Once Upon a Time…

Recently I was chatting with a friend who told me she is on a vacation from writing and… before I go on I want to say something else here

(YUP! Writing ADD strikes again)

Isn’t it funny how often we writers leave it at “a friend”?

I have discovered that “a friend” is usually code for someone who has some pretty incredible news they aren’t ready to share with the rest of the world yet. Every so often it is really code for – they are telling us something deep & dark about themself and it’s not something they may ever be comfortable sharing with the world.

And I say writers but I’m certain we’re not the only ones who do that.

Anyway, so I was chatting with my friend and it struck me as so odd when she mentioned she was on a vacation from writing. Which made me think – how does a writer take a vacation from who they are?

However, like everything else in life, it makes perfect sense really. Like snowflakes, no two people are exactly alike. That means in everything, including why they do something and how they do that something.

Years ago I made some decisions about my life and how I was living it.

In my bio, I mention that I’ve been writing since I was very young. Well that is true.

But…for a very long time, after high school and divorce and doctors telling me I couldn’t have children… the voices went away. For a long time, I couldn’t write anything.

In the years since my AMAZING son was born (clearly God had other plans!), I have finally come back to the place where those stories showed themselves to me again.

So I wrote a book and then I wrote another book and then I queried agents. And then I cried because every single one said “No Thank You” or just “No” and even in some cases just ”      ”

But I kept writing and I finally realized that God had a plan for my writing. I just wasn’t listening. HE has a plan and it is going to be so much better than absolutely anything I can think of so I am now editing my third book (1st in a new series) and waiting for God to show me His plan!

And who knows… maybe some day I will get to the point when I relish a vacation from writing. But I doubt it. Because now that I finally have that part of me back, I feel whole again. I feel real again. I feel sane again (that probably sounds odd since I’ve already admitted that I hear voices).

And I hope that I never lose that part of me again.

And whether I ever get published, self-publish or just write for me and my family and friends – I am beyond overjoyed to have what I like to think of as my connection with Heaven working again!

GOD BLESS and Good Day!

©Rachel L. Miller 2014

On Conference and NOT finishing Camp NaNo…

Irony that this article is coming out so soon after my quippy post about ADD and writers.

No – I did not finish Camp NaNoWriMo. No – I did not get to the word count on my story that I set for myself as my goal for the end of July. No – I still have not finished filling in holes on that particular story.

Yes – I went to a conference at the end of July. No – that is NOT the whole reason I did not finish Camp NaNo.

I did not finish editing and I did not reach my word count goal mostly because I spent those two weeks deleting more out of the story than I put back in.

And trust me when I tell you that what was deleted, NEEDED TO GO! Remember that I wrote “A Mother For Leah during NaNoWriMo last November. It was a struggle to even get to 50,000 words in that month… but I did. And I had more than a few unnecessary words in that document.

Fast forward to March of this year – I started editing, polishing, refining – and it took a LOT of work to get to where it was by April, when I put it aside to prepare for my first conference.I was confident that it was good enough to give the first three chapters to someone but it was far from done.

Fast forward again to May, when I had to put it aside again in order to pack and then move to Nashville.

June was spent mostly unpacking, settling in and trying to figure out how to find the most basic places near us – places like Starbucks, Lifeway and Barnes & Noble!

Then came July and, though I was late to the party, I joined Camp NaNoWriMo and got serious about my editing again!

And then I deleted… and deleted… and deleted some more. And I have taken out easily twice what I’ve put back in.

Yes – it is a tiny bit disheartening. Yes it is frustrating. Yes I am ready to scream at times.

BUT…

I AM NOT DONE! I am not quitting! And I am not going to let anything stop me from finishing this book! And then going on to the next!

So, I return once again to editing and I am going to make a conscious effort to stop complaining about how much I delete because – like I said – it NEEDED TO GO!

 

Good Day and God Bless!

©Rachel L. Miller 2014

Progress in my first week…

Here is the folly of Camp NaNoWriMo… I am editing – not just writing.

When I put in my starting word count, the NaNo meter went wild. It was like it could not believe I had gotten THAT many words already. And that was great – a WONDERFUL feeling! But… in the week since, my word count has jumped slightly and then inched and then stopped – as I have actually subtracted words at this point. 

As happens with editing.

Some days you add 500 words and don’t subtract any. Some days you add 300 and take away 250. Some days you add 10 and delete 400. Some days you simply read through and do absolutely nothing. Hey! It happens. I KNOW I can’t be the only one who actually writes some parts perfectly the first time.

But what do you do when you are revising and you actually subtract more than you put in? Do you just leave your word count where it is or do you correct it and cry as you do and your little line goes down and the computer goes… HEY WAIT! What are you doing!

