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Come Ask Your Questions

Monday, July 5, 2010

In the last post, Krista Phillips asked a great question: “How do you market yourself without making the eyes of those around you roll?” I usually try to respond to anyone who asks a question, but Krista’s question is so good, it deserves a post of its own at some point. (Thanks, Krista!)

Her question made me realize I really love the way comments and questions make me think. I learn so much from reading your comments—that’s one of the greatest benefits of blogging. The comments have a way of taking us deeper with the topic than the original post.

In light of the long 4th of July holiday weekend, I’d originally planned to take a break from posting today. But after Krista’s question, I decided I’d really like to hear more. So, I’m opening up the comments to your questions.

Feel free to ask anything. It doesn’t have to be about me or my publishing journey. It can be anything you’ve been wondering about writing, marketing, social media, or publishing in general. I’d love to know the kinds of questions you’re struggling with most, the issues closest to your heart right now.

I won’t be responding to the questions within the comments this time. Instead, I’ll store them away for future posts and try to answer them that way. But remember, since I’m no expert, you’ll only get my lovely opinions on the matters!

I also wanted to take just a quick minute to say THANK YOU to ALL my blog readers. (And a very big thank you to my critique partner, Keli Gwyn, for the lovely gift pictured above!) If I haven’t had the chance to personally connect with you yet, the best place to do that is on Twitter. Send me a tweet. I’d love to say hi! (Or if you’re not on Twitter, stop by my Facebook page and say howdy.)

I don’t have the chance to say thank you often enough. But I want you to know, it’s because of you that blogging is such a pleasure.

So, fire away with your questions. What are you most curious about? What kinds of burdens are you shouldering? What’s been hardest for you lately? What bothers you most in the publishing industry? Anything more you’d like know about my publishing journey?

*Come back Wednesday when I’ll share how I find plot ideas, and Friday for how I organize all those ideas into a novel.

33 comments:

  1. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

    Hi.

    ~ Wendy

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  2. What do you do when your writing routine gets disrupted? How do you get yourself back on track? I'm struggling with the changes that the summer schedule has introduced and am curious how others adjust.

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  3. Is it enough to call yourself a writer when you do it only for self satisfaction and the pleasure of sharing it with others?

    Or are you only a writer if you are published and won contests?

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  4. How do you find time to write with so many little darlin's running around your house (I'm trying to figure this out with just ONE!) :)

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  5. Hmmm, I know I have questions but right now my brain is fuzzy. I'll keep this in mind though...
    And thank you! You know you're a part of this wonderful blogging community and you bless others just as much as you feel blessed!

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  6. I have that Willow Tree figurine, too. A friend bought it for me when I returned to school for my degree several years ago.

    I'm trying to create more of an online presence with limited time--Twitter, Facebook, building up my blog followers and blogging on a regular basis. I'm using time I have to write to interact with others...I need to find a nice balance.

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  7. To Jaime: I have 4 children, and they either keep each other entertained such that they don't bother me when I need to finish something, or they come by my desk one by one because they all seem to need me right that minute. The point is, though, that they often take care of each other.

    When you only have one (and yes I remember the days when I did), you are it for that child--no siblings for her (or him) to play with, dad's at work--so, no respite for you at all. But that partnership between you and your one child will pass away too quickly, so enjoy its beauty.

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  8. How long did it take you between starting to write The Preacher's Bride and querying it? I know you went through a professional editor, but I'm interested in your timetable for your first one.

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  9. How important do you think Twitter is for writers? I just have never gotten the hang of it. Seems to me you have to spend so much time on the computer watching the tweets and seeing if one has something you need to know.
    Karen

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  10. I'm stuck on my revision. I need a revision class or something, to find my way through this! What are some revision tips you'd like to share or point to?

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  11. I love reading historical fiction, but it’s not something I write or even thought to write. Did you naturally fall into this genre? Do you write other genres as well?

    And how do you come up with all these great blog topics!

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  12. Your posts always reflect your loving heart, Jody, and your words bless us as readers. I wonder if, when you first began writing, you intended your novels to be a form of Christian outreach, or were you simply satisfying a desire to tell a good story?

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  13. LOL! I started to read this and rub my hands together.... then I find out you're solicitating more questions, LOL! :-) I'm sure I have plenty but I'm on vacation today and have taken a VOW TO NOT THINK about ANYTHING too important today:-)

    I'll be inquisitive again tomorrow!

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  14. Great idea! You are always so "available" to us, Jody. I know before I pop over here that I am going to learn something useful or be encouraged in a powerful way. Thanks so much for all you do for the rest of us! :-)

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  15. You've mentioned you wrote several novels before beginning the querying process. What about those first novels told you that they were just "practice?" I've recently written my first novel and have sent several thousand words to a freelance editor just to get a professional's view on how far I am from being any good. Did you do something similar or was it just a gut feeling that you needed to grow?

