Thursday, February 02, 2012

For Writers - Groundhog Day

Yes, I'm about to get deep about a Bill Murray movie.

For anyone who may not have seen it, Groundhog Day is about a dour, unhappy-with-his-life weatherman who is sent to Punxsutawney, PA to cover, what else, Groundhog Day. Not only that, but he has to keep repeating the day over and over again until he gets it right. Though he fights against this curse at first (refusal of the call...), eventually, he uses his do-overs to avoid pitfalls, ice sculpt, learn to speak French and play the piano, and of course, get the girl.

So here' s where our writer's tip comes in. In the movie, Bill Murray comes to realize that he can either hate being stuck on replay, or he can use each day to avoid past mistakes and to build on the things he learned the previous day. The happy ending happens because he adjusts his attitude and goes after each day, uses it up, and works hard for what he can get out of it.

As writers, there is a lot out of our control. Editors or agents might not connect with our work, publishers might not support it as much as we'd like, placement might not be great, proposals might not be accepted, publishing as we know it may die. Sometimes we may feel like we're stuck on replay, banging our head against the wall, submitting the same thing over and over again. It's easy to slip into a sour frame of mind.

Or, we could use all the days we're given to write another book that our publisher might really get behind, submit to more editors and agents until we find the one who 'gets' us, learn about e-pubbing, study the craft. In short, we can choose to seize each day, to learn from the failures and to build on the successes.

Do this and I guarantee that by next Groundhog's Day, we'll all be happier, more successful writers.

This Week's Links:

Speaking of being happier and more successful writers, here's this week's Writer's Butt post and challenge: (Ginger Calem) If you haven't jumped in yet, it's never too late to join out beta group!

Why Vision is More Important that Strategy (Michael Hyatt) Envision what you want to achieve.

11 FAQ about Royalties, Advances, and Making Money (Writer Unboxed)

10 Ways to Harness Fear and Fuel Your Writing (Writers' Digest)

8 Ways to Harness Creativity (The Creativity Post)

7 Erroneous Reasons Writers Avoid Using Editors (Sticking to the Story)

6 Ways to Reboot Your Writing Routine (Writers' Digest)

6 Reasons to Write a Fast First Draft (W.I.P. It)

4 Ways to Recycle Dusty Manuscripts (Julie Musil)

The Significance of Settings (Between the Margins) Bee Mindful

Research vs. Observation (Writer Unboxed) By THE Donald (Maass)

Hippocratic Oath for Revisions (Rebecca Behrens) First do no harm

Query Writing as a Plotting Tool (The Other Side of the Story)

Q & A with Judy Blum (Smithsonian Magazine) Writer must identify with her characters

The 1st Thing You Do When You Sit Down at a Computer (Seth Godin) Lay tracks to accomplish goals

A Peek Behind the Publishing Curtain (Veronica Roth)

Excellent Roundup of Book Marketing Tips from the Web (Book Marketing Experts)

Coincidence in Fiction (The Editor's Blog) Destroys the suspension of disbelief

Connecting Opposite Turning Points p. 1 (The Sharp Angle) Structure - excellent post

Connecting Opposite Turning Points p. 2 (The Sharp Angle)

How Should Writers Research? (Jody Hedlund) All at once, or as needed?

Some Truths About Publishing That Aren't True Anymore (The Passive Voice)

First or Third POV? (How to Plan, Write, and Develop a Book)

How "Literary" and "Entrepreneur" are Becoming Entwined (Jane Friedman)

A Singularly Unpopular View of Adverbs (Writer Unboxed)

Your Dialog Can Do More (TalkToYoUniverse)

Now go make the most of your day and write!