I’m a complete Loser! Or better yet, an Epic Fail for me.

Just because and I finally saw the trailer for Snow White and the Huntsman.  Awesome and can’t wait to see it.

I know I promised that I would post every day about my first conference and trust me, I tried.  I have pictures and everything.  I will eventually post them and my thoughts.  This blog is about what I learned about myself and the writing journey that I am on right now.  Its long and fairly wordy, sorry. 

When I decided that I wanted to go to EpiCon in San Antonio I thought to myself, first conference for me.  I’d meet authors, maybe promoted my review blog and maybe, just maybe have a story to pitch if there was a pitch session.  Well, two out of three isn’t bad.  I promoted my review blog and meet some really cool authors.  Plus the ladies that are associated with Epicorg.com are some of the best that I have met.  Please check out the organization.  You’d be a fool not to.  They are solely dedicated to the epublishing world.  www.epicorg.com

I had a great time meeting people and the seminars that I attended were great.  Plus, I had a Starbucks coffee for the first time in a couple of years.  We don’t have Starbucks in the sticks.  Manna in a cup.  *sigh*  Sat at a table on the river walk that morning and contemplated the real reason why I was there.  I was there to learn about writing and what I had to do to become a writer.  You know, besides writing the darn book.  LOL!  The best thing that I learned was that I’m NOT a writer and shouldn’t even say that I’m an aspiring writer at this point.  I don’t have the first clue about how to write much less actually sitting down to write a book.  Sure I can review and blog but actually writing the book…not so much.

“Whoa you say.  Stop it Harlie…don’t beat yourself up about it.  You’ll write your book and eventually it will get published.  Don’t give up.”  Well, I haven’t totally given up on writing my book but at this point in my life, it will have to go on the back burner.  Most of the writers that I meet were great and they love what they do but that’s what they do.  They don’t have an Everyday Job (EDJ) outside the home; their kids are grown and out of the house.  Writing for them is the job and even if they have kids at home, they are at school and are at an age where they are a little more self sufficient that my 6 year old.  Don’t get me wrong, hubs is great and helps out but he does work every other weekend at his job so I’m a single parent for most of the weekend.  I have complete and total respect for authors that can write during the day, promo, blog, hang out on FB/Tweeter all day and then the family comes home and they are in mom/wife mode.  I’m jealous.  Wish I could do it. 

I can just hear most of you thinking…these are just excuses Harlie.  Get over yourself and just sit down and write.  We all have family responsibilities and outside jobs that we have to attend.  I’d love to, really I would but sometimes it doesn’t happen that way.  At least not for me anyway.  I leave my house Monday through Friday at 7:15 am to drop off kid at school, get to work in another town at 8 am.  Leave work at 5pm, drive home to pick up son from his after school care.  We usually are home by 6 pm and then its homework, dinner, showers, playtime and family time.  Around 9 pm is when hubs and I can have our time together.  Of course, I still have to read/review/blog/answer emails before bedtime.   Again, I can hear the groaning from yall and you are probably saying that’s just life.  You will have to make some sacrifices if you want to write.  Trust me, I get that and understand that I will have to make the sacrifices.  I’m just not sure when that is going to be. 

Hubs has an opportunity in another town working for the same company.  It would mean more money and a move but the greatest thing about it…I wouldn’t have to work full time.  Part time at best for me.  More time to write, I know.  The bad thing…its not a done deal at this point and if it does happen, it wouldn’t until the summer.  *sigh*  Say a prayer for me and my family.  We really need to move and this is a great opportunity for hubs and our family in general. 

 I will say this, I did two mini pitches to two different publishers and I was actually given their cards and said when the story was finished to send it them.  I was on a self confidence high for a couple of hours but then reality set in and I took a couple of steps back, realized that it will take me at least a couple of months if not longer to get it to them.  I will get it to them eventually and I just hope that they don’t forget about me. 

Sorry this is a long post.  I just needed to get my thoughts (jumbled, I’m sure for most of yall) typed up and read out loud.  Hubs loves this post.  :)  Again, he’s a huge supporter of mine. 

