I’m trying to come back

When I wrote my last blog post in October, I had no idea the next time you heard from me would be the second week of December. For a variety of reasons, including poor internet service, I took a break from blogging. It wasn’t planned, and it happened one day at a time.

As I am able, I will post blogs about what I’m reading and what I’m writing. Since my last blog, I learned that the story I pitched for the upcoming Revolutionary Women issue of Cobblestone magazine for children was rejected. Since Molly McCurdy’s story is a local one for which there is no certifiable documentation, it is understandable that the magazine’s editors chose not to pursue my story idea. It was worth a try.

I have just finished reading James Scott Bell’s 2012 book titled Revision and Self-Editing for Publication, 2nd Edition. I gleaned many pointers from it. I plan to use Mr. Bell’s recommendations to systematically edit and revise my The Spanish Coin manuscript. That project should keep me busy all winter. I have added specific editing and revision tasks to my daily calendar through February 2016.

Ironically, I started writing this post 30 minutes ago. Issues with my internet service have prevented me from writing more. I changed the title of this post from “I’m back!” to “I’m trying to come back.

How’s That “Writing Plan of Action” Working For You?

On January 18, 2015, I posted a seven-point “Writing Plan of Action” and promised an occasional update. It’s been a month, so I decided to assess how I’m doing.

(1) Schedule book signings/author events. I have scheduled a book signing on April 11 at 2pm at The Book Shelf in Tryon, North Carolina. I haven’t had any success with public library bookings. I’m not giving up!

(2) Continue to blog every day. I was doing very well with that until I read that I shouldn’t blog every day. (That was the one thing I thought I was doing right!) I’m struggling to find a schedule that suits me and will keep my followers interested. I have a lot of learn.

(3) Continue to research and write captions for a Piedmont NC vintage postcard book. I continue to work on that.

(4) Spend two hours each week building a list of places that might sell a Piedmont NC vintage postcard book. I haven’t kept a record of the time I’ve spent doing that, but I have worked on it a little.

(5) Continue to search for writing contests to enter or magazine articles to write. I’m pleased with the progress I’ve made on meeting this point of my plan. I have entered one contest and made a chronological list of more contests to enter this year. I’ll be ready in a few days to pitch an idea to Cobblestone magazine. I’ve written a piece about Maggie McCurdy that I hope the magazine will use in its March, 2016 issue. I wrote an article for Cobblestone in 2007 titled, “Aunt Lula Buys a Model-T.” Putting this “Writing Plan of Action” on paper nudged me into working on this aspect of my freelance writing.

(6) Set aside one day each week to edit my historical novel manuscript. This is where the wheels fell off the wagon. I have only worked on this one day in the last four weeks.

(7) If Arcadia Publishing rejects my author proposal for a Piedmont NC vintage postcard book, start in earnest to find a literary agent to represent me and my novel. I cannot submit a proposal to Arcadia until after February 25.

Overall, I’m pleased with what I have accomplished since making this writing plan. It definitely helps me to have a written plan. Based on this plan, I have made daily lists of things to do. I tend to be too optimistic and end up moving many items from one day to the next.

I will eventually get most things on the list done, and I will try not to beat myself up over the things left undone.