Well I chose to leave it… it has to go back up at some point – right?

 

Anyway that has been my first week in Camp. I wrote. I edited. I deleted some words. I added others. I laughed. I sat and stared at the computer with a weird look on my face. And I drank more coffee in one week than I have in the past month. Oh yeah… and we held our first meeting of the NaNoWriMo Inspirational Authors group at a local Starbucks and we’ve planned our next one – this time at a local Barnes & Noble.

Now I’m off to week 2! FUN!

 

 

© Rachel L. Miller 2014

Yes I did… I joined CAMP NaNoWriMo!

Participant 2014 - Facebook Cover

I have struggled on and off for months now – working laboriously over my manuscript (MS) – “A Mother For Leah”, putting it away when inspiration flees, going back to it and editing mercilessly only to find myself putting it away again.

And I finally said… ENOUGH!

I do believe that this is a look at how I will handle a deadline.

Meaning: if there is no deadline in sight, I will procrastinate and fiddle around and generally not get much work done. But if there is a deadline, I will feel properly motivated to get going and work work work!

Clearly I needed the motivation…

Yesterday I added 517 words to my MS and edit 8 pages! I haven’t done that in weeks!

So here’s hoping I can have the same success every night in the remaining two weeks of Camp NaNoWriMo! If I do, I may just go OVER my goal of 70,000 words!

Secretly I really wanted 75,000 – I was just afraid to make that my goal because it seems like I delete 100 words for every 200 I add…

If anyone is interested in watching my progress there, click on this LINK. Otherwise, keep watching here because I plan to chronicle my journey for you!

On to that goal of 70,000 words!

 

Maybe I’ll even get to 75,000…

 

Blessings!

~ Rachel

 

 

©Rachel L Miller 2014

IS AMISH FICTION BEING USED AS A STEPPING STONE?

Amish Fiction

Recently I posted the following comment on my Facebook author page:

I’ve noticed a trend lately among authors of Amish fiction and it’s had me worried… But I’m beginning to realize that those worries are a bit off-base.

Authors of Amish fiction are not migrating to other genres because Amish fiction is losing traction.

They’ve used Amish fiction to break into the world of published authors because it is extremely popular and now that their foot is in the door, they are moving on to the genres they are truly interested in writing.

I find this unbearably sad. This genre is a comfort to my world-weary soul and I can not imagine a more tremendous blessing than sharing it with others.

I have noticed this as a growing trend. Many of the authors whose books I LOVE have left the world of Amish fiction to explore other genres.

And initially… I panicked. I’m writing Amish fiction. What will happen if it’s popularity is on a decline?

After much thought and exploration, I realize – it is not on a decline. Keep reading…

We can take this mass exodus two ways.

1 – Coincidentally, every single on of these authors is moving on to another genre after releasing 3, 4 or 5 books because they’ve run out of steam in this genre or their interests have genuinely changed (who am I to judge…)

2 – They’ve used the Amish fiction genre (which is tremendously popular at this moment) as a stepping stone to get their name out there and their foot in the door(s) of the publishers.

And I am quite certain that, for at least a few, it is the first option. Not every author… but most of them, at some point in their career, changes genres – or at least steps into another genre and gives it a try.

But as many as there are rushing to other genres as soon as they have a hit or two… No, I smell a rat.

I’m guessing that at least 3/4 of them are simply using a popular genre as a springboard for their career.

And that is tragic.

I know what you’re thinking…

Why can’t I just shut up and enjoy? Why can’t I take advantage of what’s there and be thankful?

Because it seems more like disrespect to me than simple misuse.

And I know I am NOT alone in feeling that way. Every person who gets attached to a specific writer, becomes attached to that writer’s work to the point that they want to read every single thing they write – feels the same as I do.

And when that writer leaves us behind and moves on to a different genre, especially one that we would never ever read, we feel betrayed and heart-broken.

Don’t they realize what this does to their readers?

Don’t they realize, that they can write in that other genre and build up a whole new fan base there while still keeping their other fans happy?

If they would just release a book now and then that we can enjoy too…

To be fair, a few of them do. But not enough. And not enough of them give us a whole novel every now and then. They write a short story for a novella collection or they offer an eBook novella once every couple of years.

I guess it’s my own fault for being so adamantly attached to this new genre I’ve discovered that is always clean and decent. It’s a difficult thing to find in this modern age of media – even among “Christian” fiction, which is more often lately referred to as “Inspirational” fiction.

Just like how much it bugs me that authors who write such wonderful inspiring stories spend their time reading and watching and posting about such un-inspiring things.

But that’s a whole different argument.

 

© Rachel L. Miller 2014