Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Sparks From Other Writers Will Light Your Fire, Baby!


Oops, I forgot today is my day to blog. Sorry it's late. I didn't sleep last night because I didn't feel well and my littlest didn't feel good either, so we were up commiserating together. After I got four of the five off to school this morning, I went back to my bed and crashed until Noon. So this just proved to me that having a DH who works at home has its advantages. I didn't hear a peep out of them for three hours!

At last night's MWVRWA meeting, Lisa Pullium did a fabulous presentation on Promotion and Marketing. Go Lisa! Her handout is great and I'm excited for a time when I'll actually be ready to use the information she gave us and get my books out into the world for people to read.

It's fun to attend our chapter's monthly meeting and catch up on what everyone's doing, see their progression and renew your own writing spirit by feeding off of the enthusiasm of the group.

I've been thinking about this lately and it's become obvious to me that when I stay in touch with other writers who are passionate and excited everyday to get up and write, I end up catching some of the sparks they emit and it helps me to ignite my own fire so I can get and stay excited about my own writing. When I hide in my cave at home and don't participate in dialogue with other writers, I really fall behind and get out of the writing frame of mind.

So, what are some things we can do to keep in touch with one another in-between our monthly meeting to keep our momentum going in the "write" direction?

My list would include the following...

1. This Blog

2. Instant Messaging

3. Read the Loop emails

4. Email your chapter mates a few times a week for brainstorming help and pep talks

5. Go on-line and read other writer's blogs and websites

This is just a small list that popped into my head.

For me personally, I have to stay in touch with the writing world or I too easily let it slip away. Yeah, I'm easily side-tracked. :)

Do you use any of these methods to help keep yourself focused, or do have your own way of staying in tune with your writing without hanging out in the world of fellow writers? Share your ideas with us!

Happy Writing!


Alice Sharpe said...

Piper -- I wondered who slept in!

Neat blog and I guess I use most of the methods you mentioned. IM really helps brainstorming and lends motivation. The blog is always informative (and when I don't agree with someone's idea, it actually spurs me into thinking more than when I do agree. Dissension is not a bad thing.) I have a couple of buddies inside this loop and outside of it who help me when I get overwhelmed or discouraged, people who will laugh with with me and give me a kick and just as importantly, people who also need me to help them.

People, people who need people
are the luckiest people in the world... ahem.

My needs are different than yours but it doesn't matter. It's like going to the store looking for red shoes, searching ten stores, finding the shoes, getting home and realizing white shoes would be better. You have to go back to every single store because you weren't LOOKING for white shoes before, you were looking for red.

Like that. Kind of.

Maybe I'd better go back to work....

Paty Jager said...

And you all look at me like I'm crazy when I drive three hours to attend a two hour meeting! It's the energy you writers emit and the knowledge I come home with that keeps me driving over that mountain and attending the meetings.

I'm always thinking on the way home about what was said, or what someone is working on. And the energy I get from all of you is what gets me out of bed the next morning and hitting the keyboard.

I like to answer e-mails and check blogs first thing in the morning to kind of get my brain and fingers working. Then I move into writing. And that little bit of routine seems to work well for me.

And I do like to keep in contact with other writers through blogs and e-mail and IM. I IM my friend, CP and Editor nearly every day. She says she needs her daily Paty Fix, LOL. And I've been trying to go to the Petticoats and Pistols blog site which is all western romance authors, writers and readers every day, but I don't always make it. Because they talk my language!

But yeah, I think to be productive as a writer you need the influence of other writers to pat you on the back and help with brainstorming and the ups and downs of this business.

Great Blog, Piper!

Karen Duvall said...

Good blog, Piper! Made me really think about this. Since I'm unable to attend the MWVRWA monthly meetings, I have to find other ways to connect with writer pals near and far. I very rarely visit author blogs, but I'm always checking out the industry blogs of editors and agents. My critique group is a constant source of support and inspiration and we're in touch almost daily. I also have my RMFW loop and RMFW published author loop, which is always active and lots of fun. For my face-to-face writer's fix, I have a couple of writer friends here in Bend who I have coffee with on the weekends once or twice a month. So there ya go! I never, ever feel alone in my writing endeavors. There's always someone, or several someones, to help me along the way.

