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On June 16th, the Many Shades blog will be closed.
The authors thank you for your readership and hope you will come visit them at their personal sites via the links to the left.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sunday, Sunday

Well another month has come and gone. This started me thinking about what I wanted to write. It was a toss-up of the fun (said with tongue in cheek) of foreclosed house hunting I had with my daughter and soon to be son-in-law last week or should I go more prophetic. Prophetic being put myself out on a limb; tell you all my hopes and dreams for this year in regards to forwarding my writing career.

What’s that you say, talk about the goals? Ok, you win. That’s what I’ll write for this week. Some of you know me very well; others are still getting to know me. My interview will post in a few weeks on The Many Shades so you can know even more. (Could be scary!)

I have been a writer all my life. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have a pen, pencil or keyboard in my hand. My first sale in 1995 was to a children’s magazine for a craft project creating Potato Jewelry. After that came fiction and nonfiction magazine length sales. Then I started writing books. To date I have published 5 romance novels with 3 publishers. But along the way, I also found myself time after time raising my hand to volunteer for my local RWA chapter, the Greater Detroit RWA. Now I’m not saying that’s a bad thing by any stretch. GDRWA has afforded me many opportunities I could never have come up with on my own. For the last 11 out of 14 years I have served in one capacity or another on the board of my local RWA Chapter.

While am I telling you all this? Because last year I was seated at dinner next to an agent we had flown in to speak to our chapter and the subject of how much I did for the chapter came up, along with the amount of time I spent. She said “Oh, you’re a career volunteer.” Now to her credit she didn’t mean it in a bad way. It was just her way of saying what I subconsciously already knew. I would do anything for my chapter. Always have, always will. But it got me thinking and her words have never left my mind. I don’t want to be known as a ‘career volunteer’. I want to be known as a writer. Preferably a best selling author if truth be told.

The more I have thought about that over the past months, the more it has gotten under my skin. This year is my last year on the local board. Other than the fact that a volunteer can’t serve more than a 2 year term with 1 year odd between terms, it’s time for me to vacate the seat and get on with my writing career.

Now that being said, I sold those 5 novels while on the GDRWA board. I wrote and also sold 2 of those novels while going through cancer and chemo. I am productive. Just not enough. Right now too many other things tug at me, pulling me in different directions. Directions that eat away at the time I have available to write.

Smack me now if I am sounding like a petulant child. But I’m ready for some ME, ME, ME writing time. You all know we can’t get there without it. So in the past few weeks, I have made some new goals for myself. I have joined a critique group with two fabulous women. They are both skilled authors in their own rights. I’ve scaled back on other activities in order to bring my writing to the forefront, and I have AJ Llewellyn to thank for providing me with the opportunity to have an appointment with a Life Coach for this coming Monday. I have my list of things ready to talk about with her and the areas I want to focus on to make myself more productive in my quest.

In one of my President’s Column for the Greater Detroit RWA chapter, I stated my goal is to be New York published by September of 2009. That’s a lofty goal on my part, but one I plan to keep. As soon as I type ‘THE END’ on my single title work in progress, I am off on an agent search. And then I will immediately start on the next book so the voices in my head will shut up. (G)

So here I am publicly airing my goals and hoping you will all remind me of them from time to time, rein me back in when I am flitting all over the place, and share with me your own goals for this year.

Till next week, Patti

5 comments:

Erin Sinclair said...

Excellent Patti! ME time isn't a bad thing. After all, if you don't nourish yourself you will not have the strength to deal with life's demands incluidng those things most important to you. Go for it! I've been wanting a life coach ever since I participated in a seminar given by Cheryl Richardson, she was awesome! Good luck!
Erin

Stephani hecht said...

You will have to let me know how the coaching session goes. Oh by the way, does the ice cream run we took yesterday count as Me time? LOL

Patti Shenberger said...

Erin, thanks for the kind words. I really hope to get alot out of my session with the life coach. I've heard of Cheryl Richardson. All good things.

Patti Shenberger said...

Stephani, I'm thinking yes to the ice cream run. It was a guilty pleasure and totally worth it.

Lynn Crain said...

Geez...a kindred spirit!

I started our chapter, then served as president for a few years, then went on to serve on the national board. I had to regroup because of my mother being ill and did nothing with RWA for a while.

Then I started with an online writing group which basically had me in the hot seat doing much of what I'd done for RWA in the past.

This year I am conference chair and president. It will be my last year as well volunteering.

And that's okay. Voluteering has a way of jump starting ones career, no matter what someone says, they will remember they sat next to you. I still have friends from my time on the RWA national board and while don't use those contacts a lot, I do ask their opinion because they were there the years I weren't.

Whether you are a career volunteer or not, you can always learn or get something from the experience.

Lynn

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