Friday, September 07, 2012

Friday Fun Facts: Going Back to Work

"If you would thoroughly know anything, teach it to others."
(Tryon Edwards)

Ah, here we are: at the end of the first week of school. And what have I learned? Let's see....

That I don't talk nearly as much during the summer as during the school year. My throat is killing me after a full day of teaching!

That it's a challenge to wear heels again, after a summer in flip flops or bare feet. Ooh but legs are letting me know they're there!

That's is exhausting to be "on" for seven hours at a time, answering questions and fielding responses and having to constantly think about writing and words without much of a break.

That a classroom is a very cool place to be, because you never know what's coming out of a student's mouth at any given time.

That it is VERY difficult to teach in a room that's 80+ degrees and sweat is running down your back and you're really thinking about how soon you can walk down the hall to the air-conditioned office instead of helping students understand what a thesis sentence is and why it's so important.

That's it's nice to have the support of other teachers in the building who are bemoaning the same issues you are, and who desperately wait for the coffee to brew in the morning the same way you do.

That I have the best job in the world. Years ago, when I first started teaching, I used to think to myself that as long as my basic bills were paid, I would do the job for free. 15 years later, I still feel that way :)

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Writers' Wednesday: Tips on Blog Tours and How to Deal with Being Orphaned

"We can smile even though we are hurting and we can feel happy even though we are unhappy. It's called strength." -Thea Destiny

OK, I did take Monday off in honor of Labor Day (and did some labor-intensive writing of my own...anyone else?)

For all you writers out there today, I wanted to pass share some info from the latest Romance Writers Report:

My local chapter member Jennifer Probst (and author of the wildly popular best-seller The Marriage Bargain) has a feature article on Successful Blog Tours. Among her pieces of advice: don't spread yourself too thin when you take on a blog tour for a new release; target your posts to the audience of the individual blogs; don't just re-process information in your posts (readers follow you!); give something away, because followers love prizes; and don't forget to thank your blog host!

Also, the article on being "orphaned" as an author hit home for me. If you are a writer, chances are you might lose your editor at some point. They move on. They make changes, they work up to other positions, and while that's great for them, sometimes it's not so great for their authors. I went through 2 editors at one publishing house. Both were great to work with, but my second one really "got" me and my books. She was a dream to work with, she loved my writing, and she contracted my projects and championed my work. I was so sad when she left :(

I approached my newly assigned editor professionally and with high hopes. Unfortunately, she and I didn't mesh. Over the next 3 years, she wasn't interested in anything I submitted to her. Finally, I moved on. Now, I have a new editor and a new publishing house, and I'm excited about the possibilties. What did I learn from this experience? The same things that are echoed in the RWR article: Always be professional, and don't give up. There are so many editors out there. Sometimes your new editor won't be a good match for you. That's just a sign that you're meant to sell that work to someone else. Don't be discouraged (believe me, I know it's tough not to be). Keep writing, keep going to conferences, keep honing your craft. You will sell again. You will!

Write on, friends :)