Lisa Pulliam said...

Thanks Piper!! :) I had a great time talking to everyone!

I love your ideas about keeping in touch. Those are what I usually try to do as well, when things are working anyway...I notice that if I'm out of the loop from talking to people, I just start distancing from writing as a whole. When I am talking with you all regularly I'm much happier and writing is much more in the forefront of my mind.

wavybrains said...

Great post Piper! It was great seeing everyone last night!

All of the things you mentioned help me get the spark. The blog is awesome for that.

The one thing you didn't mention is reading/discussing great books. This often will give me a kick-start when nothing else will. And when you discover a fellow writer who is a fan of the same stories as you, you can spend hours dissecting them!

Anonymous said...


I love your "Dissension is not a bad thing." because I've done this all my life.

Thanks for singing the song, People. LOL, that was great! I also love Barbara Streisand's music. I used to stand on top of our family coffee table, curling iron in hand, and belt out Babb's songs for my neighborhood friends. Hmm... wonder if that's why none of them kept in touch. LOL Or maybe it was the Bee Gee's songs that ran them off...

I always appreciate your replies because you have a lot of wisdom to pull from. Thanks for always sharing it. Goodness knows I need all the advice and teachings I can get. And don't worry, you always make sense. :)

Anonymous said...

Paty -

I so envy your drive time, (sometimes) because it would be awesome to have that time to reflect. I need a tractor! LOL

Anonymous said...

Karen -

You are so far away but still so productive and involved. Great example of how it can be done with effort. It's cool that you have so many places to pull from and friends all throughout the Rockies to support you. :)

Anonymous said...

Lisa -

Yeah, you did rock Lisa. I loved it! Such great enthusiasm pouring out from you!

I totally understand where you're coming from about being in the loop and staying in the writing mode, but letting it slide and it starts to fade. I'm just going to keep smacking myself so I won't get out of touch. LOL

Elisabeth Naughton said...

All the things you mentioned, Piper. IM, email, conferences, getting together with other writers, weeend retreats...all those things keep me focused and on track. I don't visit the loops like I used to, but I do have a handful of blogs I read when I have time and I keep up to date with my close writing friends. I honestly don't know what I'd do without IM.

Anonymous said...


Yeah, I didn't think about that one, but you're right, a good discussion of a great book does help. Good thinking!

Now, go for a jog. I don't wanna see or hear from you until you've popped. LOL, kidding, I'm sorry you're still preggers, but soon! Really, it WILL happen.

Take good care of yourself and know that my prayers for a safe delivery are with you and baby. Oh, and Freak too. :) Even though it's his fault that your knocked-up! Ugh! MEN! LOL

Anonymous said...


Oh yeah, weekend retreats are the BEST! I always come away renewed and excited. Well, a bit tired too, but pumped!

Anonymous said...

Okay, I admit it...I'm a lurker and a who is poking her nose out for a minute to ask a question. What in the world is IM? I've come up with a few possibilities but fear I may be a tag off.
Imaginary Muppet (That just doesn't Make sense.)
Imaginary Meetings
Inspirational Moments
Insane Mentors
Irregular Movements (Take that either way.)
Isolated Memories
You don't learn if you don't ask.

lori said...

I can see my name didn't show up. I should have checked preview first. Maybe I've got it figured out now.

Anonymous said...

Lori --

"IM" simply means -- Instant Message, or Instant Messaging. Like Yahoo Messenger, AOL Instant Messenger, ICQ. Just to name a few.

I personally use a piece of software called Adium that lets me use all of the messaging services with one piece of software so I don't have to install all of them separately.

