#WIPMADNESS Week #5 Check-in: Growing and Timing

July is just about done. If you believe the calendar, summer isn’t quite half over, but in reality, nobody really knows what to believe. Some areas have had unbearable heat and scorching sunshine, while others have suffered through disastrous rainstorms. We had the wettest June on record here on BC’s west coast, and for a while were also on the way to the wettest July. Gardens sulked their way through weeks of cold rain.

Then an unfamiliar golden orb appeared in the sky, clouds scuttled off to the horizon, and gardens rushed to catch up on what they were meant to be doing in late July. Our blueberries began to ripen, and tightly furled flower buds finally raised their sodden faces and began to smile. After the long wait, everything suddenly became lush!

Just about that time, I came across a guest post by author Marcia Yudkin on the Writer Beware blog about growing as a writer and not rushing into publication. In her post entitled “In praise of ripening”, Marcia says, “A new variant from the Get Rich Quick world has sprung up, threatening much greater harm to vulnerable wannabees and to all of us who value writing worth reading.” She later concludes, “If you care about good writing, please help me spread the word that both authors and the public are better served by learning to write well before getting published.”

I’d quote more, but it would be better for you to click on over there and read it in its entirety. For those of us pushing to meet #wipmadness goals, her message prods us to see the value of due process in our quest. I hope you’ll read it, and then come back here to tell me if you agree with her.


Today is the last Monday of July and thus the fifth and final official check-in here for my fellow Wipsters. It’s also time to announce the winner of last week’s draw for a copy (digital or print) of K.M. Weiland‘s wonderful book, OUTLINING YOUR NOVEL. (Thanks for donating it, Kathy!)


Shari Green

(I tried not to pick her name. Honestly! I even tossed it back,
but it came up again, so I gave in and accepted that it was meant to be!)

Congratulations, Shari. Let me know if you prefer a digital or print copy
and I’ll pass the info on to Kathy.

This week’s draw will be for another novel of your choice from my summer reading basket (excluding the copy of Jane Kirkpatrick’s book, which Jaye chose as her Week #1 prize). Everyone commenting on today’s post between now and Saturday will be eligible, and each comment gets a separate entry.

After next weekend’s draw, the remaining names from all five weeks will be combined for one extra draw… for a copy of Julia Cameron’s THE SOUND OF PAPER. Because I won’t have access to the internet next weekend, however, the names of those two winners might be a day late getting posted. Don’t worry… if you forget to check back here to see who won, I’ll get in touch with the winners, as long as you leave me your e-mail address when prompted as you submit your comments.

I hope everyone’s month of writing and reaching for goals has been productive, and you’ll be equally enthusiastic about joining Jeanne Ryan for August’s challenges. Beginning August 6th you’ll find her Monday check-in posts at http://jeanneryan.com/ya-adenaline/.

Wishing all of you good summertime writing!

~  ~  ~

35 thoughts on “#WIPMADNESS Week #5 Check-in: Growing and Timing

  1. Oh, Carol. That is *exactly* what’s stopped me from self-publishing. Despite encouragement from some to do so. I don’t necessarily trust myself that the work is ripe enough.

    This week didn’t go *as* well as I intended. I didn’t finish my polish-read-through, and I only did a tiny bit of planning for my Camp NaNo outline. But I’m determined to get this done. Both of them.

    • Carol says:

      Sorry your week didn’t go quite as planned, but you have a great attitude. Not letting it discourage you is important. Just keep at it!

  2. Jeanne Ryan says:

    Thanks for hosting this month, Carol! My main July goal was to get my draft sent to my editor in time, which I did. The rest of the month was spent ripening, so I should be all set to bloom in August.

    • Carol says:

      A July success story! Your editor will have appreciated your timeliness and wasn’t it nice to have some breathing space for the rest of the month?

  3. kiperoo says:

    Thanks so much for hosting this month, Carol! I absolutely love the community of our little #wipmadness group. Congrats on the win this week, Shari!

    I love the theme of this week. As much as I hate it, I am a huge fan of patience and ripening. I’m querying at the moment, but it’s taken a long time to get here.