I leave you with this picture and you’re welcome…..

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Posted on March 25, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 40 Comments.

  1. Harlie, Sweetie, I spent six years with an EDJ and writing. I wasn't always successful, but I worked my butt off. And I had little ones at home. My youngest is 5 and my oldest is 13. There is absolutely no writing for me on the weekend or during school breaks. Ever. One of the main reasons you only saw those with kids out of the house and no EDJ was because the rest of us (until recently, I had an EDJ, but have an opportunity to pursue school full time) are at home either working or with the kids. :) It's harder to make it to conferences and such. Don't let that discourage you! Even if it takes you months to complete a book, that's fine. Just mention in the email that they'd shown interest during EPICON 2012. Keep Writing! Don't quit!!!

  2. dear heart…do NOT give up. One of the hardest things to realize about writing, be it a book, a short story, or whatever is that it just takes time. My Realtor series has been percolating for THREE YEARS I tell you and I have had endless rejections and revisions and major rewrites the entire time. Be patient not only with yourself, but with your muse. Like with anything worth it (that you really want to do and I know you want to write) you must practice it, even if it is in teensy increments per day. Try some of the Savvy author online workshops. Many can be done over the weekend. and frankly, one of the best things a budding writer can do is READ. Read a lot. Read many genres. Read many styles. Best of luck to your family too. I know how difficult it is to be in that limbo state. (and I will happily continue to work with you as a CP).loveLiz

  3. Do not give up on your dreams! Ever! It is so worth it to plow through the hard times. We all go through it, it's a natural part of writing, I think. I've been trying to publish for 10 years and just signed my first contract! My CP has been writing 20 years and just signed her first contract! Proof that you should never give up! Just shut down those negative thoughts and keep writing! I have faith in you :)

  4. Conferences can energize and discourage. I started writing again thinking — hey, the kids are older. The job is stable. It will work out. Ha. A few months later my kid had been kicked out of school and was staying home with all kinds of issues, and then came my mother's illness and…and…Writing got me out of the insanity and gave me a different perspective. I couldn't not write. Things will work out.

  5. Never give up. Each hurdle you manage to navigate is another step towards the life you want. I concur wholeheartedly with the others. Read, a lot. Read styles and genres you hate – so you know what you don't want to do. Read books people recommend on growing your craft. Write. Write something, anything, every day. Even if it has nothing to do with your current WiP. It flexes your creative muscle and trains your body that writing is an everyday thing. Here's the biggest thing – get rid of the "epic fail" and "not an author." Why? Because, you're training yourself to believe those things subconsciously. You *are* an author. You *can* write. You *will* finish books and get them published. You have a great CP (a FANTASTIC one in fact!) and you have tons of friends who are more than willing to help any way they can. (waves a hand and points to herself as she jumps up and down). Instead of putting things in the 'epic fail' category – you simply say "Ok, today sucked. I'm putting it aside and tomorrow I *will* do better." Then do it. Read and write something the next day. You can't edit what isn't on the screen/paper. Play 'what if' game in the shower (or wherever you're most relaxed and can let your mind wander). Watch movies – You can learn a lot from movies about people's features, unspoken cues, responses and emotions. — See how much fun being an author can be?! :) Don't give up. Reframe what you're expecting from yourself. Carve out 10 minutes a day – at any point in the day – that you can focus on your "author" side. Work on baby steps. Put some books on your eReader that are 'craft' related (I can give you some great recommendations) and get a few pages in here or there when you can. Email me any time – I'm good with "making time magically appear" and, ask Liz, I'm great at kicking people's butts. LOL. You *are* an author. You just haven't gotten a book published. It'll happen.

