Thursday, January 26, 2017

Pick One and Jump In

Since I can't seem to get my act together to write a blog post (and yes, I missed last week's too), I went through old ones mining for gold. Lo and behold, I found a draft that was basically complete and needed little editing. AND it has never been published.*

Actually, I found several, but this one is timely, as it sets up a coming post. So I'm polishing (a little) and publishing. Some back-story, since it's out of time sequence - this was written on March 17, 2016 after I attended Writer's Digest's Atlanta Writing Workshop. I hope you enjoy!

Life has taken another twist, propelling me forward and on. That’s what happens when you have a dream (or goal) and work toward it. Even if only a little at a time.

Thinking my manuscript was “ready”, I attended the Atlanta Writing Workshop on February 20 to pitch my novel to three literary agents. Nothing came of that, but during the day’s sessions, my vague suspicion that my story could be better was confirmed.

After the eye-opening “First Page” panel, I went home and cut the first five pages of BLESSED ARE THE PEACE MAKERS: COMING HOME, giving it a crisper, less background-intensive beginning and leaving more for the reader to discover. But like any remodel, the initial action creates a ton of related work.

C’est la vie.

In the last session of the day, Chuck Sambuchino shared a list of things writers can do to feel in control (though we mostly are not), and said to pick one thing and jump in with both feet. When that one is mastered, pick another. One is to build a platform, a way to let people know about our books.

Like Social Media.

Chuck asked how many were NOT on Twitter and about half the room raised our hands (including me). Not good. TWITTER is where literary agents and editors hang out. Meaning a Mecca for unrepresented writers like me. It’s also a way to get the word out about my books, once published.

So, bored with Facebook, and itching to put Chuck’s advice to work, I decided to try Twitter again. And am shocked and amazed. I like it.

The pace is fast, but brings a stream of fascinating people and topics, mostly of the artistic/literary ilk, any and all of whom are available for interaction. All I need are the cajones. Two weeks in, I have 93 followers with light participation. The more dedicated I am, the more people I meet, the more books, contests, music, etc, I discover.

I like it. I love it. I want some more of it.

So much so, that I find myself transferring Chuck’s advice to other areas. Like my livelihood, using it to launch a couple of (ad)ventures I’d been noodling, one for months.

Are you dancing around something in your life, wishing and hoping for it, dreaming of having or doing it, but not getting any closer?

Pick one. Jump in with both feet, like Chuck said. And don't forget to tell us about your adventures in the comments below.

That Rebel, Olivia J. Herrell, writing as O.J. Barré

P.S. Find me on Twitter. My current follower-count just passed 2400, and is rising steadily (if ploddingly).

* Oops. The article previously appeared on Relentless Writers in March of last year. Click here to read the original and other great posts by a variety of gifted writers, agents and editors.

O.J. Barré is the author of the Blessed Are the Peace Makers trilogy. Book One, Coming Home, is in final edits. The first draft of Book Two, Coming To, is nearing completion and Book Three, Coming Full Circle, is swirling in the mists of creation.

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