You can sign up with one of these messaging services to Instant Message with your friends and family. It's a lot better than waiting for an email sometimes because you get instant answers. And we all love instant gratification in this day and age, right? LOL

Hope this makes more sense now. (Lori's rolling her eyes and thinking... Yeah, Piper, clear as mud.)

So, just which Lori the Lurker are you anyway? LOL

Glad you spoke up and asked. For me, no question is ever a bad or stupid one. I am so lost in this world, sometimes that I think they should train "Life Guide" dogs to get people like me, "brain challenged", through to the end. :)

Pop in to the blog any time; always feel welcome and free to speak your mind or ask questions!

We love new voices on this blog!

Karen Duvall said...

Lori, I have IM (Instant Messaging) on both my computers but have never used it because I don't know how. 8^(


Lori Barber said...

Piper - Thanks so much for the answer. My mind went totally blank. It all made perfect sense, especially since I have IM on my laptop and sometimes chat with my son in much fun.

Karen - If my husband hadn't set IM up for me on my laptop I wouldn't know how either.


Lori Barber said...

How come my name comes out in black. Have I been black-balled?


Anonymous said...

Oh, it's you Lori! I thought maybe it was! :)

I believe the reason your name is black is because you don't actually have a blog account to link to, so it's not showing up as linkable. This is my guess. But, maybe someone who's super-duper computer smart has a better answer.

And NO! We'd never let you be black-balled. We're nice on this blog. LOL

It's so great to have you posting comments! Don't go away!

Anonymous said...


You need to go sign up for an AIM account, then download Adium (great for Macs) then put your AIM information into Adium, and then all your friend's IMing information into Adium and Adium will handle the rest for you. You just have to open up Adium after that and your contacts that have accepted will be able to chat with you. Easy, huh? If you have any more questions, just email me. :)

Paty Jager said...

Yeah, Lori! Good to see you here! You know if you let me know what you are IMing through and give me your addy we wouldn't have to send six messages a day back and forth. hint hint :)

Lori Barber said...

Paty - Since we're on dial-up I'm rarely on-line for very long. I don't get on line and stay on line. But we could email each other to get online to IM, especially when we have writing questions and such. Still sounds like a bit of a pain. We use jabber, aol or skype. My husband is feeding me this info...and it all sounds greek to me. I'll have him show me how to connect to these IM's.

Anonymous said...


Skype is totally cool! And free!

And I'm stunned that you have dial-up. That's like living in the days of the horse and buggy my dear. You really need to get broadband. Desperately. Once you do, you'll not believe you were able to live without it. Trust me.

Genene said...

Hey, Piper!

Glad I'm not the only one who forgets my day to blog. You pulled this one off beautifully! And for a moment I had the sinking feeling that this Thursday was my day to blog and I forgot again, but I did it last week. Whey!

Guess I'm going to be the odd duck here. I need the fix of our chapter meetings, but I rarely read blogs except for ours (and this one only 2-3 times a week). I don't use IM. However, I do check e-mail pretty much daily, though sometimes it's just skimming for anything I need to deal with ASAP. I try to do these things quickly or it's too easy to spend an hour or more that could be spent writing. However, I've been "slacking" the last couple days trying to catch up on e-mails and such. Yet already another story is nagging at me.

Guess for me it's getting in the habit of writing that helps too.

Good blog!

I hope you're feeling better.

Lori Barber said...

Piper - Apparently, we live in a hole. They don't offer DSL or broadband in our area and have no intentions of adding it. We've all complained to no avail.


Anonymous said...

Hey Lori,

That's criminal of them!

Have you looked into getting satellite? We had to do that for a while until the ALL CONTROLLING phone company finally installed the lines for broadband. With my DH's business, we need a fast connection.

I feel for you girl. ;)

Anonymous said...

Genene --

Quack! Quack! You odd little duck, you! LOL

You're one of those people that get millions of things done a day and still find the drive and ambition to write. That's awesome! I admire your fortitude. Truly. You're such a giving and loving person. :)