Monday, June 13, 2011
Welcome to our blog! I'm Pam, the first "P" in "Writers Li.P.P."
You will meet Lindy - the "Li" - on Wednesday. There is no longer a second "P" - she bowed out before we ever got started - but that's okay. Because "Li.P.P." also stands for "Life in Penned Perspective." And that's really what this blog is about. A couple of romance writers sharing their views on life and love and everything in between.
We want to start a conversation with you - readers, writers, family, friends, Romans, countrymen. So please feel free to jump in with comments and questions. The more personal, the better. If there's one thing we're not, it's shy.
Each week, we will address a new topic; this week it's introductions. So please allow me to introduce myself. I wear a lot of hats: single mom, daughter, sister, friend, lover, dog owner, piano teacher, jewelry designer, novelist. Today, I want to share my journey as a writer.
Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable.
~Sydney J. Harris
I have always loved writing. I earn my living teaching piano lessons, but if I hadn't majored in music, I probably would have studied English. Most of my writing was nonfiction: papers for school, pieces about home education for home schooling publications, articles about teaching piano for my studio newsletter and business website. But what I read was fiction, lots of it, and dreamed of writing a great story myself. Someday.
Shortly after my divorce in 2001, I came up with an idea for a novel, based loosely on my experiences as a single mom looking for love, but not a memoir; after all, the guilty must be protected. Years went by, though, before I finally decided to take action. It came to this: at the end of my life, I didn't want my epitaph to be, "She meant to write a book."
Well, it is one thing to contemplate writing a novel; it is quite another thing to actually write one. I assumed the words would just flow, perfectly formed, from beginning to end. Not! I signed up for an online fiction writing class and quickly found out how much I didn't know. There was so much to think about: setting, character, plot, point of view, dialogue and scene. Finding my "voice." "Show, don't tell." Determining whether I am a "plotter" or a "pantser" (I have elements of both). I started my novel with a rough outline, but I have changed my mind about many details - including the opening scene and the name of one of my main characters - as I have gone along.
I love the process, although it is much more difficult than I ever imagined. For me, consistency is key; I do my best to write 500 words a day, seven days a week, but even a couple hundred words moves me in the right direction. And though it's inevitable that I might miss a day every now and then, I try to never miss two in a row. A few days has a way of turning into a few weeks. And, as they say, you can't edit a blank page.
Sure, I would love to become a New York Times bestselling author, but right now what I want most is to have a finished manuscript that I am truly proud of. I am working on the second revision of my novel; I plan to have it finished and ready to query by the end of June. I am eager to start working on my next project. I am hoping that what I lack in talent, I will make up for in determination. I am looking forward to sharing the ups and downs of my experiences - in writing as well as in other areas of my life - with all of you.
If you dream of writing a book but haven't yet started, what is standing in your way? Fellow writeres, what are your biggest challenges? Is it an aspect of craft, or simply finding the time to work? Leave a comment and you will automatically be entered in a drawing for an autographed copy of Suzanne Brockmann's Kiss and Tell and a Writers Li.P.P. t-shirt.
Printed by Conflict Studio Screen Printing