Thursday, April 12, 2007

First Time Pitcher

Hey everyone!

I had a great time at the conference, learned quite a bit and my head was spinning by the end of the day. I pitched my story to two people - Tracy for HQN and Leslie for Silhouette. Both asked for a sym. and the first 3 chapters. WOOO-HOOOO!! It's a start. I was sooo nervous walking into that room. I almost forgot what my story was about!!

Now, almost 2 weeks later, I haven't done a thing. What's wrong with me?? I should be typing my fingers to the bone, trying to get my chapters just right. I mainly blamed it on my laptop. I have a 8 year old laptop (Betsy) that only has WORD, EXCEL and card games - yes, I know Free Cell very well - but she caught a virus a couple of weeks ago and hasn't been running since. When I'm in my writing zone, I like to work on Betsy while I'm on the couch with my feet up on the coffee table. whine, whine...I can't do that right now...sniff, sniff... I do have a great desk top which I use on a daily basis but for some reason, words don't flow from my brain, through my fingers and down to the keyboard as well. Ugh...

I know we have discussed writer's block and how to overcome it but what does one do when you have something important that should go out within a reasonable time frame? What do you do for blockage when you are on a deadline?



Flo Fitzpatrick said...


You may just need to "go Nike". Yep. JUST DO IT.

But - a suggestion. Sit down and write and write and don't even think about editing until you're done. Don't go back and do a spell check until you're done. It's too easy to focus on making the first three chapters perfect and it often gets one completely blocked from chapter four on.

I'm no psychologist, but you might also take a moment to figure out why you're blocked. Are you scared to finish because you're afraid the final product will be rejected? (Welcome to the club by the way! )

Is this a book you just don't like? That's harder to solve if you've had a request but think about changing the first chapters or the plot - the editor is not going to remember the exact pitch and as long as it stays close to what you stated, you should be fine.

This is kind of nuts, but I've done two "Book in a Week" s for deadline, and, since I'm a seat of the pants writer, I worried that I wouldn't have anything to say in the next chapter. So before I'd get to sleep at night, I'd go over what happened in the previous chapters and just tell my mind I needed to know what was next. Crazy - but amazing - it works.

Go get 'em!

Carla Swafford said...

If I understood correctly. You have your first three chapters and need to revise only before sending. Print out your pages and read them out loud. Revise and then send those babies out!

Deborah Matthews said...

I was confused about whether your chapters just need revising or writing. Whichever though, just do what you have to do to get them in the mail. Don't lose a golden opportunity. I've seen it happen before.

Angel said...

I know exactly where you are coming from Barbara!!! I often have this same problem.
I think, for me, it stems from a fear of what sending that manuscript in means. Other people will read it... what if they hate it... what if I just suck.... :)

So I procrastinate, using whatever excuses are handy. And the only way to deal with this is to JUST DO IT. Take one small step each day. Print your chapters one day. Go through and make comments on chapter one the next day. Chapter two the next and so on. You'll find you eventually get into the groove.

Baby steps!!! They eventually get you there.