Advice, Inspiration, Guidance

March 31, 2015

Although spring arrivved 10 days ago Mother Nature has been having her last say. Lots of snow fell on the weekend and we woke this morning to another couple of inches of the fresh white stuff. Looking at the trees trough my office window the sight is picture postcard pretty, however, it has been a long winter here in the Maritimes and we are all feeling a little overwhelmed with it all.
Although I was rather conservative when I set my writing goals for this year, learning from last year that as much as I want to hit certain deadlines, there are parts of my process that depend on others and I have to work to their schedule as well as my own, I feel I am a little behind the eight ball right now. Not that I can’t catch up, but my built in cushion of extra time is quickly dwindling. I think part of it has to do with the weather making me feel sluggish. Someone posted to Facebook today that they are suffering from NDTDA syndrome – No Desire To Do Anything. I thought that just about summed it up – LOL.

I have a couple of critique partners that I really enjoy meeting with. They are 99% inspirational and 1% shoulder to cry on. I say 1% because we try to encourage each other and not dwell on the negative, but we are there for each other when we are needed. I doubt very much if I would be as far along in my career if I did not have them in my corner.
One knows just when I need her to send a text, or check in. She also made the decision that we will be going on a writing retreat in April. Just the two of us, sun, sand and computers. Okay, truth be told there will be some coffee with spiked cream too! I am so looking forward to this. I said no every time she mentioned it for quite a while and then she just said you are going, and I can not thank her enough. It is just what I need, I am sure of it. We have been brainstorming ideas and collecting references so we will be ready to work when we get there. Getting ready has lit a fire in me to work on my next release this week.

Yesterday I sat with one of my critique partners and we discussed our Marketing strategy for the next little while. We came to the meeting prepared and we discussed things we had read, researched, and used in the past. We both had great ideas and when the meeting was over felt we had accomplished lots. Not all ideas will work for both of us, but some will and we will work together on those. Some of the ideas are quite individual to each of our books and those we will work individually on. I have to say I was inspired and last evening I spent some time working on my personal marketing strategy and I also wrote some words in my next release. Quite uplifting to say the least.

I belong to an on-line writing group and follow a few others on social media. I was a little skeptical at first to join the group, figuring I would have to comment from time to time, something I know I need to get better at. Over the last few days there have been some great posts. I took a deep breath and commented on one yesterday. I was passing on advice I had received from a very wise author when I first started writing seriously and it was golden to me. Once it was posted I realized as golden as the advice was, I have not been following it as well as I should be over the last couple of weeks. What a great reminder to get back into the real business of writing.

I guess the point I wanted to make with this post is, even though writing can be a solitary business, we can and should reach out to others for advice, guidance, and inspiration. I have great partners and if it wasn’t for their gentle, and sometime not so gentle, nudging I would not be as far along as I am. I value their friendship and their help and I thank them everyday even though they don’t very often hear it directly from me.

About Linda O'Toole

Women's Fiction Author
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