    Now you're writing something all new. Any chance those early novels can be salvaged? I'm just trying to wrap my head around the idea of investing so much time and energy into something and then putting it aside.

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  16. *sigh* I just wrote a totally long comment and it disappeared on me. Take two;

    I'd love to hear about how it is working with an agent, especially one as awesome as Rachelle.

    Does blogging ever become a grind?

    I'm a homeschooler as well and I'd love to compare your writing schedule to mine when it comes to school days.

    How do you think you'll react when you see your novel on the shelf in the bookstore? Fall on your knees? Bawl like a baby? Shake all surrounding unsuspecting customers? I really want to know!!!

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  17. You have a way of answering questions before they're asked! But here's mine: how did you know your ms was ready before querying? And how many rejections did you receive before you signed on with Rachelle? (maybe you've answered this before?)

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  18. How important is blogging for someone who isn't yet published? I think I'm spending more time on blogging than I am on writing my novel. Am I putting the cart before the horse when I blog before my book is finished?

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  19. As another commenter put, you're always so open to answering questions it's been a real treat see your journey with publishing. Thanks so much for allowing us this glimpse.

    Which method do you prefer writing the "first draft" longhand or typing?

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  20. Will you ever try to resurrect the works that got rejected?

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  21. I'm dying to know how you keep up with it all. Home schooling, writing, blogging, normal motherly duties... I'm struggling with it all, and I leave the teaching to the schools. You amaze me!

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  22. Hi, Jody. I just had my first face to face meeting with Bethany, at ICRS. The first since they offered me a contract.

    They were so nice, so SMART, so interesting to listen to. I loved it.

    I heard you're new there so I'm going to read for a while and try to pay attention so I'll know what to expect...think of yourself as my 'canary in the mineshaft'. :)

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  23. Questions to ask... you've opened a big hole full of work for yourself. Just kidding, but I do have a question.
    When I first started looking for agents, I couldn't believe how many wanted my book, and that I would be able to choose. But now that the first book of the series is completed, and out there with my agent, looking for publishers, I feel like I've hit a stone wall.
    My agent keeps telling me that this is the slow part, but I was wondering if you as a fellow writer would be able to set my mind at ease to whether that means I have written a book which is rubbish, or I just have to be more patient as my agent has suggested?

    Sorry if I sound like I'm complaining, it''s just that I've been following a few blog sites on the topic of agents, and just started to wonder.

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  24. Hi Jody -

    I own several Willow Tree figurines. The one sitting on my desk is, "Wisdom, A lifelong love of learning." It's a little girl reading a book.

    At this point, I'm content to read your answers to all these great questions.

    Blessings,
    Susan :)

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  25. These are great questions, so like Susan, I am looking forward to the answers. I appreciate all you do here and in the blogging world, thanks! Did I mention that I can't wait to read your book? :)
    Blessings,
    Karen

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  27. Hi Jody...My question is how does blogging or online interactions help writers who write for children, or who write MG/Chapter/Picture books or books for early readers. How do these writers connect with their readers, who will be in school.

    http://rachnachhabria.blogspot.com/2010/07/what-has-my-writing-taught-me.html

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  28. How kind of you, Jody! You already answer so many of my questions in your posts, but I would like to know...

    When I met Rachelle Gardener at the WTP conference last June, I mentioned your name. She said, "She is such a great writer!" What did you do to make it to the place where a top agent would say that about you? What steps did you take?

    Thanks and love you,
    Jen

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  29. I love to write, but my grammar...ehhh...lets just say I won't be getting a contract any time soon?

    Are there any courses online, (free or inexpensive-I don't have a lot of money in my Writing Expenses envelope) I'm in serious need of some refreshers.

    I looked online, I know all the parts of speech but I have trouble distinguishing between certain things...when I see a word used to describe a certain part of the English language, I don't know what in the heck it is, until I see them...then I'm like..oh!
    That's a gerund (spelling?)!
    lol

    How do you keep on top of all the rules in the English lanugage?!

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  30. Wow! You've been pummeled enough.
    I'll enjoy reading the answers, which covered my questions.

    Blessings, dear one!
    Patti

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  31. I don't have a question right now, but want to thank you for this amazing blog. I learn something every time I come here, not just about writing, but about life and love and being as well.

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  33. Useful article. I am writing my third novel as the earlier two head to that stage. I tried to rewrite the second one but could not concentrate. It was very difficult for me to unmake my creation. This was like making a new house. This realization egged me to start a third one.

    I queried widely (both) simultaneously but responses were identical, the same copy paste formal rejection. No agent as you know even decides to change even a word of her or his rejection letter. This kind of rejection frustrated me and recently i have decided to stop querying.

    Sorry, i am passionate about my creation and it is not easy to unmake those unpublishable theme. In future i can think on writing fresh novel on those themes than salvage those. Better i would like to think them as practice papers.

    Nevertheless, you have written a very good article. Thanks

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