Sink or Swim Decisions

HCRWThis Saturday, I’ll be at the Heart of Carolina presenting Pitch Practice for Nationals with the fabulous Jenna Black.  I can’t wait.  😀  I love helping people with their pitches.  I can tell by the first few lines whether a pitch is going to interest me or not and it has nothing to do with whether I read in your genre or not.  I’m planning to have a blast with this in terms of what NOT to do when you’re pitching.  😈 

If you’ve been keeping track, last December I had decided not to renew my RWA membership.  I had lost interest and didn’t see the point in sticking around.  Not to mention, my planned pregnancy took precedence over everything else in life, including my writing luxuries.

By October 2008, the programming staff had already had me on the roster for this year.  I don’t know what possessed them to think of me as a good pitch person because I hadn’t requested it.  Nonetheless, I’m flattered they had chosen me to present.  The best thing about that is I get paid.  Did you hear that?  I get PAID!  And it just so happens that it’ll cover my RWA renewalfees quite nicely.  🙂  Oh, and I get to see a bunch of my writerly friends again whom I miss very much.  Woohoooooo!

With the cash (or check), I’ve decided to renew my membership.  However, there will be some changes.   For starters, I’m not rejoining any other chapters.  I’m letting those things sink because I’m tired of swimming with them.  Not to mention 75% of the posts are either either about someone’s promo.  Uh, what happened to conversations about writing?  Either way, by putting them at arm’s length, I’ll be saving myself an additional $100 and a hell of a lot of drama.

So that’s one of the most recent decisions I’ve made regarding my writing career.  Have you made any recent changes or decisions with yours?


10 thoughts on “Sink or Swim Decisions

  1. Very cool about being part of the pitch practice! That sounds like fun. I pitched on Saturday. Before I went in, I was talking to the women outside, and one of them said she gave her elevator pitch first. So when I talked to the editor, I asked if she wanted to hear my elevator pitch. She said yes, and I gave it to her. Then she wanted to hear more.

    I think my pitch would’ve been fine without it, but during the editor/agent talk, they mentioned they liked a strong one- or two-line description that pops for promotional purposes. My elevator pitch pops, so it didn’t hurt.

    Yay, you, for being in demand! I wish I could be there.

    • Way to go with the elevator pitch, Edie! I used to have the hardest time with making the elevator pitch pop. I’m sure you had no problem with it, hon. You’re like Ms. Pitch Extraordinaire. 😉

  2. First of all, I’m sooooo proud of you. It is so refreshing to see how much you’ve grown since I first started reading your blog. And that makes me feel great because of the old “She did it and so can I!” thing.

    Now, decisions, decisions, decisions… My head has been a mess lately when it comes to writing decisions. The first one I had to made was to stop spending so much time writing about um… what I just wrote. Now, I’m just posting a weekly summary of how things are going and using my time to work on short stories for contests.

    The next was a writing/living decision. I have been struggling trying to figure out how to find common grounds between two topics I absolutely love: Eclectic spirituality and urban fantasy/paranormal romance. I think I found it via my other blog Pagan Culture, where I’ll soon start posting about the Paganism in fiction–I’m excited!

    I’m still dealing with the fact of having two blogs: one about writing and one about spirituality, but a girl can only do so much deciding. I hope to find a way to combine the two, but I don’t see how… (yet)

    • Thanks, Magaly. 😀

      Way to go with putting your writing time where it belongs. Blogging is fun, but only when you make it fun. Treating it like a chore will only wear it out. That’s why I had made the decision a long time ago to blog when I feel like it and not to a schedule. Like you, I’d rather spend that time writing.

      I think what you’re doing right now with both blogs is fine. Don’t worry about blogging everyday. Just post when you have something to say. And the good thing about having two blogs is that you can always steer traffic over to the other one and count it as blogging on both. That’s what I do whenever I blog on Shapeshifter Romance. Assuming I can remember the redirect post. 😉

  3. Marcia, I’d love to have you in my bull-pen. Pitching is scary. The one time I attended a “pitch-session” it turned into an argument over G.M.C. (I stayed out of it – my gut telling me it was a no-win situation.) That was the beginning of my turn-off of RWA (it was a local chapter). Since what I write doesn’t follow the romance rules, and the local chapter was all about “rules,” I had to run…I mean, leave, eventually letting my RWA membership lapse.

    Yet, I can’t blame the local chapter. I ran into the same sort of thing when I belonged to various chapter loops, especially the one for romantic elements, which I had hoped would be a fit. It was the same as the regular romance chapters. People arguing over G.M.C., the right and wrong of queries, what to where at Nationals – next to nothing about writing.

    I don’t usually envy anyone – but in your case, I’ll make an exception. I wish that somewhere nearby I could find a LIVE group of writers – the “live” having more than one meaning. 🙂

    • Oh, Kath. That’s so sweet! *kisses* I wish you were closer, too, hon. If nothing else, we could form our own “live” group. 😈

      Kath, you hit on one thing I don’t like about pitching. GMCs are hard enough, but I think everyone makes more out of them than what they should. They aren’t that hard to figure out if you *know* your story and your characters. The best time to put it together is after you’ve gone through a couple of revisions.

      With stuff like that going on, I don’t blame you for leaving. I would’ve done the same thing and have. I left because there wasn’t anything RWA was offering me that was new and the loops seemed to be crowded with the same questions from three months prior. That’s why I’m not reupping with any of them other than my local chapter. I don’t need/want any extra drama in my life. I can do drama on my own. 😆

  4. Oh have fun coaching pitches! And with Jenna? I’m jealous!

    I am also weighing the merits of the many chapters (particularly online chapters) I belong to. My inbox crawled to 1k unread messages earlier this week–and that is with me auto deleting most things that say promo, blog, review, or sale. Once in a blue moon I pick up something cool on one of the loops (some more than others) and I’ve met some cool people through them, but I rarely join in discussions anymore. As someone else mentioned, topics tend to repeat. Next renewal time, I will have to make some decisions.

    • I soooooo agree with you. The only “sales” I like these days are first sales because authors are so enthusiastic about it. I love to see that. The rest I can do without it. The only blogs I care about are those that belong to my friends or if they have something to do with industry news. That’s it. Personally, I think promo should either be limited to one day per week or banned entirely from writer’s groups. Reviews don’t mean anything to me because I judge a book by its synopsis. Not to mention, there are so many review sites out there that if someone is looking for something specific, they can find it without cluttering up the loop.

      Sometimes, silence is golden. Sadly, the only way to make that happen is to make decisions. Since leaving RWA and finding other “free” writer’s groups, I haven’t missed the chapter loops at all. At least I don’t pay out of pocket for that clutter.

  5. My goodness, we sure are staying busy in the writing world. (So proud, So proud!)

    I am loving Unstable Environment. (almost finished) I am looking forward to reading the next book.

    As far as blogging goes, I’m not blogging unless I have something to say.
    I’ve set a goal of blogging once a week.

    I haven’t joined RWA but, like you, I have joined a couple of free writers groups and I’m currently trying to find a crit partner/group.

    • Thanks, hon! Fingers crossed you like Seduction on the Prowl, too. 😉

      Blogging is a huge time sink. While it’s great to establish a connection and get your name out there, you don’t want it to take from your writing time either. After all, writers (the ones I know of) aren’t paid to blog. They’re paid to write. Or at least, their writing will pay off. Their blogging? Not so much.

      And after today’s meeting, I’ve come to realize that having a writer’s group is awsome. Some can manage just fine without and that’s fantastic, too. I find having those connections, as long as they’re managed carefully, doesn’t have to become a time sink. It can become a career investment.

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