Thursday, August 28, 2014

Change...It's Never Easy by Dora Hiers

Two years ago, several of my author friends were announcing multi-book contracts. I was thrilled for them, but my inner voice mocked. "You'll never get one of those. You can't plot."

Sure, I'd managed to crank out five romances, but I’d written all of them in advance, and Pelican Book Group individually contracted and published them. That meant writing the entire story, submitting it, and then waiting, praying and hoping for a contract. I dreamed of snagging a contract for a series that I hadn't written yet...to know that the story I was laboring over would have a home when I finished. But, in order for that to happen, I needed to force myself to learn how to plot, so that I could submit a proposal based on a synopsis for three stories not yet written.

My neighbors probably heard me ranting and thrashing about my office, banging my head against my desk and threatening to toss my laptop out the window. But, I was determined to stick with it. 

Change...it's never easy, is it?

You can read my tips on how I made the transition here and how I organized myself here. Trust me when I say there was plenty of weeping and pulling hair involved, especially when I plunged into simultaneously plotting out five books, two independents and three for a series.

I dug my heels in and refused to surrender. Eighteen months later, I had five completed books…all contracted on proposal!

Want the secret? I'll share. 

Motivation. I wanted it. Big time. There's nothing more motivating to me than thinking I can't do something. Anybody else feel that way? So, unless you find a reason to change, you will keep doing things the same way. Have you noticed how that harbors discontent, sparks envy?

Take the first step. Change isn't even remotely possible until you take the first step. What's holding you back? Fear? Doubt? Why? You're a writer, aren't you? Every day I write I face my fears. Whether that's public speaking, writing curriculum for an online class, navigating the murky world of social media...whatever. God's got your back. Move forward in boldness. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. ~Phil 4:13, NKJV

Be willing to adjust your course. Just as a ship adjusts its course for winds/storms/tide, I had to make some modifications along the way. I found that by the time I'd reached the fifth book, my skeletal plot needed a few tweaks, but that's OK because the original story line was strong. Multitaskers probably wouldn't have a problem with tackling five books, but for my single track mind, three is the max. Also, sometimes hubby would throw in traveling to a conference that wasn't planned or I'd be called upon to pick up a sick grandchild, so rather than continually adjust my completion date, I set a daily word count goal that took this into consideration. 

Pray without ceasing. A no-brainer. :)

Change is never easy...but it's possible. With a little faith and a good bit of persistence, you'll be amazed at what you can accomplish.

“If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten.” ~Anthony Robbins

Do you embrace change or despise it?
What aspect of your writing style would you change?

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Purchase Link
A Routine Audit? Hardly.
Red flags—including some goon who's following her—raise McKinley Frasier's suspicions that numbers don't add up at the insurance firm. When someone tries to snatch McKinley's daughter from school, she turns to police officer and ex-fiance, Renner Crossman—the cop who walked out on her a month before their wedding. But Renner's not the same guy who broke her heart ten years ago. He calls himself a "new man." She trusts the new Renner with her daughter's safety...but what about her heart?

Dora Hiers is a multi-published author of Heart Racing, God-Gracing romances. She’s a member of RWA, ACFW, and the Treasurer for ACFW-Charlotte Chapter. Connect with her here on Seriously Write, her personal blogTwitterFacebook or Pinterest.

16 comments:

  1. Ugh! I'm tired after reading about all that work! I'm not always good with change, but life is filled with it, isn't it? My routine is so ingrained that it's hard for me to interrupt it sometimes, even for something good.

    Congrats on your contracts!!

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    1. I hear ya, Sandy! I'm a routine gal myself, but I'm married to a hero who embraces change and loves to shake (read: hurl) me out of my comfort zone. lol. Thanks for popping in today!

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  2. My toes are hurting, too, Sandy! Great tips for wanting to reach that goal, Dora! And yes, congratulations on the contracts! Yay, Dora!

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  3. Interesting post, I enjoyed it. How do you plot out books when you are a pantser? I usually have a general idea of my plot, but I also let it go where it wants to go. Congrats!

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    1. Hey, Karen. So glad you enjoyed this post. I pretty much planted myself in front of my laptop and forced myself to conform. This post outlines how I made the transition > http://dorahiers.blogspot.com/2012/09/can-pantser-evolve-into-plotter.html
      But, yeah, it's agonizingly tough when your natural inclination is pantsing. :)

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  4. Congratulations, Dora, for making your dream come true! I just finished Small Town Treasure and can't wait for more!

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    1. Speaking of dreams, you are cranking 'em out, Tanya!! So glad you enjoyed Small Town Treasure. Gotta love those firefighter heroes. :D

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  5. LOL--you know how I feel about plotting, my dear friend!!! Yes, I've had to grind out at least minimal synopses in order to sell a series on proposal. Oh, the head-banging!!!

    And now, with the possibility of switching publishers, I really have to buckle down. Working now on three chapters AND a full synopsis of the first book in a new series plus semi-fleshed-out descriptions for books 2 and 3.

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    1. Oh yeah, you writer "in the mist." Love that phrase.
      Sounds like you may be transitioning into a full-blown plotter soon. lol. Can't wait to hear all about this...

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  6. Dora -I absolutely loved this post! I think the Good Lord had you write it just for me. I went back and read the two previous posts you referenced. Exactly what the book doctor ordered. I've been struggling with my writing and plotting has been my main issue. Thank you so much!

    Change is never easy and I know I'll have a tough time sticking to my daily word goal, but I'm choosing to believe I can do it. Can you tell I'm trying to motivate myself? LOL

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    1. Half the battle is believing in yourself. I KNOW you can do this, Terri! :)

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  7. And Dora, MAJOR congrats on the contract!

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  8. Great post, Dora! Dreams can be so motivating! Congratulations on those contracts! :D

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    1. Thank you, Annette, and congratulations on yours! :)

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