Tag Archives: Writers Diary


Butterfly 1
Last week I completed the fourth edit of my manuscript. I am taking a break from it, and as a result I will not post weekly updates in the Diary of a Writing Woman category. You can however expect articles, reviews, short stories and more.

Perfecting a query letter is my most important task for the next few weeks, and then I’ll check the manuscript for consistency, and any errors I have missed (I have completed the editing process with Writer’s Digest). This does not mean I will hold back on querying. I will do that as soon as I am satisfied with my letter, and I will keep you posted about any developments.

Thank you for your support.
I look forward to your continued visits and comments.

This is a great article on tips for editing http://www.lisatener.com/2010/12/how-to-edit-a-book-how-many-times-should-i-edit/


Check Mark 2Hello my wonderful audience. Yes I am in a great mood today. I have finished editing my book for the fourth time. I plan to begin drafting query letters beginning Monday, and send them out within the month. By next week I should have the five chapters that I had professionally edited, so I will work on them as well.

This weekend will be two days of doing as much of nothing as I can stand. I have to bathe my dog and wash; other than that I plan to catch up on Games of Thrones and Law and Order SVU.

In the coming weeks I want to post more. I have a few ideas. I also want to read The Stolen Cascadura by Beverly-Ann Scott. It’s been months since I’ve read a book other than mine.

I have been lucky to have great support throughout this journey. Diary of a Writing Woman is twelve weeks old today.

THANKS EVERYONE!!!! I could not have gotten this far this without your encouragement.


GE DIGITAL CAMERAFirst things first. I didn’t meet my deadline. I take full responsibly, as it is only through my actions or inaction that I am not finished. However, I am glad that I gave myself a deadline. I would not have gotten this far, in this time period. This is my eleventh week of writing the Diary of a Writing Woman posts. Baring when I wrote the first draft (it took me about four months) I have never done more consistent work.

The last three chapters are outstanding. In total they are 35 pages, double spaced. I will continue editing tonight. I should cut that down significantly, before I retire. I have decided to give myself an extension (not like I have a choice) to finish by next Friday.

I didn’t realize how much I had edited out. The third draft was almost 58,000 words. As of now the fourth is about 52,000. It seems like an excessive amount has been deleted, but as I mentioned I had a lot of exaggerated descriptions.

As far as I know, the recommended length of a young adult novel is 55, 000 to 70, 000 words. I think I should take the time to increase my word count. So far, I am satisfied with how it reads, and I love my storyline. I don’t expect to find much of a reason to expand the closing scenes. Not 3000 words worth. I will only do so if it makes sense, or I’ll have to fit in another scene somewhere.

I’m going to utilize my weekend to write. Saturday for sure. In the week, I am tired when I get home from work. I just want to go to bed.

GOOD NEWS. I’ve sent in the first four chapters to be edited by Writers Digest, and I’ve been assigned an editor. She said it should take about two weeks. As soon as that process is completed, I will write a post on it.

Thanks for the support. I am sorry that I fell short, but I am not wasting time staying down.

Diary Post 10: LOOKING UP

GE DIGITAL CAMERAMy last post was pretty depressing. I was a mess. But, that post received encouraging comments that helped shape the premise of my week.

Worrying and stressing was slowing me down. I’ve been working steady since. My editing process was overboard. Constantly, I reviewed the same chapters. I decided to close the chapter on those chapters (1-9, after one last review). I haven’t tackled the rest of the book for the year. The integrity of the storyline has been maintained. I’ve been working on diction. In that, I became obsessive. So much so that I would count adjectives and adverbs. Ridiculous!

I’ve finished chapter ten and am currently wrapping up chapter eleven. Amen for the weekend and two holidays next week. Reading chapter eleven got me very excited. Usually, I use Twitter to promote, but I began tweeting about the chapter. I’ve been away from the story for a while, and it has turned out to be a good thing. Honestly, even though I have quite a few chapters to go through, I don’t expect it to be difficult. Of course I’ll make changes, but for the most part I like the way the book reads. It doesn’t need an overhaul, just some sensible adjustments. Also, most of the later chapters aren’t very long.

I will pass the last chapters to my friend, when she has time. I feel good right now, and I am confident that I will make my deadline.

I made the arrangements with Writers Digest for the first four chapters to be edited. I will be assigned an editor soon. [will do a separate post on that experience]

A special thank you to all my readers

who take the time to comment

You have no idea what your kind words mean to me, whatever mood I am in. I’ve been working on this novel sporadically for almost two years. This year, I had more time to put into it, and it’s been an experience that I wouldn’t trade if I could. I think its change me. I have something to look forward to. Something I’ve created. Little things in my life have improved. I definitely feel like ‘I am coming into my own.’ That’s why I was mad at myself for getting depressed two weeks ago.

Sometimes it doesn’t matter how hard you work, you don’t see progress. You have to be really dedicated to stick with a race when you don’t know where the finish line is, or you can’t see the finish line. I can see mine, and it’s going to be a thousand times better than what I could ever hope for.

A girl tweeted me that she can’t wait to read my book. Weather she meant it or not, it is encouragement. Kind words are like gifts. They put smiles on people’s faces. I’m sure we all can make someone smile, without spending one dollar. Let’s do it!


