One of the goals I set out at our July NARWA meeting was to send at least two queries on “Beauty and the Ballplayer.”

Well, it’s still not done, even though the meeting is a week away. What’s stopping me?

It’s ridiculous, really. I keep telling myself (rather stupidly) that if I submit a query now, and they like it (really LIKE it), I won’t be eligible for the Golden Heart.

See? I told you it was ridiculous.

Really. What would be better in the long run? Becoming a published author or entering the Golden Heart again (and potentially not winning a darn thing)?

So first thing Monday morning, I’m sending out those two queries — one directly to Harlequin, since it’s a category novel, and one to an agent who represents such things. (I just need to check my list to see which ones do.)

It’s been a slow couple of days on the writing front. I managed to squeeze out about 200 words Monday and 400 Tuesday.

Today would have been better, had I not spent most of the day in my La-Z-Boy with a migraine-like headache. My head hurt so badly that I couldn’t even eat the lunch I made. I took a few bites and decided I hurt too much to eat.

I hurt too much to even move. I sat in the chair, half dozing and half listening to “The Doctors” and then “Oprah” while I wished I had the energy to get up and grab some Tylenol … or even reach for the bottle of water I had beside the chair … or grab a blanket off the couch to help me stop shivering.

I must have slept, because the next thing I remember, I was awake — and hungry. Unfortunately, I still didn’t feel quite well enough to do more than waste time farting around online. (I find it the best way to procrastinate. Don’t we all?)

Luckily, I buckled down at around 10:30 and cranked out a page and a half or so on Meg and Matt’s story.

General consensus so far is everyone likes “Beauty and the Ballplayer” better than “The Baby and the Ballplayer.” I think I’ve finally found my title. Woo-hoo! That’s cause for celebration. 😀

On procrastination: What’s your favorite way to avoid writing?

I’d have to say mine is either playing Bejeweled or checking out my favorite blogs. Writing blog posts is another way I procrastinate. I have three … four if you count the one over at SparkPeople. This one, of course, is my writing blog, but I have two weight-loss blogs plus SparkPeople.

I didn’t get much writing done this weekend, opting instead to spend a romantic weekend with the Boyfriend. I did, however, get the chance to do a little reading.

The February issue of RWR contained an intriguing article titled “Speed as an Antidote to Writer’s Block.” The gist is that writing quickly — and regularly — helps us beat that devil procrastination.

Since I often find myself afflicted by that particular demon, I paid particular attention to that article. (In fact, it’s still the only thing from the issue I’ve read word-for-word. I’ve skimmed the rest, but not settled in to digest it yet.)

The article points out that speed writing is done:

  • Without a lot of distractions, such as the Internet or reading back through a MS to “check” facts.
  • Simply, as opposed to being a perfectionist looking for quality above all else.
  • To be shared. Apparently, fast writers share their drafts ASAP, seeking feedback. A perfectionist, on the other hand, will revise, revise, revise (or stop writing at all) rather than let someone else read their “weak” effort.

Over the years, I’ve been more the perfectionist type. I stop writing when I hit that wall … and sometimes don’t go back to it for months.

Participating in the NaNo last November really helped me see the benefits of speed writing, though. I might not have written as quickly as the others (I never once won the “word wars” we had at write-ins), and I didn’t finish all 50,000 words.

But sitting down to write almost daily did help me get a lot accomplished, and I was able to ride that writing high to the end, finishing my story in early December, shortly after the end of NaNo.

So you have my pledge now that I’ll do the NaNo again this fall. I already have a plot marinating in my head for it, something I started working on after my NARWA group did a “Book in a Month” talk a couple of years. (I stalled out in the research stage, around Day 6, because I’m not much of a researcher anymore.) I do, however, have a basic outline for the story, which stars one of Brad’s brothers … Brad being the hero in this year’s GH entry, the one that apparently STILL doesn’t have enough conflict.

Until then, I’m going to keep  plugging away on “Operation Treat Writing Like a Day Job.” Right now, that seems to be enough to keep me writing, so why mess with success?