Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Beating the Slump After the Pitch

Hey everyone! Welcome to my first post at NN. I'm excited to be here.

I wanted to talk about something that's foremost in my mind right now as far as writing goes. I just came from a conference where I presented my first pitch. To make a long (embarrassing) story short, I'll just mention that she asked for a partial.

Since I've sent the partial off to the agent, I've been trying to keep from dwelling on it. So if you're like me and you're relatively new to the idea of sending work to someone who actually wants to read it, not just names off the internet that you queried and are now praying for the best, then you might be concerned about how to keep your mind off of it and get back into your writing life.

I tend to be fidgety, which might account for some of my nervousness giving the pitch. I feel better if I've got something to do with my free time. Prior to this conference and the pitch, I took up walking, which allowed me to get exercise. You'd think I'd have lots of free time to think about the pitch or worry that I might mess it up, but the scenery (and concentrating on not tripping) keeps my mind occupied. Not only that, but it gave me an idea for my own blog. I now write a column called Stuff I Find While I'm Walking, which includes photos and background of the places where I walk.

Even if you can't get out to where the scenery is or come up with something to write based on what you know (or don't know) about writing, it's not a bad idea to keep a blog. You can document your daily routine or write about your childhood memories. Every sentence you jot down will a) keep you from pushing 'Check Inbox' a thousand times and b) possibly spark a new story. There are hundreds of ways to view each moment of your life. Just tack on a 'what-if'.

We're all busy cramming as many things into our day as possible. Some writers consider it a miracle that they find time to put BICHOK at all. Sure, there are lots of distractions readily available on the internet. Between social networking, laughing at pictures of cats wearing hats, and checking your e-mail on the off chance a legitimate agent has "discovered" you, it can be a bit much. I figure if you feel like the internet is your only possible way to pass the time, assuming you don't have kids or a significant other, you might as well dig in and get down to researching your next book.

I write steampunk romance that dabbles in the paranormal. I'm looking for something that's not vampiric, lupine, or Fae. I need folklore, legend and myths. Not only is the internet at my fingertips to provide me with these things, I have the added bonus of working at my local library as a cataloger. I get all the new books first and I can't count the number of paranormal non-fiction books passing from my desk to the shelves. I can manage a few minutes to flip through and find passages, pictures and facts I might otherwise miss if I don't get search terms right. Printed books and the net go hand in hand as far as I'm concerned for research.

If you need to get out of the office (your home office, don't try to tell your boss I gave you permission to take a break ;) ) or away from the keyboard for a while, one of the things I like doing best is hitting a movie. Especially lately will all the books-to-movies coming out, be they comic or traditional print. I'll sit in the nice cool theater and think that's not the way it happened or even if it is the way it happened, I might come up with an idea that could have changed the way the movie flowed. Or a more plausible ending for some movies. Not that I'm better than the script writers—heavens no!—but it keeps me thinking about the way I end a story or how I pull off a scene. If my manuscript went to the big screen, would the viewers buy it?

If you have other suggestions for getting back on track after a submission, I'd love to hear them!


Toni Sue said...

I like to dive head first in my next WIP, or I grab Super Hubby and watch Netflix ;) Great ideas here, too! Thanks for the tips.

Toni Sue

Brenda said...

Well, I haven't left for work yet--since my husband is my "boss"--yeah, right, LOL--he can wait until I'm finished reading and commenting on your awesome blog post. Welcome to NN by the way.

I haven't submitted any of my work yet--soon though, once I get that damn, %&#$ing query finished. Anyway, I do all different things to get my mind working and back into the writing game. I work in my yard, work--painting. There is a lot of thinking time while painting condos. I go for walks with my new old dog. Watch TV shows, movies, play video games, plus more. But I also spend time on fb. I should be self promoting my self pubbed short story, but instead I simply enjoy the silly banter. But I do get caught up in insane things, and then I get nothing done. Like this one FB friend, she posted a cover to someone's novel and it had a random shrimp on the cover. Well, I wasted ALMOST A WHOLE DAY WONDERING ABOUT THAT SHRIMP AND WHY IT WAS JUST RANDOMLY THERE. I should have been working on my query or my outline to my next book, but noooooo, I was worrying about a shrimp.

LOL, oh yes, I'm easily distracted and amused.

Again, welcome to NN! You'll like it here.

Tabitha Blake said...

I am easily distracted as well. I really need to find a way to get over that. But it is really hard with the kids home for the summer and the hubby wanting more of my time. I laugh and tell people that I look around and say oh shiny object...oh shiny object...Oh shiny object. HeeHee! Great first blog!

Allison Merritt said...

Thanks y'all for stopping by to see me.

Toni Sue, I have the good intentions of jumping in to something else, but when it comes down to it, I'm a procrastinator. A movie or a book will distract me every time.

Brenda, I can't imagine who would post such a thing on their FB and distract you all afternoon. *looks around innocently*

Tabby, I'm the same way. Especially with shiny objects.

Brenda said...

Good, blogger is working again.
Yes, I wonder who that fb friend was......a whole day!!! Wasted, LOL!!!

Tabitha Blake said...

Yeah damned shiny objects! My Kindle app on my tablet is the worst shiny object of all. It beckons to me. I can hear it calling my name now. LOL! Got to go!

Sheri Fredricks said...

I submitted and started outlining something else. I'm almost finished with that first draft copy now. 20+ submittals later, and yet another full request, I'm still writing and trying not to think about outcomes.

Getting on to something else, not letting the muse get cold always helps me.

I enjoyed this post!