  6. You remember that scene in Moonstruck when Nicholas Cage says to Cher, "I love you." She stares at him for a minute then slaps his face and says "Snap out of it!" LOL Well that's what I'm doing. **slap** "Snap out of it!"The best advice I've ever heard on how to tackle a seemingly insurmountable task is in the form of a modern day proverb. It's cute and fun but there is real wisdom in it. Take it to heart. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.Set a goal and stick to it. 500 words a day (this blog post was 1000- how long did it take you to write?) Can't you realistically write 500 words a day? — of course, that's about a page double-spaced 12 pt font. And take the weekends off — By the end of the week you'll have 2500 words. By the end of a month you'll have more than 10,000 words (That's a short story) By the end of 6 months you'll have a completed MS. A COMPLETED FULL LENGTH MS. All it takes is commitment and the permission to write even if you think it's crap.

  7. Thanks for the advice Dawn. Its just frustrating sometimes. I used to be able to write at the EDJ but me being watched all the time, its hard. And yes, they watch when I go to the bathroom most times. Another topic for another time.I won't ever quit just slowing down and putting it away for now. :)

  8. Time spend writing that first book is a true learning experience. I took online classes (free) thru Savvy Authors, read Charlotte Dillon posts, read the crits of published authors on my crit group – anything to learn more about the craft of writing. My first two books are still on my hard drive, patiently awaiting a major rewrite. My third book, the one where I poured all that I learned, is the finished product of TWO YEARS of diligent work. I'll be published in July 2012, but for me it was third time's the charm. Don't make the mistake of being in a rush to get your book out there. Make the best first impression you can. On a side note, I run my husband's contracting business out of our home and I'm the only one in his office. There's nobody else and ALL the office work falls on me. We also have two school age boys, so I understand running around and keeping to a schedule. Think about where your time sucks are – and cut them out. You can't be a writer if you don't finish your book. And no matter how many blogs you comment on, how many books you review (unless you want to be known as a reviewer), or how many blog posts you put up – none of that will matter if you don't complete your manuscript. Be sure of your priorities – then guard them close.

  9. Liz you are my inspiration. With all that you have going on in your life and the balls that you juggle, I hope one day to be able to do what you do. I know that Realtors was three years in the making and trust me, as a reader, its totally worth it. :)Regarding Savvy Authors, I've taken some courses over there and they are great. Getting rejection letters doesn't bother me. What bothers me is just trying to finish it so I can be rejected or accepted.I read so much that sometimes my eyes cross but I love it so much. We hate being in limbo. I swear the day we hear, I will shout it from the rooftops. Its weighing on us now and we just want it over so we can move on and get going on some things. As a CP, you are the best. And thank you…

  10. First, I want to say I totally understand. I mean I REALLY UNDERSTAND.Now I will tell you why. I'm 44. My kids are 20 and 16–Tyler(20) is in university. Trev(16) is in grade 11. They don't need me all the time.My husband works his ass off–always has–to put food on the table. I work with him on occasion. My husband owns his own painting company. Anyway, when my kids were younger there was no way in hell I could have written a book–no way! I didn't even try. Every second of my day was filled and sleep was to important to me to give up to write. And I didn't even have a full time job outside the home!Even though I have more time now, I still have responsibilities that get in the way of my writing–things I can NOT put on the back burner. Sometimes I can't write on my WIP for days.I have no advice to give and I don't think you really need it–you already know the answers.

  11. Thanks Jennifer and I'm not looking like I'm the best writer out there and with my first book, it will be accepted and published. Plus, I'll end up on any bestseller list. Just finding the time is another. :)

  12. Treva, everything will work out I know. I just got frustrated this week after coming home from the conference. I really did learn alot and had a blast but it also slapped me around a bit. I hope everything is better for you and I know that some people have it worse than me.

  13. My hubby is a store manager for Sherwin Williams and has been for about 15 years. Small world. We await word on the new store so until then, UGH! They don't give us much time to move but hey at least, I won't be working full time anymore. I appreciate that you understand where I'm coming from. I'm 45 and I got married late (37) and had our son when I was 38. I'm starting late in everything it seems. I had way too much fun in my 20's (I could write books on my 20's but my parents and inlaws are still alive.

