Hearing My Inner Teacher

My reading for yesterday from Page after Page was about getting started on new projects and goals, and how “your mind will try to keep you from writing” in all kinds of ways. This part spoke to me clearly:

“You already know, intuitively, everything you need to know about writing well and writing regularly. The teacher you seek is within you! I know that sounds so new-age and zazen dumb, but it is true, and I will show you your way to this teacher. It’s all you have, and all you need.”

Finding and hearing my inner teacher or inner mentor is one of the aspects of Page after Page that I am most drawn to. Lately I’ve realized that I rarely feel entirely certain about my choices or even what I want most of the time. It would be nice to have a stronger center, a clearer focus, an inner voice I can trust, not just in terms of writing, but life. Maybe it’s a middle-age thing (I am also currently reading The Secret Life of the Grown-Up Brain, so that may offer more answers!). All I know is that at the moment I am pulled too strongly by the winds of opinions and imagined responsibilities that aren’t mine and what I think will make me happy versus what does make me happy.

I’m excited to change and grow in this regard!

On Getting an Agent

Be sure to read this interesting and inspriring interview with Kelsey Ketch on her experience of writing her first novel and getting an agent:

“I’ve sent out 199 queries (yes, 199 – that will put a smile on your face). The majority was returned as a rejection or no response. Actually, give me just one moment. Let me see if I can get you the actual numbers. Let’s see here. Ah, yes. Based on my Querytracker.net statistics, 193 queries were negative responses. And of the six submissions, five were negative responses as well. Well, as they say, ‘it only takes one.’”

She describes her novel:

Death’s Island is a historical young adult novel set in early eighteen century. Meriden Cook’s troubles began a hundred years before, when her great grandfather stumbled into a mysterious world ruled by Death. Cutup Cook tries to shirk his commitment. For this act, Death wrecks the Plunderer, and places a curse upon his family’s bloodline–a curse that later caused the mysterious disappearance of Meriden’s father. She takes command of her father’s ship and journeys across the sea to solve her family secret.

“It was my father who inspired my love of the sea and maritime history. After he died of cancer, Death’s Island was my way of coping with the loss.”

You can read Kelsey’s blog at Ketch Tavern.

New She Writes Non-Fiction & Memoir Contest

The online writer’s community She Writes recently announced a new non-fiction and memoir contest, the She Writes Passion Project,  “open to an emerging author and member of She Writes who has a non-fiction book project in the works.” The deadline is August 1, 2010, and there is a $15 entry fee. See the She Writes website for more information. Membership in She Writes is free. I highly recommend becoming a She Writes member for any woman who writes. Members span the entire genre spectrum from nonfiction and memoirs to poetry, blogging, children’s fiction, novels, and more.