Friday, February 4, 2011

Lessons Learned

I made a boo-boo in my scheduling. This blog was supposed appear yesterday but instead I managed to post it for March 3. Oh well, better late than never.

January flew by for me. “Flawless” was released by The Wild Rose Press on January 5, so I’ve been busy writing posts for guest blogs and lining up different places to promote the book. In December I completed work on another novella, called “The Girl Most Likely” which I also submitted to The Wild Rose Press. I heard back just after Christmas that it wasn’t accepted, but it wasn’t outright rejected either. The editor gave me the opportunity to revise and resubmit by February 1. So I spent most of January doing just that. I had wanted to start a new project for Book in a Week (BIAW), the event my writing group, the Saskatchewan Romance Writers, holds every January, but with all the revising and blogging, it just didn’t happen. 
It’s been a whirlwind, exhausting month, and I’ve just now come up for air. I discovered that while I was in the trenches writing, my house went to hell-in-a-handbasket in the clean department. When I’m done writing this, I’m going to clean toilets.
But I learned a few things over this busy month that I hope to carry with me for a long time to come. Here’s Jana’s lessons learned in January ’11:
  1. There’s always Plan B – I was disappointed that I never got to start a new project during my writing group’s BIAW this January. But I’ve already decided to clear the decks for a week in March to have my own little Book in a Week retreat. I’m excited about it already!
  2. I need to take care of myself – One of my worries this past month was getting sick with the flu like so many of my colleagues and friends have this winter. I didn’t have time to be sick! So I tried to look after myself. I washed my hands—a lot. Though tempted, I rarely stayed up late, even on weekends. I started taking a multi-vitamin and I’m really trying to watch what I eat (with varying degrees of success). I walk the dog every day and I didn't miss a Pilates or yoga class in January. I managed to stay flu-free through January. Hopefully, the rest of my winter will be healthy, too.
  3. Develop a can-do attitude – Though it was daunting, and a little disheartening, to be faced with major rewrites, I tried to approach them with the attitude of making my work better. Being angry about my near-rejection wouldn’t make the writing go any better, and giving up wasn’t an option if I wanted any hope of a sale. So I tried to take the editor’s comments to heart and told myself ‘I can do it’. I got a major boost from Janet’s Journal and a link that she posted there for a blog by Roxanne St. Clair entitled “No Excuses”.
  4. Stop and smell the flowers – I am very lucky to have the opportunity to do what I love to do. Writing takes an enormous amount of time and effort. If my husband didn’t support me, both financially and emotionally, I couldn’t do this. If I didn’t have writing friends and other friends who supported me, I couldn’t do this. I have my health; the recent health problems of a couple of my friends has taught me how precious a gift it is. I have to remember to be thankful for everything I’ve been given, even when the writing gets tough. When I get bitchy because a scene isn’t working right, or somebody gets a contract and I didn’t, or another writer is making better sales than I am, I hope I can remember that in the vast scheme of things, I’m doing okay.
  So what did you learn over the month of January 2011? What are you most grateful for?

I hope you can join me on Monday when I'll be blogging at fellow "Jewels of the Night" author Laverne Clark's blog. I'll be talking about my experience writing "Flawless" and what it's like to write for a series.


  1. Thanks, Jana! I really needed to see your checklist today!

  2. Hi Joanne,
    Sometimes I just have to stop and remind myself how much I have and how lucky I am. I can be a real whiner sometimes.

    Have a great day,

  3. Wow, for one month, those are some amazing lessons learned, Jana. Congrats - and it looks like 2011 will be a fabulous year judging by January's checklist :)