  14. Thanks Sheri. I'm not rushing the book. heck, I just need to get going on it. On the way home from the conference, my friend & I started talking about the rest of my book and together it became alot more fleshed out. I wrote down what we talked about and I feel really good about it all. Regarding blogging and commenting…I do most of my blog reading and commenting in the morning. After that I'm gone. Work comes into play and its a different day, different hour there. I'm not on twitter anymore (major time suck) and I don't chat like I used to either. I'm on digest with most of my groups. (another major time suck):)

  15. Thanks I needed the slap. I figured that you would be the way to slap me around. I appreciate that since we were roommates. I didn't realize that my post was 1k. Interesting. My reviews are at least 500 words if not longer. I like your goal setting. I never thought of it that way. Again, this is why we are friends and remember to slap me every once in awhile.

  16. I'm going to email you privately some time today. :)I will never give up but just taken a few steps back. You rock!

  17. Go for it. That's what I'm here for. You have my email address. Smart woman you are. Sometimes taking a 'step back' just means you're getting yourself out of the forest enough to figure out where the hell the *path* is to get you through it. Email me any time. At least I'm good for a laugh – or a "Calm your ass down" moment. :) Ask Liz. LOL.

  18. Hey Marika,We've talked about some of this stuff and it's so hard to find the time to get anything done when you have a day job and in your case, a husband and child too. Since I've been laid off I don't know how I managed to get anything done when I was working, since it seems like everything that's part and parcel of being an author takes so much time. I definitely think you're a writer – your reviews themselves show that! – but I understand where you're coming from as far as trying to manage your own expectations. Oh, and woohoo on your hubby's job opportunity! Fingers crossed for your family that it comes through soon.I know you'll get where you want to go and if you ever need to talk, you know where I am. :)Cari Quinn

  19. It's damn HARD to carve out time….especially with a child, husband and a job. I can't help thinking that if you could simply jot down plots points/notes during downtime you might be surprised at how it will help that book fall into place when you DO have the time.

  20. I have to agree with Casea. Not all authors crank out a book a month, though a few do, and some of my favourites do one or maybe two a year. Don't let the fact you have a life deter you from doing what you love! And many, many authors have outside jobs. You may not have met them, but they're many and out there. Promise.Casea's 500 words or a page a day is a legit goal and one most of us can manage. And while writing the Critter's will ctit and support you too. :)Never give up, hun!

  21. Don't give up on your dreams, just postpone them. I was like you. Drove 1 hour one way to work which makes for a 10 hour day. Then there's homework, ballgames, yada, yada, yada. I couldn't do it, but when my kids went off to college, I bought a laptop and picked up right where I left off. I've pubed 5 books since Sept '09. Your family comes first. It's all about timing.

  22. Great post! You know what the great thing about writing is? It'll always be there when you can find time. In the meantime, just keep doing what you can:) I definitely think you're a writer. To be a good blogger, you need writing skills and to be able to comfortably put your thoughts on the screen.I hope your husband's job opportunity works out!

  23. Hi.A long time ago a friend told me she would miss a concert to write. I thought she was insane. I would never do that.And I didn't. I wrote when I could, and I still had a life. It took me forever to sell, though.I am with whoever said a few words a day. 250 words is a page, double spaced. Even you can do that. 365 days give or take a few = a book. Don't beat yourself up over it.

  24. Hey darlin':) I agree with everyone here; you're second-guessing yourself. Carve out fifteen minutes a day or more; someone suggested 500 words at first. ANY words you accomplish are more than you had the day before, remember! It's all about baby steps.When I had the EDJ, I wrote on my breaks, and after becoming a mom, Naptime was my writing time, as was going to the laundromat. And I admit, by the time baby #3 arrived, naptime was also MY naptime, lol! But I digress….YOU CAN DO IT!

  25. Lots of hugs to you, Harley! I have the EDJ, the two-year old kid, and hubby who demands his hubby time, so I know what you mean about having NO time to write. But the writing relaxes me and helps me escape from everyday headaches so I freaking make the time the write…or I'd probalby go insane!! :-)If writing is just another headache for you, I can see why you'd want to drop it for a while. But if you love it, then do when you can and don't let it be just another bother or a stress. Just have fun with it and let ya muse flow, honey. You're a great blogger, so I say you can't be that bad of a writer. Honestly.And us people with day jobs don't have the time and/or babysitters to go to many conferences, so…that might be one reason you'll probably run into lots of people at them who 'only write'. Good luck. As you can see, you have lots of people to support and encourage you along your path!

