Monday, February 9, 2009

The Right Track

The other day, I was cleaning out a cabinet and came across a file entitled, "Wit and Wisdom." A single piece of looseleaf paper with two quotations were written in my late husband's handwriting. My sweetheart still inspires my writing. :)

"Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." Will Rogers At times, we writers stand still for so long that it's hard to get going again. All around us, others are moving forward. They're learning new skills, submitting to agents and publishers, and building their platforms. Pretty soon, we find ourselves left behind in the dust or crushed by those pressing on toward publication.

Another saying I've heard is, "You snooze. You lose." It's time to wake-up from our hibernation, and regain our momentum. Are you with me, gang? Hold me accountable. The area where I'm sitting still on the track is my book.

Where are you sitting still?

14 comments:

Jessica said...

Kind of on my revisions. Been putting them off, maybe 'cause I'm afraid to finish it and submit it? Who knows...
That must have been strange to find something with your husband's writing on it. I can't imagine losing my hubby.
I hope your book gets on track! Maybe you just need to veer in a different direction?

Terri Tiffany said...

"Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." I love this quote. It makes me think where I am with my book. I work on it but sometimes go too slow and aren't pushing forward.
I didn't realize you are a widow. Has it been recently?

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jess -

I find the first draft easier than revisions. When you change one part, it sometimes affects other aspects of the story.

At the moment, I'm trying to eliminate two flashbacks, which I've heard are no-no's. Working that information into the story is a challenge for me.

Two people read my manuscript and had no problem with the flashbacks. (No, it wasn't my mother or my late husband.) I'm trying to remove any hindrance to publication.

After the manuscript is ready, I'm looking for an agent. Are you seeking agent representation?

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Terri -

The minute I saw that quote, I knew it was a blog post. :)

My husband moved to heaven in April 2007, so it's almost two years. I'd experienced losing grandparents and a parent prior to his death, but this loss was the worst.

I'm grateful for supportive family, friends, and a church care group on grieving. It's been a rough 3 years (including his illness), but I'm getting better every day.

Thanks for your concern.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Jessica said...

Yeah, I've been querying my historical but not too many bites on it. After the agents, I'll be hitting up the editors. LOL
With these flashbacks, do they happen in the first fifty pages? If they don't, are you sure you need to cut them? I don't think they'd hinder you from getting published. If an editor or agent likes your story, then they would probably just suggest revisions if the flashbacks are a problem. Esp. since there are only two. The problem is (I think) when writers use them too much, or when they're at the beginning before the reader has gotten into the story.
Good luck with those, though. :-)

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

I do believe that God leads you to the right people at the right time and today He led me to your blog. It was just what I needed to read. Thank you Susan and thank you God!

I'm adding you to my favorite blogs to follow and look forward to hearing praise reports on your writing.

I am on Chapter 16 of my first revision of my first Christian novel.

My late husband, Bill, went home to be with the Lord in June of 2003. His going home was a time of grieving but also of joy. The story of his journey has blessed my life in ways I never could have imagined. He was one of my best writing cheerleaders.

quietspirit said...

Susan:
I am sitting on searching for places to submit some essays to. I haven't had a very good track record in this area.
I am fleshing out a crime drama. I am in the 20 thousand word count neighborhood. I need to find other locals to get my main character in. But I have run out of locales.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Quiet Spirit -

I'm sure you must have it, but in case you don't, have you checked the Christian Writers' Market Guide by Sally Stuart?

As far as locales, do you have a travel atlas? You might get some ideas there.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Donna -

Your note brought such joy to my heart. I'm glad my simple post ministered to you.

I'm so sorry to hear about your husband's passing. It's very tough when you lose your soulmate. I doubt I'd be writing today if it wasn't for the encouragement of my late husband.

Thank you for making my blog a favorite. I pray the Lord blesses your writing and all those who read it.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jess -

Maybe we should all become agents. LOL! There doesn't seem to be enough to go around.

The flashbacks occur in the middle of the book. Both are done in a showing format, but are fairly long. I put the reader back in time. My character is relating her experience to a troublesome relative. Later on, this relative tells her own story. It helps bring healing of the relationship.

I re-wrote a section of one flashback, creating an argument where my character blurts out some shocking facts. There's a lot of tension. If I can insert most of this information in other sections, it might be more exciting for the reader.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Sarah said...

You're so right Susan. I've recently relinquished a lot of things that were taking time away from pursuing my dream.

I'm slowly getting back on track, and moving too!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Sarah -

I need to take my own advice. I hope at least one of you ask me what I've written during the past week. :)

Question: I tried to get your blog a few minutes ago. Zero. nada. Blogger announced this name was now available. What's happening?

Blessings,
Susan

Jessica said...

Susan, I just tried to get to Sarah's blog too, and it didn't work! I think I'm going to talk to her on facebook. I really liked reading her posts.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jess -

I just heard from Sarah. She's taking a vacation from blogging, but she'll still visit us. :)

Blessings,
Susan