On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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Location: Denver, United States

RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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Monday, March 19, 2007

Dewy Eyed Writer

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketWhen I joined my first critique group, I was awed and a little scared of my friend, Sharon Mignerey's, knowledge of publishing. She knew the market for her work. She knew the markets for ALL our work -- those ten or so of us who showed up at that new critique group. She knew the publishers, she knew agents, she knew the names of editors...

And I didn't want to be like that. I wanted to concentrate on my writing and not think about the publishing side of things. Never think of the publishing side of things.

Sometimes my work had a lot of problems, so I hooked up with a writing buddy BEFORE we went to critique so we would run our work past each other before taking it to the full group. I still miss her, she dropped out of writing after a couple of years.

I thought writing was fun.

I thought I'd be an exception to the rules and get published quickly and for lots of money.

Guess what. I now know quite a bit about publishing. I know markets, and editors and agents and more, I know about promotion. I still would rather be stuck in an ivory tower, producing and NOT knowing about this...but the knowledge came relatively painlessly, and I don't mind talking about it, as you can tell.

I don't polish my work with someone else before I take it to critique group -- though sometimes I should. I have a tougher skin.

It took me a long time to publish, and though my career is relatively strong, I haven't exactly zoomed to the top of the lists. Thanks to my savings I am a full time writer for a while.

I learned in the first year with that old critique buddy of mine, when I'd written a wonderful scene and met her early for a breakfast meeting (at that time I was still a night owl) and she said, "This is a wonderful scene but it doesn't belong in the book." Like, three hours to write the scene and it doesn't belong? Writing is WORK.

I guess I miss who I was, but I'm also proud of who I am. I took a quiz over the weekend that asked me about my job satisfaction. I hate the tight deadline I'm currently under, but I still love writing.

So I'm an old pro by now, but I also fantasize writing one book a year with incredibly tight plot, fabulous characters and lyrical prose (thus taking the whole year) and getting paid megabucks. So, some mornings I guess I am still a dewy eyed writer.

May you be proud of your writing today.


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