  26. Yikes…you are a busy one. Listen I totally get what you are saying and, Hell, I'm retired. It takes lots of discipline and I definately need more. That being said, the more you read (I think) the better you write – so you are well on your way. Hang in there and keep writing when you can. Don't throw that dream away!

  27. Cari you know always take the time to listen to my whine. For that, I will be forever grateful. Thank you for the kind words on my reviews. Somebody said that if I blog and review, I'm writing. Now, I just need to find the time to finish my story. :)

  28. Hey stranger. Fancy seeing you over here. I did actually write out plot points and notes. I basically now have the story plotter. You knew that I was a plotter?

  29. I agree, timing is the key. Hopefully I have the time this summer.

  30. I hope he does, too Lisa. We are in need of change and this would be a good one. Fingers crossed.

  31. I'm trying not to beat myself up. Casea was actually the person that came up with 250 words a day. She's smart you know.

  32. Molly, Molly, Molly…I remember when I napped. It was soooo long ago. I know I can do it. I just need a kicked in the pants and carve out some time.

  33. Miranda, you would be right on the conference thing. Thank you for thinking I'm a great blogger. That means alot.

  34. I'm throwing the dream away. Just putting it on the backburner until this summer. And yes, I'm extremely busy and it never stops. T-Ball is right around the corner.

  35. Harlie, you have to do what is right for you AND your family right now. I think you ARE a writer–it's just part of who you are. Maybe you aren't a published book writer yet, but that is OK. You just decide from day to day and week to week and month to month what your priorities are and act on those. As your little man gets older, I do think you may be able to readjust your time so that your book writing gets more of your time and energy. In the meantime, keep on plotting and reading and blogging. Your book writing time will come :)

  36. Thanks Fe. I think that when BC gets older it will be easier. Right now he is still somewhat "needy". LOL! But he is mine and I love him.

  37. Hang in there. When the time is right, you will write that book but don't try to rush it. That will only make it harder. Take care of yourself and your family ::Smooches::

  38. First of all, being an aspring writer/actual writer has nothing to do with the time it takes to finish a book, how much time you have to actually write at night, or conferences or anything. Being a writer is just a desire to tell stories. Period. A passion to tell these stories. DO you have that passion? If you DO, then time will make itself available to you…even if it's a year or two away. If you do NOT have the desire for real…if you only want to write beacause others are writing, or if you just want to make the money? Then stop even trying right now. My opinion? As much as you love to read and tell about the stories you have read by the way of reviews, I believe you really have a desire to tell your own stories, that passion that is required to be a writer.So…be patient. I have been right where you are, and there are moments of discouragment. The only thing you should beat yourself up over is to get rid of the trying to force it on yourself and realize your own pace is your own pace. It took me forever to finish a book, to ever get one out there. But I did it finally. A year later, I still haven't a follow-up book. But so what? I'm a writer, I have a writer's passion and I will finish another book in my own good time.And so will you.(((hugs)))

  39. Aw, Harlie, I absolutely understand about finding that balance. My son is 8 now, but when I first started writing full time four years ago, it was a constant struggle to find time to write fiction (which is fun), work on my technical writing gig (not fun but pays bills :D), and take care of the fam. Not to mention the online promo (I still struggle with that one *grin*)As everyone else has said in their comments, I have faith you will get back to your writing because I can tell by your blogs that it IS your passion. And I'll keep my fingers crossed for your husband's job opportunity! When you get your first book published, I'll be first in line ;)Hugs and best wishes!

  40. Thanks Cindy. I really appreciate it. Still no word on the hubs job but that could be any time now. Ssshh.. but I got word on Friday night about a pitch that I did. They are asking for a synopsis and a couple of chapters. I know, right? Good things happen to people that wait.Also, you are an auto buy author for me. I have fallen in love with your stories about established couples and what they do to get their "groove" back on. :)

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