Tag Archives: CareerAdvice

Amanda Rescued My Writing Career – Here’s How

Amanda Rescued My Writing Career, but before that was necessary, I would wake up in the morning with an itch to get back to whatever story I was working on at the time. I carried my writing notebook with me everywhere. I even took longer subway routes so I would have more scribbling opportunities between stops. Then, I put my writing notebook aside and hardly remembered where it was.

Before Amanda rescued my writing career, I was despondent. One of my very best friends, my devotion to telling stories, was losing her life right in front of me and I had no idea what to do to save her. Thank heaven I did have enough mind presence left to realize I needed help from an expert and got in touch with a motivational coach. Maybe a professional mojo locator could relocate mine.

To tell you the whole truth, I didn’t really believe it would work. I figured she’d assign me some intriguing creativity exercises. I would complete the exercises, because I’ve always been the kind of student who does the assignment. But, in the end, my motivation to write would continue to be disappeared.

Then we sat down to talk and her first question was this, “Would you mind telling me about your heroine?”

My response was to stare, probably slack-jawed. In the interests of full disclosure yet again, I must admit to you that I had barely thought about Amanda in weeks. FYI – Amanda is the main character of A Time of Fear & Loving – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Book 5.

Amanda is a widow,” I began, because I needed to say something. Then, I caught myself. I had to qualify that statement. “But she’s tired of being thought of as a widow. She’s ready to come back to life.”

“What kind of life does she want to have now?” Ms. Motivator asked.

I hesitated for a moment before it hit me. I knew the answer to that question as well as I know my own name.

“It’s what she doesn’t want that matters most to her. She doesn’t want to be taken for granted as the always-dependable Miller sister any longer. She wants to break out and become somebody even she doesn’t expect herself to be.”

FYI once more – Amanda’s family owns Miller’s Inn in Riverton NY, and she has two sisters, Bethany and Patrice. We’ve already heard Bethany’s story in Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Book 3 – A Vacancy at the Inn.

I didn’t hesitate again. Detail after detail tumbled out of me, including some I hadn’t previously imagined. There were murders, even a possible kidnapping. I write Romantic Suspense after all. There was Amanda, of course, and Mike and Willow and Justin and the entire Book 5 gang. Every one of them had returned to life demanding that their story must be told.

Meanwhile, most magically, my love of writing had returned with them, and that is how Amanda Rescued My Writing Career.

Alice Orr – http://www.aliceorrbooks.com/

– R|R

Read Amanda’s story – A Time of Fear & Loving – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Book 5. Available HERE. You can find all of Alice’s books HERE.

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Going to Ground

Question: Where have you been Alice?

Answer: There are times we cannot – and should not – work or write.

Animal in burrow imageWith animals we call it going to ground. They burrow in somewhere out of the flow of their usual lives to rest and heal because rest and healing are required. People go to ground too. We also experience times when recuperation – physical and mental and spiritual – is more crucial than work. Even more crucial than our precious writing work.

This has happened recently to two writer friends and myself for different reasons. I’ll begin with the stories of my writer friends.

In Elizabeth Meyette’s Blog she recently wrote. “I have abandoned the manuscript I’ve been working on for over a year. Making the decision to abandon my draft came after much soul-searching and feedback…” Loss takes us to ground. Elizabeth’s words are a gracious understatement of what she’s lost.

All of us who write understand this. We live with our stories as close companions that preoccupy our hearts and minds and reside in our souls. For a writer the loss of a story is almost as deeply felt as the death of a friend. Mourning is required when we’re forced to set aside such a relationship.

The places within Elizabeth – or any of us – once occupied by that story must refill and come back to life. Until then healing and loving self-care are needed. My hope is that one day her story will return more rich and full than ever and more rewarding too.

My other friend is also a talented writer. Irene Peterson has interrupted her work while she devotes her efforts to someone else. My favorite book by Irene is Glory Days. My favorite aspect of Irene is her giving heart.

She has slowed her writing roll to become caretaker to her husband who suffered a serious injury. How many of us have been halted by similar commitments to help others in our lives? Whether it is for partners or children or aging parents or friends. We recognize the need and sacrifice our time and our energy and our work as Irene has done.

My personal work obstacle is more mundane than Elizabeth’s or Irene’s. I caught a cold that progressed to laryngitis and a wracking cough which won’t let me sleep at night. Medications fog my brain. For days turning to weeks I’ve gone to ground. My comeback is on its way but in the meantime healing is my priority.

Whether the healing is our own or someone else’s we must make room for it to happen until our bodies and our lives return to us the capacity for working and writing again. Until we’re able to emerge into the light of the page once more. I wish us all Godspeed with that.

Alice Orr – http://www.aliceorrbooks.com.

RR

A Wrong Way Home – Book 1 of my Riverton Road Romantic Suspense series – is a FREE eBook at Amazon and other online retailers. All of my books are available at My Amazon Author Page.

Let’s All Be Free at Last – Ask Alice Saturday

Celebration image 5Question: It’s Independence Day. What do you want to be free of as a writer?

Answer: I wish for myself and all of my writer friends to free ourselves from the tyranny of our expectations.

I launched a book several days ago. Yet my celebration of that accomplishment is shadowed by my disappointment with myself. What did I not do well enough? What did I do too much?

I’m not saying a thorough debrief isn’t called for at the end of any major undertaking. Of course we should evaluate. Of course we should learn from our mistakes.

What I am saying is this. I find myself and too many other writers failing to congratulate our achievements. Failing to say – “I did that just right.” Or even – “I did that just right enough.”

Someone else had to remind me. “Look how far you’ve come in the past year. Look how much you’ve learned.” Typically I responded with a litany of my sins of omission. The things I’d left undone.

I was altogether wrong in that. A backward glance was in order. As I have absolutely no doubt it is also in order for you. Where were you a year ago today? Where was your career twelve months in the past?

Stop a moment right now. Take out a piece of paper and a pen. Cast yourself back a year. Ask yourself this question. “A year ago what were the 3 things I most wanted to accomplish in my writing career?”

Don’t overthink it. Let your first 3 thoughts be your best 3 thoughts. Write each down and leave a generous space blank after it. Put the paper aside and come back here with me for a bit.

In my opinion the worst of our sins of omission is committed when we fail to relish our experience. Stop another moment now and consider what it is we do. We set down words in a configuration that is brand new. Entirely our own creation.

We invent stories. We articulate thoughts. We build pictures from syllables. And if we are doing these precious activities as we should – we enjoy most of it.

This is a gift we’ve been given. A gift worthy of recognition and reveling. When we fail to do so we’ve fallen victim to the tyranny of our own expectations. We have forgotten to honor what we did accomplish by wallowing in what we haven’t yet accomplished.

Return to the piece of paper and your 3 hopeful ambitions for the year just past. After each one record every step you’ve taken along the path to that goal. The short steps – the long strides – the hops and hobbles in between. I’ll do it with you.

Fill the blank spaces. Carry onto the back of the page and across the desk and up the wall. Crowding the room with a record of our writerly deeds. We’ll read them over. Recognize and revel. Then we will have triumphed over tyranny and be free at last. Happy Independence Day.

RR

My current novel is A Year of Summer Shadows – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book 2 – available in eBook and paperback at amazon.com/author/aliceorr and other outlets online. A Wrong Way Home – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book 1 – the eBook – will be free for download soon at those same outlets. These are my 12th and 13th novels and I set myself free at last to honor them both. Alice Orr – www.aliceorrbooks.com.