    In the meantime, I didn’t get quite as far as I wanted on the new draft, and now I have a new WFH book to write, but as soon as that’s done, it’ll be full speed ahead for August!

    Oh! And one quick goodie. If anyone wants a chance to win the YA anthology my medieval German story is in, just leave a comment on my blog today: http://kiperoo.wordpress.com/2012/07/30/timeless-giveaway/


    • Carol says:

      It can be hard to be patient, but sometimes I have to remember my Dad’s admonition that anything worth doing is worth doing well.

      Thanks for the link, Kim. Have a great week!

  4. Thanks for hosting, Carol. Your posts have been beautiful and inspiring. All things on the moving front are finally coming together. Hopefully I’ll be able to focus on the WIP now. No rush, eh?

    Tomorrow I’m off on a motorcycle road trip across the Sonoran desert. I’m equipped with several MG novels to listen to. Hope to get a lot of work done on the airplane (laptop+no internet) and then at my father-in-law’s mountain retreat (laptop + no internet.)

    I’m off for a hike now. Carry on, Wipsters!

    • Carol says:

      I’m so glad to hear your moving process is coming under control. That’s been a long haul! I’ll bet you’re more than ready for your motorcycling getaway and mountain retreat (sounds fabulous!). Have a wonderful time!

  5. Leigh-Ann says:

    Thanks for hosting Carol! And I want to thank JRo again for introducing me to you lovely #wipmadness folks! You’ve really helped keep me focused this month. So, while my overall July plans haven’t moved as quickly as I had hoped they would, I’ve spent time with my workshop group “ripening” my writing, which is obviously a huge goal and accomplishment, so I’m happy about that. This week, I hope to get even more writing time in

  6. Darlene says:

    This is a great post and so true. When folks ask me why it took me so long to finally have a book published, I simply say, “I wasn’t ready yet.” Writing short stories, entering contests and scribbling first drafts was all part of the learning and growing as a writer. (Of course i am still learning)
    Our garden is finally looking inviting too. All the rain has made it very lush. There is always an upside. XO

    • Carol says:

      I think that’s one of the biggest values of groups like this, Darlene. Non-writers can’t understand the lengthy process we deal with so having the support of fellow writers who do, means a lot.

  7. Charletta Rupert says:

    I appreciate the beautiful pictures in your blog.

  8. Thanks for hosting this month, Carol! You’ve done a great job and all the giveaways, talk about upping the ante for the rest of us hosters (puts thinking cap on for some future month).

    I’ve been in surprise revision mode this last week and this week which has been fun. I love revising. I used to hate it, but I love it now. And I got about 22k into a shiny new project which gives me a nice foundation for something going into the school year which begins THIS THURSDAY (students next Wednesday) – things will slow. But I’ve had a nice, writerly, lazy, hot summer. With lots of Ben & Jerry’s Willie Nelson Country Peach Ice Cream. And beer. :0)

    And the daughter takes the prize, eh? I can’t complain since I won, too.

    • I don’t envy you having to return to school already, but it sounds like you’ve enjoyed your summer and you’re ready to move into fall routines.

      Now that July is coming to an end I’ll be getting the prizes out to the winners. Your book should be in the mail by the weekend.

  9. joylene says:

    LOL. Imagine being penalized because you’re your daughter! Poor Shari. I’m glad you gave in at the end.

  10. YAY, Shari! And what an awesome post, Carol!

    I’m almost done with chapter 11, and I must say, the story is definitely ripening. After a dismal run at the first version, taking time to think things through has led me to a few epiphanies that are definitely building a better story.

    Keep WIP-ing it wipsters! And thanks for hosting, Carol!

    • Hooray for nearing the end of another chapter!! Good for you!! I think we all like to spew words onto the page and get a first draft out into the open, but after that some thoughtful revision is always a good thing.

  11. I think July has been my most productive month, writing-wise, in the history of my life. I achieved last week’s goal and finished my WIP! 71k in 29 days. 🙂 I’m very excited about it.

    Now I’m just trying to figure out what my next project will be, but I won’t start on anything until after I’m settled into my new place in Idaho. 🙂

    Thanks for hosting!

