Friday, March 30, 2012

Today's Treat: Deadlines, Jane Yolen and an Award!

Today's Treat is a Friday segment dedicated to helping writers 1) treat themselves like a writer by building confidence and craft and 2) putting themselves in situations where others will treat them as a writer to build community and connections.

The Beauty of Deadlines:

I am happy to report that the dust is clearing and I am emerging, ready to get back on track.  Its not easy because I have not written in over a week!  There was just too much "stuff" happening in my personal life that took priority.  And with that came stress and sleepless nights that zapped my creativity.  I have felt absolutely dry.

But now that things are settling down, its time to get back into the game.  But how?

Its difficult to jump back in.  I remember when I had a career job and I had been out for an illness or vacation.  My desk seemed foreign when I returned.  It was almost like I had to re-learn my job.

I kinda feel that way with writing.  Its slow going to get the juices flowing again.  But that's where deadlines are helpful!  I am holding myself accountable!

I have decided that it is ok to have taken time off to deal with "life", but like a boss at a "real job" I am telling myself, "Self, you still have deadlines.  You still are held accountable for what you were to accomplish this month."  And with only 2 days left in this month, I feel the crunch, but welcome the goal.

Tomorrow I have 6 hour train ride to Boston.  I will be writing the entire time to complete my monthly goals.

1)  complete my March manuscript for 12x12in'12
2)  revisions for my February manuscript

On ward and upward!
Jane Yolen's "Take Joy: a book for writers":

I have been studying Jane Yolen's fabulous book about writing and I invite the rest of you to join me as I read weekly and discuss my discoveriers each Friday.

The first chapter of "Take Joy" really spoke to me this week, as it deals with why we write.  So many writers, she states, talk about writing as a chore or almost torturous.  In it, Yolen encourages her readers to learn to write with joy, not fear. 

She says it is a personal choice to choose joy and what she finds is that it is "not the writing that makes writers miserable.  It is the emphasis on publication."  Yolen goes on to say that "all we can count on is the joy in the process of writing." 

"Know this about being published: it is out of your hands.  Even if you do everything you can think of to affect that outcome, " she warns.

These words have struck me deeply.  The stress I often feel when it comes to my writing is all because I have been focused too much on publication.  I am focused on the destination instead of enjoying the sunshine and flowers along the path.

So this week I am really spending time learning to have joy in the process.  Its not easy.  Especially when I have had fantasies about publication for so long.  However, I feel I do need to reel myself in.  To learn what it is about writing that I love.  To be honest with myself and ask "if this never gets published, is it worth it?"  I want to shout YES...but to tell you the truth...I am not sure.

I am putting myself on a "publication/industry/business" diet.  For the next 2 months I am going to only spend time on my craft, writing the best stories I can, and finding joy in that process.  No queries, no business at all.  Let's see how I do!

If you have any pointers on how to find the joy in the process, let me know.  :)

The Sunshine Blog Award!

Last but not least, I want to thank Elizabeth Stevens Omlor over at her blog Banana Peelin' for giving me the prestigious Sunshine Blog Award!  It is always so nice to be recognized by other bloggers, and especially Elizabeth who is such a wonderful inspiration and fabulous blogger!  Thanks, Elizabeth! 

According to the award, I must:
  • Include the award’s logo in a post or on your blog
  • Answer 10 questions about yourself
  • Nominate 10-12 other fabulous bloggers
  • Link your nominees to the post and comment on their blogs, letting them know they have been nominated
  • Share the love and link the person who nominated you.
1. Favorite color:  I am usually drawn to shades of blue

2. Favorite animal: sock monkey  :)

3. Favorite number: 4

4. Favorite non-alcoholic drink: black coffee!  iced if possible.

5. Facebook or Twitter: Facebook

6. My passion: so many.  But I think they all come down to living life to the fullest and laughing often.

7. Prefer giving or getting presents: Giving. 

8. Favorite pattern: Argyle?  strange question.

9. Favorite day of the week: Saturday morning ~ laying in bed, drinking coffee with my love and chatting.

10. Favorite flower: Gerbera daisies.  So bright and colorful, yet simple.

I am going to bestow this award to the following ladies.  Each one of these blogs are frequented by me and I am recognizing them as wonderful rays of Sunshine in the world of writing!  So grab the button and flaunt it ladies!  You are Sunshine Award Winners!

1)  Kavita Ramchandran
2)  Jennifer Rumberger
3)  Diandra Mae
4)  Jennifer Kirkeby
5)  Rena Traxel
6)  Mira Reisberg
7)  Julie Rowan-Zoch
8)  Sylvia Liu
9)  4 Chicks and a Muse
10)  Angela Pena Dahle

Alright that's it for me today!  Have a wonderful weekend!  May we all enter April joyfully!


  1. Pack an umbrella for Boston and have fun!

    I can't imagine that I would write if it were a miserable chore...I agree with JY!

  2. Marcie! This post resonated with my own 'writer/illustrator' rut I've been having. I've been recently re-thinking about focussing on 'bettering my craft' myself. After reading this - I am even more inspired to do so. Thank you for the award - its nice to be remembered and noticed in the blogging world out there

  3. Thanks for the award. I once had a teacher tell me to write as though no one is reading it. I think for first drafts that works. I try not to think about publication, but honestly, the hope of being published is what motivates me to revise. I think a writer needs to like their story first before they can convince anyone else to like it. Let us know how your break goes.

  4. I hope you got lots of writing done! I have that Jane Yolen book but haven't read it yet. Seems I need to, because I was feeling down-in-the-dumps myself this week for this very reason - lack of publication. I'm going to read it this week even!

  5. Timely post thankyou. love Jane Yolans quotes. Congrats on the award.

  6. Thanks so much for the blog award. How sweet of you!

  7. I love Jane Yolen's thoughts on joy and writing. Thanks for this reminder today.