Monday, September 14, 2015

Writer: A Day in the Life of...

Times have changed. 
No one writes on these anymore...

No one sends their stories straight to the publishing house anymore like Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables, or Jo March of Little Women.

Nope. In case you haven't heard, the days are winding down to our national writer's conference for American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) in Dallas, TX this week. Writers everywhere are busy panicking, polishing, printing, packing, and praying to publish (oooh, love the alliteration, heeheehee). My dining room looks like a mini publishing house.

After a morning at church, I helped Ted move our chicken coop for the winter, then chased chickens before I could sit down to polish some last minute edits.



The prepared writer needs business cards to trade like old fashioned calling cards. We trade them with other writers, new friends, editors, and agents. Then we won't forget who to contact after the chaos of spending four days with six hundred others in the industry.

The newbie learns to boil their story down to a single page used to "pitch" your story. The pitch is memorized and ready at any given moment. Jaime and I have driven to several ACFW conferences together over the years. We are known to randomly drop the "so tell me what your book is about?" question to practice  our pitches. Usually we stumble, mumble, and mostly cry about it, then laugh hysterically. But somehow, by the time we arrive, our pitches are ready to roll. 

I was all prepared to print a few copies of my proposals--a proposal is about a thirty page document that shows an agent or editor how your book can be marketed, and what kind of a platform, voice, and story you have. It includes sample chapters and compares your story to others on already on the market.

 Except my printer whacked out and decided to have random blank streaks through a few words on every page. It made me wonder how authors of times gone by managed to make pristine copies.
I comforted myself to recall that Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice looked something like this:

 We've come a long way, from handwriting to laptops and printers...

But after panicking that my rushed order of preprinted forms smeared ink all over the white page before they shipped to me despite the flaws, I quit for the night and made plan B to stop by the printers Wednesday morning before my flight leaves. 

Besides all the pre-trip jitters, all the endless edits, all the never ending brainstorming--here's 
the best part of writing that makes it all worth it: 
friends who love stories and Jesus as much as I do!
The first time I attended ACFW, I knew one person. Now, these dear women are like sisters.
Jaime, Laurie, Halee, and Sarah--only Kara is missing here, but we'll she's flying in from New Zealand this year!

Jaime and I met when we sat at a "newbie" table at dinner, ACFW 2009, Denver.

Gabe and I met at ACFW 2010, Indianapolis
And I met Erica in 2013
So, stay tuned for more from the week ahead as Jaime and I, along with Gabrielle and Erica, zoom off to ACFW Dallas for a week of pitching, praying, worshipping the Lord, and most fun of all--laughing together and learning to know one another.

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Blog post by Anne Love-
Writer of Historical Romance inspired by her family roots. 
Nurse Practitioner by day. 
Wife, mother, writer by night. 
Coffee drinker--any time.
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Find me on: Goodreads

10 comments:

  1. Someday I would love to join everyone at the ACFW Conference, but at this season of my life I must be happy to be following my husband all over the world with his job. And maybe a bit of a condolence of being in Boston right now and having the opportunity to see the House of Seven Gables--the REAL ONE, only about a half hour away. (Side note--can you believe I have never read this classic? Now on my 'To Be Read List'.

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    1. Sounds fun Vicki! Enjoy your stage in life, especially if you get to travel.

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  2. Oops--iPad & Blogspot don't appreciate when you go back to correct typo's. :-/
    Anyway, I was going to say that also nearby is Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House where the Little Women lived their days growing up with Jo. What fun to see those rooms so greatly described by Louisa and hear the stories behind her stories and what things were true and what things were 'made up'. We also were able to see several historic places like 'Remember the Alamo'. Such interesting history--never realized how near the Orchard House was to several places so famous in our history.
    So, while I enjoy these interesting bits of history, I pray that you and your writing friends enjoy making your history together. May you have those pitches and bookmarks all glistening and your stories find that perfect agent, publishing company and the ability to be heard by many. Again, much joy, success and happiness to all of you at ACFW.
    Vicki Marney

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    1. So sweet of you to wish us well, your prayers are much appreciated.

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  3. FYI--Louissa May Alcott had only a tiny little desk in her bedroom for creating her masterpieces. No fancy office--only a desk barely big enough to hold the typewriter pictured. So anyone out there thinking of writing--don't let the lack of space or a cute little study deter you from doing what God has called you to do. In fact many times I'm sitting somewhere with my iPad in my lap--even a beach or sitting under a tree. God can inspire you where ever you are. Keep writing!
    Vicki

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  4. I remember typewriters. Times have changed.

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    1. I remember them too. My mom had an old one we used to type on for school, until I got a new one when I went to college.

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    2. Remember doing typo corrections with correction tape?? LOL.

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    3. Yeap. I went to business school in 1979 boy have times changed.

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  5. Thanks for the interesting post & fun pics, Anne!!

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