Tag: blogs


My Well Runneth Dry

 More than 300,000. That’s how many new titles were published in the U.S. in 2013, according to UNESCO figures reported in Wikipedia. Add in all titles published in a year and the number doubles or triples. That’s a lot of books competing for readers’ attention. Authors have to create ways to gain notice. In this modern, social media-connected world blogs, newsletters, and Facebook pages have become standard ways to build a platform to attract readers. Posts and newsletters, brief pieces offering readers writerly advice, funny or poignant stories about the writing life, and insights into how one’s work speaks to the human condition, come out more frequently than novels or short stories. They require frequent trips to the creative well. Once in a while, the well runs dry. An idea for a blog post hits you then you remember you used the idea six months ago. You stare at the blank newsletter template and realize you have no news. You’ve already described your writing process, your inspirations, your journey to publication, your tips for completing a first draft. You’ve got nothing but a deadline. What do you do? The blog has to be posted, the newsletter mailed. A goats in sweaters video or cute cat photos won’t cut it. You pick up your pen or pull your laptop closer and borrow a page from Seinfeld; you write about nothing. Or you find an idea you’ve used in the past and rewrite it until you’ve said something new. You keep going, writing about nothing or reworking old news, until you’ve got a few hundred (possibly rambling) words that you didn’t have before. If you’re lucky, you’ll figure out how to tie what you’ve written to a picture of a goat in a sweater. How do you overcome a shortage of new ideas when confronted with a looming deadline?

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Who are we?

The Miss Demeanors have a new look on our web site.  I love it. It seems mysterious, glamorous and maybe a little dangerous. Sort of like Myrna Loy. None of those words actually describe me, but a person can dream! Anyway, thinking about that made me wonder how my fellow Miss Dismeanors would describe themselves and our group. We’re all mystery writers. We’re all represented by the fabulous Paula Munier. But we’re all quite different too. We write different types of mysteries, for example. We’re living different sorts of lives. So what one word describes us?Here are the answers I received: Alexia: Cool. Women writing crime. What’s cooler than that? Cate:Brave. There is an honesty in fiction, a need for the writer to lay bare her true impressions and observations about human nature from beneath the thin veil of character. Putting yourself out there demands a certain amount of chutzpah. Michele:Dynamic. I am amazed at how much living my fellow Miss Demeanors crowd into life. They are either scooting off to Switzerland, Ireland, or New Orleans, or they are launching new books, even while they raise kids, work as physicians, writing teachers, etc. There is an energy beaming within and radiating from my blog mates. I admit when I’m feeling a tad depleted, I’ll go back to some earlier posts to borrow a little of their energy.  Paula:Persistent. Not a very glamorous trait, but one of the most important if you want to succeed as a writer, or as anything else. Publishing can be a tough business, and the bar is high, and the road to success can be long, but all of us have endured. We’ve learned that the “write, revise, repeat” mantra is the only one that really works. We keep on writing and revising and repeating. We persist. And so we publish.  Robin:Paula beat me to the first word that came to mind. The hazard of being in the latest time zone of the team 🙂 So I’ll say diverse. While we’re all women who write crime fiction, each of us incorporate our unique views and life experiences across multiple subgenres in fun and different ways.  Tracee:Engaged. With everything… their writing, families, blog colleagues, and other members of the writing community. And they still have time for friends, church, teaching, politics….oh, and yes, day jobs. What I admire is how each part of their lives gets the full focus when on deck.  I’ll round if off by saying “friends,” because I think that’s what we’ve become along this journey.How about you? What word one describes yourself?       

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