  12. Wow, I learned the hard way that it’s better to wait than to rush out and sign any contract. Back in 2006 I decided to go with an epub press. Later, to my embarrassment, I found that the head person at the press didn’t read my story and then when another editor ‘showed’ up, she thought my book wasn’t YA at all and wanted to cut out all the offensive material. I’m like, “Haven’t you read YA?” when she said that the scene with some drug use and also another more edgy scene weren’t appropriate for teens. She even took it further and posted a not too nice review of my book. Sigh. I was able to get another publisher to reissue it with a more decent round of edits. But the whole experience had me remember what my UCI writing extension teacher told me. “It’s better to not be published than to be published badly.”
    Live and learn.
    Now I’m taking my time with my latest project.

    This week I hope to write everyday. My goal is to attack one revision chapter and use the motivation/inspiration I picked up from attending RWA Nationals this last week. Another one of my goals is to use RWA and learn more on my craft. This organization is amazing and YA is HOT.

    • What an experience! In the beginning we don’t realize a lot of things and some lessons are hard learned. I’m glad that situation ended up better than it started.

      Hope you enjoyed your time at the RWA Nationals!

  13. Thanks for hosting this month!

  14. Shari Green says:

    Whaddaya mean, you tossed my name back? LOL! Delighted with the prize–thank you! I’d love the print version, please. 🙂

    I read that article, too, and totally agree about the importance of “ripening”.

    Thanks for the great posts all month, Mom. I’ll miss the August check-ins because I’ll be offline most of the month, but I’ll be working on those same goals: catching up on my reading pile, and working on planning and early drafting of my new project. (Hmm, perfect timing to win OUTLINING YOUR NOVEL! :))

    • (Shhh, don’t tell anyone, but I’m secretly pleased I couldn’t ignore your name when it came up twice.) I know how hard you work at your writing so it’s nice to see your efforts acknowledged. Enjoy your August getaway. I’m sure you’ll come back renewed and ready to dive into more writing.

  15. I’m so thankful my first efforts weren’t published. They were awful!

  16. torimcrae says:

    Carol, I completely agree with the concept of working on becoming a better writer before trying to publish. I was excited to have some of my work published in our local literary magazine until I discovered that they will print almost anything. That really made me question whether I’m any good at writing. Then I took a class on writing personal narrative essays. It was a small class of six and some have had articles published, others hadn’t. I was very pleased and encouraged when the instructor said we were all (including me!) “writing at a professional level.”

    My goal isn’t to just put words on paper but to do it very well, to make it irresistably engaging and maybe to provoke people to think in directions they don’t usually lean toward.

    • In the realm of ‘not knowing what we don’t know’, I think most novice writers are trying to do their best, but don’t realize their best isn’t necessarily worthy of publication. Taking courses, and/or having knowledgeable mentors can provide valuable feedback that acts as a barometer for measuring progress. Writers who are anxious to learn, and who never stop trying to improve, are more likely to reach their goals.

      And I like your goal! 🙂

  17. torimcrae says:

    Thanks Carol. I’ve been winging it for the past 20-30 years in most areas of my life and am seen as knowledgeable by many people in most of them. I’ve found all you need to know is a little more than the next guy in order to pull it off. (I’m not a fraud, I just find there are a lot of people that don’t know much about a lot of things and I’m an absorber of knowledge.) All that aside, writing is something I’m not sure I’ll ever know enough about (though there are still some people who think I do) to have complete confidence in my ability without getting good feedback. Certainly I’ll never be so good at it that I can’t learn something and improve.

  18. Hey there. I just finished my first read through of my novel, along with copious notes. I’m using Holly Lisle’s How to Revise Your Novel Program, so the next step is another read through with more notes about different things.

    Now that I’ve hit another step in my revision, I’ve started a new book. It’s not the next in the same series, it’s a whole new thing– a coming of age story set in Philadelphia about a girl trying to find her way to contribute to the world, and reconcile her feminist principles with the modern world of dating. Plenty of work and friend drama along the way. This is a lot more revealing about myself than my current work, pulling the courage to tell a story similar to my own.

    Writing takes time and persistence. You do have to be willing to work hard and then scrap everything. I’ve been trying to write a novel for about three years now, by the time I finish edits on my book it will be at least four. I’m not too worried about publishing too early!

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