Deadly Ever After

Archive for the tag “patience”

How to Have Infinite Patience/ Unlimited Coffee with Julie

TODAY’S BREW: Cinnamon Hazelnut. Because it’s always autumn in my cup.

By Julie

I asked Twitter what to blog about and my lovely friend Roselle Kaes (go find her here http://t.co/ZJ1jxwH1IK) said she admires my infinite patience and wants to know how coffee contributes. Because coffee is the thing I cannot live without, and it is THE thing that grounds me. (Get it, grounds me? Coffee grounds.)

Let’s be up front. I am addicted to coffee. No question. I have no problem with it.

I am patient. I’m quick to tell the kids “baby, I love you but if you don’t quiet down I will decapitate you,” but I do it in such a way that they laugh and generally do as I ask. When they don’t I remind them that I support the things they need to do, and they should do the same for me. (Just had this conversation this very moment.) When they still don’t listen I yell really quick and sometimes cry. This is okay. We all have feelings.

Coffee is the way I mentally get started, several different ways. I don’t like writing without a cup. I CAN write without a cup, don’t like it. If the kids and I or life and I have a bad roundabout, I start over with a new cup of coffee. Then it’s over. Time to reboot.

Coffee is also meditative for me. I learned this little meditation trick at a spa in Arizona when I was a fancy Victoria’s Secret employee–not everyone has time for or responds to sitting down with a bunch of incense and meditating. But if you can find something that you do several times a day, or even an hour–back then it was every time I used my manager’s keys–take a deep breath (in through your nose, out through your mouth), close your eyes and say a word that makes you calm in your head. I don’t always say the word, but I do the other stuff. It helps every time. When I’m writing and need a second to regroup, when I feel myself getting tense, when I just need a moment to myself no matter what’s going on around me.

My house is where I do 99% of my writing and everything else, and it’s also small, with 2 wild kids, a needy dog, a tv in front of me most of the time. I can work under these distractions but I remind myself not to be part of the tornado by insisting I have that cup of coffee uninterrupted. Doesn’t always happen. Usually doesn’t happen. But the fact that I say “I just want this one quiet cup of coffee” reminds me that I have this thing I WILL have. I insist upon it. It’s not life or death–for the most part, except for that one guy– but it says “this is my comfort spot and I will not give it up.” That puts me in a mindset where I’m not running in the hamster wheel, I’m stopping it and building a new one.

Also, everything good happens over coffee. A million memories flood to mind when I think of it. And even though I can literally fall asleep with a cup in my hand now, I feel invigorated when I have it. All good things require patience and patience requires effort. Effort requires energy. ENERGY COMES IN A CUP AND MAKES ME A SUPERHERO.

batman coffee

The moral of the story is patience requires a lot of giving, and you need to fill the well. Take something, too. Even if it’s just a cup of coffee.

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Patience and Publication

Today’s Brew: I bought Bailey’s Vanilla Brown Sugar creamer and it takes over everything.

by Kristen

Our friend Summer Weir announced her book deal this week. On it’s own, it’s amazing news. But Summer’s story of her road to publication really struck a chord with me.

When Julie and I started writing together, I wasn’t even sure if I’d be able to finish a book. Julie, on the other hand, was one driven mo-fo. She had already had begun researching how to get an agent when I was still in the “well I’ve got this really hot guy I want to write about” stage. She told me about self-publishing, and even though somewhere deep in my heart, I knew this might be a valid option for me, her pure enthusiasm about the prospect of getting an agent and a publisher seduced me. Once I thought I was ready for an agent, I started querying.

Here’s what Summer says:

My original intent was to self-publish right off the bat. It was a business decision. I know about marketing, promoting and social media, so to make better royalties on my own made sense. But I had a friend who suggested I try to get an agent. Because that’s what people who write books do, right? (As you can tell, at the time, I had no idea what people who write books actually do lol.)

Once I decide I want something, dude, get out of the way. I will run you over. I read everything I could find about how to get a book ready for publication. I entered contests. I got critiques.  I queried. I had an agent.  But ultimately, I decided the best place for me was self-publishing.  Two factors: timing and control.

Had I gone straight to self-publishing and put out my book in the summer of 2012…oh my God. Oh. My. God. I found an early draft of Because the Night, which at the time was called Immortal Dilemma, when I cleaned my office a couple weeks ago. I couldn’t even read it. At the time, it was the best I could do, and damn, I was proud of that manuscipt. But it needed work. So much work. It needed those rejections, critiques, and revisions that made me want to put my head in the oven.  Why? Those characters had become an extension of me, and I was way too close to them to see their flaws. When people  pointed them out, wow, it hurt. But together, we worked on things. Now, the central theme of the book is still there, but otherwise, it’s not the same book at all.

Here’s what Summer says:

So as I revised, I participated in writing workshops, agent boot camps, contests and pitch sessions. I swore I wasn’t going to be a victim of first-manuscript-shelving-syndrome, and so I found CPs, betas, and hired a couple editors as professional insight of how I could better my ms…During this time, I read a lot of industry advice, blogs, expert opinions etc as I tried to make sense of the whole process. I realized it didn’t matter what worked for everyone else, I had to figure out what I wanted for my book and for myself (my career).

Even though Summer and I write different things and are taking paths, our journeys and thought processes are very similar.

Now I that I have my self-publishing team in place, my books go straight into that process. Even though it’s called SELF-publishing, like Summer says, it takes a village. Chuck Wendig is probably more correct in calling indie authors author-publishers because not only are you producing a book, you’re overseeing the entire publishing process. I can do this now because of the path I took with Because the Night. I am pretty sure I made all the mistakes with that book, even creating some new ones along the way. (Hey, I’m a trailblazer). They were hard lessons, accompanied by a lot of tears and beers, but I learned from them.  I like to think I’m a better writer because of them.  I want each book I write to get stronger and better.

It gets frustrating to be patient. I hate patient. It’s up there with going to the dentist for me. But the critique/beta/rejection process is so important, because this is what actually gets your book ready for the publication process.  It makes you a better writer. You need to know how to take constructive criticism and revise before you work with an editor. You need your editor to have the best possible playing field to work with before she even touches your book, so she can work on making your story sing.  No matter how we decide to publish our book, this is one part of the road we all share.

 

 

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