Thursday, August 26, 2010

FAQ - Distractions and Submissions

Q: How do you deal with distractions when you're writing?
A: Oh, boy, I'm not sure I've got a good answer for this. I'm surrounded by distractions and to some extent they feed my creativity. In summertime, the distractions are many and pressing and it's hard to get a lot done when the garden is demanding my attention.  I don't have the luxury of someone to cook and clean (though my husband helps out here) so that I can do nothing but write.  And, frankly, I'm not sure I'd want to spend all my waking hours writing.


The best I can say is that I attempt to find some chunks of time -- usually late at night because I am not good at getting up before daybreak -- and make the most of that time.  Generally, once I'm well into my story, I don't want to stop.


The  internet, of course, is another distraction, right there at your fingertips, even late at night.  One could and probably should, turn off email and stay away from Facebook, Mr. Google, and blogging.  This is a whole separate class of distractions which I think I'll talk about in another post.
 Q: How are manuscripts submitted anymore? Surely not on paper?
A: If you are submitting to an agent, you find out what their preference is. Ditto, an editor or publisher.

My first 3 or 4 books were submitted as printed out manuscripts and a disk copy.  Recently I've emailed the whole thing as an attachment and the publisher has printed it out for my editor and then the copy editor to make their marks on.

I think a lot of people still prefer the hard copy -- it's up to you to make sure you're doing your submission in the preferred form.



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19 comments:

Star said...

I know what you mean by distractions feeding the story. When I was in Tennessee recently, I discovered mimosa trees and looked up all about them. I was delighted to find that they are called 'the sleeping tree' because of their heady perfume. I loved that idea and immediately wove it in to a story - soon to be published on here. Writing needs stimulation and stimulation comes from all directions.
Loved your photos, especially the door with the wreath on it and the beautiful butterfly.
Blessings, Star

Martin H. said...

I'm really enjoying these insights, Vicki. And I'm particularly looking forward to your post on the distractions of blogging, etc. When I started, a friend told me it could be addictive. I dismissed his suggestion at the time. But now........

Marilyn said...

This is such an interesting post, a wee glimpse in to your life as a writer. Yes blogging can take time! Your photos are lovely.

Reader Wil said...

Thank you for sharing an important part of your daily life. Sometimes daily routine works inspiring, for while doing the washing up, the vacuum cleaning and other boring stuff, your mind starts having a life of its own and you are going to have new ideas.I am often talking to myself, silly enough! Anyway.....Your photos are so lovely! And thanks for your visist!

Miss_Yves said...

"I'm surrounded by distractions and to some extent they feed my creativity."

What a great and sympathetic point of view!
You are'nt a writer fond of loneliness, always in her "tour d'ivoire"
Beautiful photos !

Pat in east TN said...

Very interesting reading how you deal with day to day life and writing. Beautiful morning glories on the porch railing.

Brian Miller said...

managing distractions...yeah i could use some help with that one...but i do agree that many things we see as distractions can enhance what we are writing....

My Carolina Kitchen said...

Ah distractions. There seem to be more and more things to distract us today. Life has become much more complicated than even five years ago for me.

I agree with Martin. I'm enjoy these insights too. I hope you'll continue them.
Sam

Joan said...

Such an interesting post Vicki. When I started a blog I had no idea what it would lead to..and how addictive it is..but when it leads to wonderful people on the other side of the world..who do all manner of wonderful things..how inspiring is that! It is midnight and I'm just home from bookclub..must go to bed!

NCmountainwoman said...

I do so admire the creativity of writers and often wonder how they go about the business of doing their work.

While I wrote extensively in my career, my writing was always factual educational material. Always with a deadline for publication. There was no room for personal reflection or creative writing. Maybe that's why I have a blog...to write for the fun of it.

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

Vicki -- I loved your door with the morning glories encircling it -- also the beautiful blue butterfly -- never have I seen one quite that blue. -- barbara

Elora said...

How wonderfully insightful and revealing, Vicki! Thank you for the love you give as you share with us the "nuts and bolts" that we'd otherwise never have an opportunity to see or realize. What a really kind and dear person you are!

Gratefully,
Elora

Vicki Lane said...

Talk about distractions -- we're butchering chickens today and have taken a break for lunch. And expect to encounter, somewhere in my future books, a description of how to gut a chicken.

I'll be back later.

Elora said...

Oh.....boy! After many an experiment...I think I've got that process down to a fine science.

Are you ever going to be worn out by the end of the day!! And, needless to say, I'm certain you will not want to see chicken on the menu for at least a month after today! I'm keeping you company, mentally!

Elora

jennyfreckles said...

Blogging is definitely a distraction from all sorts of other worthy activities - my house could do with a good clean! Love that blue butterfly among your pics - it almost looks enamelled.

WV: daysing - isn't that a nice word?

Louise said...

Your blog is continually fascinating. I'm enjoying, very much, these insights into the life of a writer.

Vicki Lane said...

It's been a long day and I've got company coming tomorrow -- will try to catch up with you all tomorrow evening.

marĂ­a cecilia said...

I believe you have lots of richness and inspiration around you at your garden and farm and perhaps this is the source where you take your inspiration from!!! (butchering chickens for example...jajaja!!)

Vicki Lane said...

Ah, yes, Maria Cecilia! I'm going to have to write a scene in my next book about butchering chickens!