Saturday, April 20, 2013

Writers - When Book Characters Call Your Name, Do You Listen? (A Reunion Post)

Woman Screaming
My Book Characters Are Screaming

Today I celebrate the progress I’ve made using tools I learned about in Robert Lee Brewer’s April 2012 Platform Challenge.

When I think back to where I was one year ago, it’s hard to remember. The months have blended, broken down only by my kids’ school schedules. So I decided to do a little research.

Pulling up my blog website, I found that before April 2012, I had written a whopping 30 posts on my blog since its birth in 2009.

As of April 9, 2013, that number increased to 112 posts.

I would say the Platform Challenge jump-started my blogging.

Some months I was busier than others. For instance, when I participated in Robert’s November Poem-a-Day challenge, I decided to post all of my poems on my blog. I also participated in at least one submission challenge, the Submit-o-Rama with Khara House. It was a busy year and some of my successes included having poetry accepted by various literary magazines.

I also met an amazing group of supportive writers; we band together under the name Wordsmith Studio. (Thank you to all of you!)

And now that I think about it, even though I’ve struggled with finding my “brand,” I have settled into a comfortable place there as well.

My blog claims that I spend time, “Interpreting signs in the storefront of life.” That pretty much sums it up.

Stay on Track 

Still, I have that work-in-progress sitting in the rafters.

It’s calling out to me. I can hear it.

I keep getting side-tracked. Maybe I'm spending too much time browsing through that storefront.

A blog post here, a challenge there, a website update here, a hand-crafted book there, a favor here, another favor there; it has left me with a still-not-finished book.

Yes, I’ve started rewriting the ending. And I do have a clearer picture of the overall story. I’ve made progress.

I’m still frustrated simply because it’s not done.

Last night was I was thinking about where I’ve been and where I want to go, I decided blogging is not my priority.

Yes, I enjoy it and I plan to continue, but for my own self-fulfillment (sanity?), I need to put my work-in-progress first.

So today I turned off my social media and . . . I, uh, I  . . . well, I wrote this blog post.

Hmmm . . . still distracted.

No More Distractions

Time to close this file - and brush the dust off my book; I can hear the characters screaming my name.

First, to my friends at Wordsmith Studio (and to Robert!) - Thank you all for riding along on this journey with me. I’ve enjoyed watching your progress. And I appreciate the encouragement I’ve received.

Here's to another great year ahead sharing our fears, our learning, and our many successes!



  1. Nice Post. You might want to double-check your dates. Did you mean by April 9, 2013? Just asking. :)

  2. A nice reflection, Linda. I agree that with kids it's difficult to remember our efforts and progress. I understand the blogging and W.I.P. dilemma. The platform challenge made me more social (by my own standards) but it sure takes up my writing time. So good for you for making your writing a priority! You WILL get your book done!

  3. I totally hear you. It's so tough when I've got my fiction in the back ground and my blog in the front. But since some writers think you can get your writing groove on faster by blogging, I'm letting it fall that way. Congrats on improving for the last year. And here's to more success! (However we define it).

  4. That's the key, defining success on your own terms. Blogging has to fit into your life, not the other way around. Great post :)

  5. Linda, I support you in spending more time on your WIP, especially since your characters are calling your name. :) Thank you for all the work you did on the Steering Committee. I appreciate your honest post and look forward to another year of growth with you and WSS. All the best!

  6. hah, Linda, it's so easy to get distracted. Yet, you have achieved so much. Even the very thought of anniversary makes us revise and recall what we have done over this year, I believe. I'm happy we met through this challenge :-)

  7. Linda, my characters are needling me, nagging me, not shouting. I wish they would! So I procrastinate--Facebook, email, etc.--anything not to face up to the work. I know one thing, though: we've learned a lot from each other and created a remarkable community that has brought us to new places in our writing. So get to the work, girl! Good luck!

  8. Congratulations on all you have accomplished in the past year and good luck going forward. I think an important part of the challenge was trying things out and seeing how they fit. I do hope you'll still have time to snap a few photos! Happy Anniversary.

  9. I feel you, my friend. I haven't checked the numbers, but I am sure I, too, have posted more this year than before. The important thing, though is the reaching out. The wonderful interaction and support that our group gives so generously has truly been a blessing.

    Since I have already pulled the plug on most of my social media participation, I can only say, keep in touch. I think I am going to put an hour of social interaction, at least once a week, on my editorial calendar. Time to touch base with the group and check out what's happening with everyone.

    I really miss everyone and I know you will too. The thing is, a support group isn't much help if there's nothing to support.

  10. I’m so happy for you Linda, because you’ve come so far and also are restructuring your priorities. Nicely done. We’re really good for each other, aren’t we? Friends and moral support are never a waste of time. Facebook on the other hand...well, maybe a different story I know I couldn’t manage to check FB for about 30 hours and suddenly I’ve got a whopping 56 notices! know how my New Year’s resolution was to stop running out of time and start running into it? :)

  11. Look at all you HAVE accomplished. And in between the kids' schedules.

    That branding thing is my stumbling block along with distractions. But, all things take time.

    Happy Anniversary! Here's to reading your blog post next year this time telling us all that you finished your WIP!

  12. I was thinking about this today in terms of my own writing. Blogging is going to be the main source of my income, but my WIP is where I want to concentrate more energy. Balance. It's terrible trying to find a balance.

    Happy anniversary and good luck with your WIP. Keep us posted!

  13. It is a balancing act, isn't it? I get frustrated that my novel isn't finished. I'm on the umpteenth revision. I do think, however, that the blogging has made me a better writer. It gives me a place to explore and experiment and my book will be stronger for it. I had a lot of thoughts and words in the way, and blogging helped me set them free. Good luck, and happy anniversary.

  14. So funny! Glad you jump-started your blog and met all of us :) Now, go listen to your characters and write that wonderful book!

  15. Happy Anny, Linda! I look forward to growing with you even more over the next year!

  16. Good luck with the WIP and congrats on making the decision to really push for that and let go of blogging a bit. I always have trouble prioritizing, so I admire your choice!

  17. What if we had a world without Robert's joining us together? So many wonderful new people and things to explore. I am thankful for the opportunity that he gave us and so thankful that we joined together. Happy Anniversary!

  18. Linda- Sometimes progress can set us back. Congratulations on a year of growth and learning. And congratulations on learning to realize when to stand still and breathe. Happy Anniversary! I'm happy to have been a part of your 2012 and look forward to many years of moving forward and standing still!