Sunday, February 7, 2010

Leapin' lizards...

I have a solution to my self-sabotage but I'm still undecided whether I'm going to sabotage the solution. Besides resisting finishing the WIP to avoid the attendant frustrations of trying to get it published, there is also the undeniable fact that finishing it will require some effort on my part. However I believe the key to overcoming the self-sabotage is to take advantage of a friend's kind invitation to participate in an authors collective. This involves hanging out with a bunch of other authors at a neutral (for me) location with no house work or other distractions. If I use my laptop I won't be writing blog posts, facebook entries or checking my e-mails a thousand times a minute because its a hassle to do on the lappy. I'll have other authors standing over me expecting me to do some work. This could get results and I'm hoping to give it a go this week. I'll let you know whether its a success or not...

I received my first posting for my university paper today. Anything over an inch fat is a little scary. This package is in the two inch zone. Leapin' lizards! I know I do this to myself and it is completely voluntary and on some level I love doing it (and this year its studing children's lit looking at story and meaning in myths, legends and folktales which rocks) but there is also an element of masochism. But hey - I can look on the bright side - its another distraction :)

My juicy link for today is over at one of my fave blogs - Help I need a Publisher . Today Ms Morgan has herself linked to another post on querying, but rather than giving advice on how to write a query itself (something we haven't really yet needed to do in NZ) the discussion is on what you should be querying and it makes some very good points which Ms Morgan goes on to further expand on. These are good things to know, especially if you are as yet unpublished. I don't think all the advice should be applied wholesale to all writers, but the underlying message about 'how' you choose what to send in and that 'holding back' is most often the right move makes sense. Put yourself in the agents/publishers shoes - piquing their interest is better than overwhelming them with a deluge of material. And always put your best foot forward...


SF said...

I am curious about the need to query or not in NZ, which I suppose would be a similar case in Australia.
A lot of the UK and US sites and blogs I read focus on finding an agent, but I've always been told not to bother trying to get an agent until you're published.
How does it work in NZ?

Melinda Szymanik said...

Hi SF - most publishers (of children's fic) here accept submissions directly from writers (only Scholastic doesn't). We have very few agents in NZ. Further down the track I am interested in querying for an overseas agent to sell my work outside NZ but if you want to try NZ publishers you can just write them direct.

Fifi Colston said...

what a good idea- let me know what day it is so I can unplug my broadband too and quit facebooking long enough to write something! I'll write in a different city but with the same dedication x

Old Kitty said...


Oh I hope being in the author's collective works for you!

It sounds like a really good idea - nothing like peer-pressure and expectations to get one focused.

Good luck and I look forward to reading all about it.

And Nicola Morgan's piece about "querying" is wonderful as always. She really doesn't pull her punches and that why we love her!

Take care

TK Roxborogh said...

For a couple of years, G. Brassie, Brigid Lowry and myself would arrive at Fleur's house for an extended weekend. We would sit around reading (and commenting) on each other's work and write and eat chocolate and drink wine (sometimes). It was during these sessions that the following were born or crafted: Fat Like Me, Third Degree, (mine), New Song in the Land, Juno of Taris, A Respectable Girl,The Transformation of Minna Hargreaves (Fleur), Paper Chase (Gretchen), 'With Lots of love Georgia (Brigid).

We all long to do it again but live such busy lives (though I am lucky enough to truck up to Fleur's on a regular basis to whip current novel into shape.)


BTW this is the first time I've ventured into blogsphere since my self imposed exile. xxx