I'm Back!

 

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New Year, New Haircut

It’s been almost 5 weeks since my last post or my last visit to blogs. *Big wave*

I can’t tell you how much it helped to remove the blogging writing and reading and downsize the social media. It’s the first time I’ve relaxed in months.

I took Margie Lawson’s Empowering Character Emotions workshop via a self-study lecture packet and got back to my love of writing. I’m gearing up to take her Master’s Class in person this summer!

I used what I learned to work on a third manuscript I’ve shopped around in the past. I went through my crit partner’s comments on that manuscript too. Thanks Kat for the brilliant insights! I’ve added six thousand words and I think the book is much better for it. I’m 2/3 of the way done revising it.

I sent off Six Train’s sequel to my editor and am awaiting her editorial comments. The timeline for that is ARCs in July and actual publication in November 2016.

For social media, I’ll be here every week going forward and I’ll be on Facebook regularly. My Twitter presence has always been intermittent and will remain so.

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In December, I wrapped up my after-school writing workshops with Girls Inc. and the girls made me these amazing thank you cards!

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Had an awesome school visit at Grasso Tech, where I taught a writing workshop on getting inspired and turning your ideas into a concept for a story. This is the coolest sign I’ve ever seen at one of my events! Big thank you to Mr. D’Agostino, the head of the library, for spearheading the event.

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I’ve got two events scheduled this month:

January 13th from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. In New York, NY, at the Salmagundi Club (47 Fifth Avenue); guest speaker on the self-publishing panel at the monthly MWA-NY meeting.
January 16th from 4:00 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. In Boston, MA, at the Arisia Convention; Panelist on the “My Friend Wrote a Book, Do I Have to Buy It?” Panel

February and March are going to be pure writing months because I need to focus on Six Train’s sequel.

After a long bout of illness in November, I’ve learned that I’ve got to take better care of me.

I’ve got to nurture my creative well and sometimes that means just holing up with a great book and not speaking to anyone for a few days. Sometimes it’s a two hour hike with a good friend. Sometimes it’s doing laundry, playing with my dog, and taking a hot bath.

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Bottom line, I’ve got to give myself this down time or the writing suffers.

I’ve done a ton of thinking and career focusing and I am ready to try querying agents again.

It may not sound like much but after what happened, I didn’t think I’d ever be able to put my foot in that pool again. But it’s like dating, you take a sabbatical and then you come back when you’re ready.

And I’m ready.

How are you starting the new year?

 

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47 Responses to I'm Back!

  1. kathils says:

    Welcome back, and best of luck in 2016. Sounds like you have a lot going on.

  2. Welcome back Kourtney! Fab haircut and I’m glad to hear you’re recovering from your illness. It seems we’ve been on a similar journey back to finding the love of writing – and for me it was the absence of technology too – pen and paper. Good luck with your goals for this year!

    • Thanks Andrea! For some reason when I cut my hair I feel more focused. It’s the reverse Samson. 🙂 Honestly, I was on fumes this fall with my writing. I’m not sure how I got through the revisions on Six Train’s sequel. I didn’t feel like the book was working. I didn’t feel like the writing was good. Usually that’s a normal feeling, but I suspect it was made worse by my own exhaustion and the fact that writing wasn’t fun at that point. Letting myself play with an old manuscript and take a class made me realize what I love in writing and made me savor each day. Hopefully, I’ll come back to Six Train’s sequel ready to tear it up. 😉 Hugs!

  3. Thanks Elle. 🙂 LOL. It was much harder to write than the first book. Sequels are so tough because you want to live up to readers’ expectations but you want to stay true to what you see for the characters. I’ve got major rewrites ahead and I’m confident I can get there. Honestly, I love my blog and Facebook, but when I feel like I have to be there 100% everyday, it can get to be too much. Promoting for 6 months is as soul sucking as querying for 6 months. You just run through your mental and emotional reserves. Or at least I do. I am going to also take 1 day off a week. I need to give my brain that decompress time. Hugs!

  4. Lori says:

    So glad you’ve realized it’s time to take care of Kourtney.

    • Thanks Lori. I really thought I had to do everything. Then I got sick and sales still happened. I wasn’t on social media and people still bought my book. I realized I could take breaks and not destroy book sales. 🙂

  5. Exciting time for you, Kourtney. LOVE the new haircut– stylish, sassy and professional, all in one! All the best with your writing, in 2016!

    • Aw thank you Dawn! I hardly do it straight like the pic though. I’ve been bad about that. I am a wash and go girl. So I tend to let it curl. But for events I may put more hair styling effort in. 🙂

  6. Wishing you a productive, fun, and healthy 2016!

  7. Pete Denton says:

    Happy New Year!

    You’ve taken a few weeks off and I seem to have taken the best part of TWO YEARS! Good luck with the writing in 2016. I agree about the need to fall in love with your work again. Something I hope to do more of this year. 🙂

  8. Carrie Rubin says:

    Glad you gave yourself a bit of a break–an online one, anyway. One of my goals in 2016 is to decrease my social media time. As authors we need to be on it, but we also need to write.

    Best of luck querying agents again. Hopefully this time around will be a better experience.

    Happy you got your health back too!

