She spotlights "Someday Stars" every other Thursday, introducing her readers to those that she believes will be a bona fide star--someday.
I've always loved Charlie's upbeat blogging personality, her positive outlook toward life (wherever it may take her) and her genuine love of family.
Congratulate her on all those works she's finished and give her a great big welcome!
Step 1: Finish Your Manuscript
Before I dive into this, let me make it clear that I don’t have any writing credentials outside a few small-town story contests. Because of that, I don’t expect anyone to take my writing “advice” with any merit. However, one thing I can do is finish a book, and the first step to being published is, of course, having a complete manuscript.
I’ve wanted to be a writer since junior high, started focusing on it in high school, and began taking it seriously in my first year of college. I started my first book when I was 13, but I didn’t finish a [different] book until 19. If my memory is correct, the first book I finished was the eighth I had started (not including my dabbling in fanfiction, which we won’t get into!).
So what changed?
The thing that really got me focused was utilizing a daily word count. I fluctuated between a minimum of 500 and 1,000 words a day, every day. Sometimes it was really hard to get those words in when I wasn’t excited about the scene or didn’t know what would happen next, but I had to do those words, otherwise they would accumulate, because I refused to forgive a day’s word count unless absolutely necessary.
|Charlie Holmberg's awesome blog|
The next step was turning off my internal editor. We all have one: the mini version of us that, in the voice of our 11th grade English teacher, says, “That sounds weird,” or “You’ve already used that word!” The sooner you murder this editor and bury him six feet under (later to be resurrected as a blood-thirsty and immortal revisionist), the more words you will write. Stop thinking about it. Say it can’t be done? So did I. But if you try hard enough—if you remind yourself that revisions will come later, and they will be glorious—it can be done. I have the
Lastly, you need to make time to write. Not find time to write, make it. The reason we always arrive at our son’s soccer practice on time or catch the latest episode of America’s Got Talent, despite our busy schedules, is because we make those things priorities. There comes a point where you have to ask yourself, How much do I want this? The more you want to write, the more time you will find to write. The more excited you are about you manuscript, the more time you will find the write. The more you ache for your story to be on a shelf at Barnes & Noble, the more time you will find to write.
I’ll use my sister and I as an example. Both of us love writing; both of us are writers. My sister is currently finishing her revisions of her first completed novel, which she started three years ago. I’m currently drafting my seventh.
|So many? :-)|
Now look at me. I have a full-time job, and I write. Outside of that, my hobbies are limited to my learning to play the ukulele and the occasional brushing up on my neglected piano skills. I do enjoy cooking dinners when my husband isn’t scheduled for work. I used to bake a lot, but now only do on occasion. I used to play the flute and the French horn. I used to write music. I used to win awards for my compositions and played live shows. These are hobbies I pushed aside for the sake of writing, and while I am not nearly as well-rounded as my sister, outside of my husband and family, getting published is the most important thing on my map right now, and the highest and hardest goal I have set for myself.
So when it comes to time, if you want to write, write. If writing is a priority to you, make it a priority. No need to be a Nazi about it—life happens. Problems arise. Kids need mothering. The day job needs doing. I can’t recall which author said this, but one of the greatest pieces of advice I’ve ever heard in regards to finding time to write went something like, “Nothing needs your attention at four o’clock in the morning.”
Butt in chair + hands on keyboard = productivity.
Productivity = finish books.
Finished books = queries to agents and editors.
Queries, though long and tiresome, = published works.
Much luck to everyone on this writing journey, and thank you to Jeff for letting me leak brain all over his blog. Let’s get those manuscripts finished and show the publishing industry just what we’re made of!
|Charlie Holmberg is awesome!|
I’m a technical writer and editor from Salt Lake City, Utah, currently living in Moscow, Idaho. I play the ukulele, pretend to speak Japanese, and really want a dog.