughey and thought he could act – snarky, but true)

Pages left to revise on Common Ground: 55 pages (Woo-hoo) (I have to admit when I see that low number I feel a bit pathetic, as in what the heck are you thinking, get your butt in gear girl and finish it already)

Words Count on Story for Writing Group: 509 words (and a theme and a plot and everything, which makes me glad because it was driving me nuts that I couldn’t come up with a decent short story idea, not even one, but now I’ve settled on one so it’s all good)

What do you visualize achieving or doing or completing? Tell us what you’re up to writing-wise this summer? Summer music, reading, movies...fill me in!


Jana Richards said...

Hi Karyn,
Glad you're having a fun summer despite not getting all the revisions you wanted done. But summers are very short around here. Enjoy them while you can. The writing will still be there in the fall.

I have to admit I haven't done a lot of writing this summer either. But that will soon change. I'm hoping to finish my submission for The Wild Rose Press callout for reunion stories for their "Last Rose of Summer" line. Our good friend Silver James just sold a story to that series.

And about being a slow writer. I hate to tell you how long it took me to write my first full length novel. But I am getting a little bit faster. I'm sure that the longer you're in this business the faster you'll write!


Karyn Good said...

Hi Jana. Summer is short and very distracting! Good luck on with your reunion story. It sounds like a very interesting idea and I like the name of the line!

Slow but sure wins the race, isn't that what they say?

Hayley E. Lavik said...

Karyn, another slow writer here, slogging along toward the finish. At present I'm entertaining fancies that when I get to revision I'll realize how little I really need to fret over laying down that first draft, and then will never have such problems again. Unlikely, but it keeps me happy at the moment.

I can certainly relate to grand, marvelous visualizations of the inevitable awesomeness of my career. I like that you treat it like goal-setting, rather than wildly ludicrous fantasy... I'll have to remember that.

I try to at least rein in the creative visualization to see me pitching this fall with a collected and competent demeanor, rather than bursting out of the room caroling about being signed without even showing the full manuscript, or some such nonsense ;)

Good luck with your goals, and enjoy the summer!

Karyn Good said...

Hi Hayley. Visualizing the pitch is an excellent example way of preparing for a meet with an industry professional. Visual success in your future, because it's coming. I don't doubt it for a minute!

Janet said...

Great post, Karyn! I've always been a visualizer (?), playing out every little detail over and over again. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I love the suggestion about making it first person - going to try that next time.

A year from now we'll be gearing up for New York. Time to start writing out those goals and visualizing that event! Time goes by so quickly and before you know it, we'll be in the midst of RWA craziness - so we better have a battle plan!

Next 50 pages?

Karyn Good said...

Hey, Janet. Yes, we need a plan. Desperately need a plan! I do much better when I'm prepared. Very prepared. Because the whole idea of pitching face-to-face...

50 pages? They're coming, in fact the rest of the story is coming your way. The End. Yikes.

Molli said...

55 pages?? Wow! I am so looking forward to hearing that you're done and taking the next step.

Visualization--very powerful stuff if one keeps at it. Interesting you should mention doing it in first person vs. third. I used something similar to help me past one of the stumbling blocks I've encountered in my current work and it was worth it.
What am I up to writing-wise? Doing some catch up on articles involving conflict (my bug-bear, as it were) and some brainstorming on paper. So my next visualization should be me, sitting at the computer, keying away like crazy, hmm? Or maybe me, in New York next summer, lunching with my editor...

Karyn Good said...

Hey Molli. Definitely start big and go with visualizing New York! Then tackle the typing like crazy. Glad to hear you've been brainstorming.

I'll fill you in on my progress on Saturday :)

Ban said...

I hear ya Kayrn, summer is FAR too busy a time for me to have made goals etc. it should be a time of break for everyone, not just kids ... esp. when you HAVE kids :)
SOOOO looking forward to reading Common Ground from start to finish!!!

Karyn Good said...

Hey Ban. I know. You've got to recharge your batteries sometimes, right? Today I spent the afternoon at the Science Center with my daughter. Much more entertaining :D

Rossane said...

I am so glad that I have come across of your site in Google. I am not a writer but I am wide reader. I just love books especially about travels. I wonder how you manage to write such great books. What motivates you?