    • Thanks. It was great to just say no to so many things I thought I had to do. You have a terrific online presence built. I think you’ll be able to pull back and still maintain all your connections. I can’t really focus on fixing story issues, when I’m in heavy promo activity. The writing isn’t good. Thanks. I still have to finish the revisions and decide if it’s ready. I might wait until the summer when I can do another overhaul. Depends on how this turns out. But I will query again. 🙂

      Me too. That’s the worst when you are sick for a prolonged amount of time. Here’s to a happy and healthy New Year!

  9. Love the ‘do’! I cut back on social media in December without really meaning to. It just happened, but I loved the freedom. Social media has its upsides, but my creative writing takes a hit because of it. I wish I could find a better balance. Good luck with the querying — I know how tough that can be. Hugs!

    • Thanks! I definitely agree that my creativity took a huge hit with all the promoting this year. I stopped having story ideas. I stopped having fun what if moments. I’m looking forward to reading your book on writing tips. It’s in my TBR pile for this year.

      Thanks. Oh it’s horribly awfully hard to query. I needed a year off from that to get myself back together again. Hugs!

  10. It’s great that you’ve taken some time to recharge and are reminding the rest of us how important that is.

    I love the Boston panel, “My Friend Wrote a Book, Do I Have to Buy It?” I hope you’ll report the answer on the blog because I need to know :-).

    Wishing you a healthy and productive 2016!

    • Thanks. It really helped. I didn’t realize how close to the end of my rope I really was. Like clawing at the tips actually.

      I think it’s a great panel topic that many readers and authors will enjoy. LOL. My response is it depends. There’s a spectrum of ways to support an author–hosting a guest blog, doing a shout out on FB or Twitter, requesting your library to carry their book, listing them in your favorite author links on your blog, and yes reading and writing a review of the book is probably the biggest way. But as an author, I know hundreds of authors. I cannot do that for all of them. So I try to figure out ways to show support for my author buddies. 🙂

  11. I’m happy to hear you took some well deserved rest and relaxation. Your haircut it so cute, Kourtney!

  12. jmmcdowell says:

    I’m so glad the break has let you reconnect with your love of writing! I’m still working my way back there, but I’m hoping my December break from the manuscript will give me a fresh eye and renewed enthusiasm when I can sit down again with it.

    Keep taking care of yourself—that is critical for any endeavor!

    • I swear by Margie Lawson’s self study packets. This is the third one I’ve done and every time I do one, I reconnect with my work and I can come at it with fresh eyes. If you have time to do any of them I highly recommend them. 🙂

      Truly, it’s a marathon, never a sprint. My bff and I promised more fun this year. Yes, I will work hard, but I will carve out me time throughout the year as well. Hugs!

  13. davidprosser says:

    Welcome back Kourtney. I love the new look. I want to wish you a Happy and very Successful New Year and I hope it brings you great joy.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx
    ps, Starting my new year with the birth of a new Granddaughter on New Year’s Eve. Little Amelie Rose is a New Year treat.

  14. Jen says:

    LOVE your haircut! and your glasses. I’m due in February for some but am so blind, I get limited to tiny rectangle shape every time. Ordered TGWIG on amazon and started it…love it…but then loaned it to a close friend who is in a nursing home for broken femur. He is enjoying it now. xoxo

    • Thanks. Walmart has some awesome glasses. That’s where I got them! I’m 8 and 7.5 so my vision is awful. Aw thank you. That’s really nice of you. Tell him to hurry up and get it back to you! 🙂

  15. Kourtney, Welcome back. Happy New Year. Roger

  16. Charissa says:

    Love the new haircut. Hope you and your books have a great year.

  17. Lovely to see this Post Kourtney.. and I am so pleased you enjoyed your time away from blogging and had a wonderful productive time over Christmas.. Loved those thank you cards too 🙂 I have no doubts at all that 2016 us going to be a great successful year for you.. Even though I know it putting in a lot of hard work.. It is all paying off..
    Much Love to you my friend.. and wishing you a Very Happy New Year! Love Sue xxx

  18. Welcome back. I too have recently returned from a long hiatus. It’s nice to see familiar smiling faces. 🙂

  19. Glad you’re back. Like the haircut! A hiatus is a good thing. I took two weeks off from blogging over the holiday and felt – guilty. No, really, it felt good but I missed the writing. Silly me. I’m determined to stay determined as I write and blog with love, belief, and joy. Happy New Year!

  20. YEA YOU! You do sound recharged. Writing won’t work if it isn’t fun to do. Can’t wait to see what you write up for us next. (And a serious writing experience/class to look forward to this summer – that’s cool)
    Keep your hair like that top picture – looks chic and better than great.
    Really like that last picture, too.

    • Thanks. I feel so much better. I’ve always been the person who recharges by being alone. And I kept being available all the time and it wore me down. I love what I’ve done with this manuscript. And I’m feeling really hopeful about Six Train’s Sequel. I’ve blocked out the time to really dig deep. I am so excited about the class. Her self study packets had a profound influence on Six Train and I feel like she makes me a stronger writer. Aw thanks. It’s curly again. I’m so lazy about the blowdrying. Special occasions. 😉

      Thanks!

  21. EllaDee says:

    I like your plans for 2016. Since our move I feel a bit at sixes and sevens but I’ve gleaned some ideas from you about making, allocating time & tasks and taking care of me 🙂

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