Being A Writer

12 Nov

Being a writer means I often (we often) do things others don’t understand.

Like shushing them in the car because we’re staring off to space… but we’re WRITING. Or, saving  a weekend day/night to write instead of going out. Or making sure that our vacation time is set aside to go to a conference…. and that conference doesn’t equal “work” the way they think of it.

This time around, writing means making the hard money decisions.

The Golden Heart (RWA’s big contest for unpublished writers) is coming up. Actually, the deadline is in just a few days. I can’t help but think it through a little heavily than usual. This year, I dropped all my chapters — goodbye local NEC, farewell only YARWA , I’ll miss you my beloved LERA — because of my lack of jobs (and thus, funds…and fun…so sad that’s the root word… in the latin and everything) But, the Golden Heart has a bit of an ongoing joke for me.

The first year I entered (my first year writing) I barely missed the top. Looking at the numbers just about killed me. But I took it as a good sign and did some revisions. The second year, was tighter. YA was REALLY hot in all contests that year. I heard of  a few where it was one of the few categories to close out. And, again, looking at the numbers, I was just barely not in the top.

This year, I have that same book (revised again LOL) and two more. One that landed me my first agent and one that I adore. I doubt I’ll love a book like I love this one ever again. I’m already trying to learn to unlove it for when I someday get revision notes on it 🙂

But, again with the funds.

MG Buehrlen and I started a cafepress store (that Romance Yardsale link at the bottom of the page) to help us pay for Nationals and I was hoping it would pay for the GH. But, alas not so much. But then, Christmas is coming and my parents have always been cash givers since we were young, so I know I’ll get a couple of dollars that way as well. The questions become — it won’t cover the entire cost of entering and shipping (which comes out to about $80 an entry after entry, printing SIX copies of 55 pages, and shipping…. don’t get me started on the fact that RWA hasn’t gone electronic with this)…and I need new shoes. Kind of desperately actually.

But, as I look at those numbers from the last two years — and I look at my writing and where it is now, I think about the pudding in my fridge and the fact that I can wear my winter coat again this year and really, there’s no need to drive to do all my errands when it’s under a mile to the grocer. I keep thinking, “you’ve cut corners… now where can you cut them some more?” Because, when it comes down to it, sometimes Living The Dream means not living other dreams, smaller dreams… Like new shoes.

Every time I make a big commitment like this again, it gets me refocused, rededicated and redriven (shut up, that is too a word!)

And so, all those people who keep asking if I’m entering the GH… yeah, I guess I am.

8 Responses to “Being A Writer”

  1. Tamara Morgan November 12, 2010 at 2:11 pm #

    Good for you for entering! I’m always on the fence for a few weeks…and then I fall very firmly onto the “no” side. And then, come RWA conference time, I regret it. I have no doubts you’ll be on the stage this year. 🙂

  2. briaq November 12, 2010 at 2:14 pm #

    *snort* I wish! But I also always think “No No No No No No” all fall, and then I suddenly remember my friends who have finaled or won and think, “Well, this is a big part of being a writer. Putting yourself out there for the big things.”

    It is the only contest I ever enter 🙂

  3. Rachel Firasek November 12, 2010 at 2:17 pm #

    Bria, your dedication is inspiring. I would be glad to post a link to your yard sale on my website if you’d like. Let me know. Trying to pay it forward in the only way we can in this trying time. Best wishes in the GH!

  4. briaq November 12, 2010 at 2:44 pm #

    Rachel that’s lovely! We’d love for anyone who wants to link to our store to go for it!

    We’ve had a few people do different lovely links, and it’s ALWAYS appreciated!

  5. sharla November 12, 2010 at 3:36 pm #

    LOL I find it interesting that Christmas brings money TO you… Wow, I can’t even remember back that far. 🙂 For me it’s SOOOOO much going out, and nothing coming in.

    I can link you on my blog as well, I’ll do that on tomorrow’s post.

  6. briaq November 12, 2010 at 3:43 pm #

    LOL Sharla – One of the only good things about being unemployeed (or grabbing seasonal work wherever I can) is no one expects gifts – no shopping! LOL Of course, I love giving gifts, so it’s kind of a bummer. But yeah, mom and dad both send a small check each year still. No matter how many times I tell them. And neither lives in Boston so when they say “just have a nice dinner out” and I look at the check they sent… Let’s just say I grin a little at it.

    And thanks SO much for the post – we’re really hoping to sell holiday gifts – I like having a store that I would shop at 🙂

  7. Penny Dune November 13, 2010 at 12:27 pm #

    Good for you, Bria. I’m waiting for electronic entries! Down with dopes! I love RWA… don’t get me wrong. But…come on now! Save the trees, please. 😀

  8. briaq November 14, 2010 at 12:45 am #

    LOL also, if we didn’t have to mail them we wouldn’t have to print them out (ink, paper, time), also, buy discs to put each ms on, and then ship them, AND THEN part of the fee is to cover them sorting them and MAILING THEM BACK OUT TO JUDGES. Imagine – they could not only save us ink,paper, time, and shipping, but maybe discount it $10 and still be raising more funds that way.

    *steps off soap box*

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