Tuesday, January 29, 2013

2013: The Year of Pluckiness by Lisa J. Lickel


Lisa J, Lickel
I don’t have much adversity in my life, at least not compared to others, and my success is in the eye of the beholder. So what can I pass on to you, other writers, about this topic?

Pluckiness!

Plucky means being:
Brave
Courageous
and practicing
Determination in the face of Superior Odds

Adversity also comes in small packages. It’s not losing a loved one to a dreaded illness or accident, or being let go from your job, and being diagnosed with a horrible disease; sometimes it’s succumbing to a bout of depression, or getting into a situation that’s beyond your capability, or having the power go out when you’ve written the most beautiful chapter and the cloud sucks it away to la-la land forever where you hope God enjoys it because He’s the only one who will get to read it now. It’s spilling milk on your keyboard—at work—and forgetting how to spell American because you’ve been reading those British books again. It’s getting one more denial from an agent who can’t put her finger on why she doesn’t want you (your work, but really, we all know it’s us), or watching your sales figure plummet on Amazon.

Brave Writers get out of bed in the morning.
That’s a euphemism for facing the day, dividing the moments up into the chunks necessary to get the most work done, and jumping into it. Brave Writers Write. Sometimes it doesn’t matter what, if you’re lost or stuck or fed up with your current project; we just start writing something else. We blog, we toot someone else’s horn, we read, we write a note to someone we’re following…goodness, we might even pick up a pen and handwrite, using that lost art of cursive, a letter to put in the mailbox. We could do a character sketch of a plucky person.

Courageous Writers learn something new every week, if not every day.
One of my goals this year is to learn to market in at least two new ways. I’m told that if I practice something long enough it becomes a habit. If I work on these marketing ways, it’ll become a habit, and often that’s enough to get me out of a rut that’s failing and onto a path toward success. I will find new publishers, I will meet new people, I will write something that makes someone else drool or cry, I will learn not to mix modifiers, and I will discover the best place to start and end my story.

Determined Writers keep pitching, because they can only say no.
They can’t say yes unless you ask, right? Okay, I have an agent—at least at this moment I do—but that doesn’t mean I roll over and play dead. I go to conferences, I ask my agent for advice about the best person to pitch to and how to do that; I look at newer publishers and point them out to others; I take a chance with working with a friend to co-author a book and see where it gets us; I keep writing new samples of work—a theme, a plot, characters and synopsis—in hopes of successfully pitching the idea to my agent and then to a publisher. Writers are Determined to meet publisher’s and reader’s needs.

Plucky ain’t just a spaghetti western female character looking off in the distance, y’all! Plucky is you and me, and we can get the job done, even if it’s not the same one we started.
About the Author
Meow Mayhem by Lisa J. Lickel
Award-winning author Lisa Lickel started writing professionally in 2004 after finishing the Christian Writers Guild apprentice course. She welcomes several more traditionally published novels this year, starting with Meow Mayhem from Whimsical Publications in January, another cozy mystery set in Illinois and challenges Ivy and True to discover what’s rotten in Apple Grove; the much anticipated re-release of Healing Grace, a story about love and sacrifice and the gifts of the Spirit; and book three of the Buried Treasure cozy mysteries sometime in the fall, The Newspaper Code, where Judy Wingate and her not-BFF, newspaper reporter Olivia Hargrove, solve a murder. She is editor-in-chief of Wisconsin Writers Association’s Creative Wisconsin literary magazine, collects dragons, loves to travel and people watch. Find out more at http://www.LisaLickel.com.


24 comments:

  1. Great post, Lisa. Thanks for the encouragement. I'm determined to be "plucky" today! :-)

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    1. Thank you, Dora. Like love, pluckiness is an action, not a feeling. :)

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  2. So encouraging, Lisa! Thanks so much for challenging us to be brave. Sometimes my writing day reminds me of a scene from The Wizard of Oz:

    Cowardly Lion: All right, I'll go in there for Dorothy. Wicked Witch or no Wicked Witch, guards or no guards, I'll tear them apart. I may not come out alive, but I'm going in there. There's only one thing I want you fellows to do.

    Tin Woodsman, Scarecrow: What's that?

    Cowardly Lion: Talk me out of it!

    Thanks for showing us how to be a Brave Lion, Lisa!

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    1. And believe it or not, I needed the push today too. My goodness this is such an amazing business.

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    2. Thanks for the great encouragement, Lisa!

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    3. Hi, Davalyn! I'm glad you stopped by.

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  3. Yes! Yes! Yes! Stress is stress - and sometimes little things can take the wind out of our sails. And when a Plucky writer looks off into the distance -she's often mulling another story or plot twist or wrestling with the next scene. I thank God for your pluckiness. Oh and I love the line about learning how to spell American again.! Ha! Writing both Regency and Contemporary it can be a challenge to keep my languages straight from spelling to actual words!

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    1. Hey, sweet thing...I realize I should have written American English...oy. I love my Scottish editor at Muse! We have fun discussion about articles and commas and extra "u"s.

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  4. Hi! I could identify with so much of this. I've tried all morning to get some answers and just finally wrote my publisher. (Now, why didn't I figure that out in the first place?) I don't know if you could call me brave or courageous or just plain crazy right now. :o) Thanks for the encouraging post.

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    1. Hi, Lou Ann - thanks for you. I'm the least brave person out there. Sometimes it's just acting.

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  5. Wonderful words of encouragement Lisa. I entitled this year "Move", subtitled "Discipline" - when that is too much I'll remember the Siamese Twin Plucky. Thanks.

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  6. How awesome, and informative, too! It's nice to "hear" words of encouragement from another writer. And while I'm only doing a blog, it's still writing and I still procrastinate... waaaayy too much! Thanks for you!

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    1. A will and a way are two separate ideas. :) But I appreciate the notes of encouragement you send me. "Only" a blog is very cool.

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  7. Thanks for the encouraging words, Lisa. I'm inspired to be brave, courageous and determined. It helps that you and other writers I know set a good example.

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    1. I think I suck up and live off your enthusiasm, Lori. Can't wait for the next lunch.

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  8. Plucky is a great word. You are in the trenches now and have earned the right to be known as plucky, etc. Those of us still in the daydream world of writing can only imagine how we'll handle the painful, fickle world of publishing. Thanks for this view from the front lines.

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    1. Fickle is right...But you are doing so well so far. I'm really proud of you.

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  9. Ah, yes—"Pluck!" A great word to describe you, Lisa, and a word that I need to batten down my own hatches against those thoughts that say "You know, you really are in over your head. You really can't do this." I will STAND and be PLUCKY!!! :)

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    1. People will know who's the plucky one when your future books come out, my friend.

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  10. You, Lisa, I believe, were meant to write this. What a buoyant post! I'm getting off to such a slooooow start this morning. This may do more for me than my cup of joe.
    Good pluck to you~
    Naomi

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    1. Thanks, Naomi...who'd a guessed I was sitting here with tears before I turned on the computer? Releasing a new novel is so tense I just had a hard time dealing with it, and had forgotten about this post. I needed me.

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  11. Trying to be plucky, myself. I have been outlining story ideas on my cell phone on breaks at work. Good post, Lisa!

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  12. Thank you, Ann - I learned plucky from you!

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  13. Cute post. And I can hardly wait to read your book. :-)

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