GE DIGITAL CAMERAThis could be this most somber post I have written thus far. I am so worried and unsettled, I really doubt myself right now. I visited my family this weekend. It was nice as usual. Everyone is happy and in good health. Thank God. My youngest brother is such a wonderful young man. He always makes me smile.

Back to real life, at work and home. I have been struggling to concentrate. I have no energy. I don’t fall asleep, I ‘knock out’ and then wake just as tired, if not more. I’ve been to the gym four times this week. Even there, I am sluggish. Energy drinks that usually work failed me.

I know myself, and these are all signs of stress. But what do you do when you have a full plate and the only spoon you have is from a fisher price tea set?

I’ve been going over the chapters that are finished. This keeps me stagnant. Sometimes I spot errors and sometimes I change the way sentences read. The first three chapters have been ready to be professionally edited for about two weeks, yet no arrangements have been made.

In any event I have set a deadline that I intend to keep. Thanks to everyone who supports me. I’m going through a little ‘I can’t do this’ phase. I just need to breathe, and find my inner superhero.


granny getting kissedSometimes I get so consumed with bashing myself for not writing enough that I forget there are more important things happening in the world. Like my grandmother’s birthday. My grandmother turned ninety-three yesterday. She is the strongest, most giving person I have ever met. Though she had a hundred children of her own, she took care of several grand children and some bonus children, myself included.

Yesterday her daughters organized a surprise for her at TGI Friday’s. The food and company were great, but best of all, granny was beaming with joy. A random handsome young man got in on the fun when he kissed her. For the first time in my life I saw Granny blush.

Granny has always been the nucleus of her family. She has the wit and wisdom of a ‘Sophia Petrillo.’ I always admire that at ‘family’ gatherings, half the people are not relatives. She has been good to so many people, that her family has to accept that they have to share her. She lives her life as an example of what being a good person is all about. Happy Birthday granny!

Besides my grandmother’s shindig, I was terribly fatigued this week. I think I am stressing myself out about my May 31st deadline. Spin or Crossfit classes are usually the highlight of my days, but even that didn’t raise my spirits. Chocolates, cheese and soft drinks have not been a part of my diet for months. I am a stress eater, and I’ve been bonding with my estranged favorites. When they bond to my stomach and thighs I’ll have something else to stress about.Poui 2

I reviewed chapters one through five AGAIN. My intention was to send five chapters to Writers Digest. After I adjusted the margins, the first three chapters were exactly fifty pages. Unfortunately, fifty pages were all I budgeted for this month. I’ll pay for line editing for the first three chapters, maybe five, and have the rest proof read. I want the first chapters to be as crisp as possible as they are what I’ll be sending with my query letters (chapter one). If they want more after that, it means they like the story. The rest will have to impress with proof reading alone.

I’ve begun to review the next five again.
Here goes …



For the first time since I began this feature, I feel proud of the amount of work accomplished. This big jump in the progress came from making small changes. I edited from Sunday to Thursday. Sure it took some sneaking around, and less TV, but there is nothing like being satisfied with yourself.

I’ve sent chapters three to five for reviews, and began chapter six. The thing is, I was no less busy this past week than I was at any other week. My productivity changed when I decided to cut my TV time in half. That was a challenge for me, since all I want to do when I get home from work, is watch silly shows. For the level of success I want, I had to put myself on a TV budget.

The bible says ‘if the right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee.’ In order to keep my television, I stay back at work to write. If I don’t, I give myself two hours when I get home, and then write until it’s time to organize for the next day. During the week, TV is reserved for when I’m ready to sleep or eat.

This Saturday I, like many other writers and book lovers, will be at the Bocas Lit Fes (http://www.bocaslitfest.com). I’ve attended workshops two years in a row. This year I want to patronize the stalls, and enjoy the performers. I also look forward to socializing with other writers.

SubscribeI’ve been thinking of ways to boost subscriptions and views. ‘Stumble Upon’ seems to be quite popular. I’ll do a campaign with them after I post a video and pictures.

My next ‘big thing’ is to have the first four chapters edited by Writers Digest. I should have that organized in early May. Wish me luck and good luck to you as well.



Two weeks ago I posted an article titled ‘You Belong To Me.’ I was trying to be creative about the ups and downs of IT. This week, constant network issues were not funny at all. For four consecutive days our offices were in turmoil. I stressed about it for the first two and a half days before deciding to leave my burdens down by the riverside. There is only so much I can do. I don’t want stress to prematurely age me. That will never solve a problem, it will create one. I’ve already missed several spin classes. That’s where I draw the line and I don’t mean on my forehead.Wrinkled Face Cartoon

I’ve allowed stressful days to affect my editing. However, it could not be blamed for me not writing this past weekend. I had a lot of free time, yet I did nothing. Procrastination controlled me until I tried to make it right on Wednesday. I want to keep my blog honest, that means sometimes I have to admit when I am at fault. This weekend I was. Normally, I draft my Friday post early in the week and add every day. This week I started it on Thursday. I hope the quality is acceptable.

About six hours of editing, between Wednesday and Thursday has brought me to a comfortable place with chapter three. My routine requires that I leave it alone for a few days, and then review it. I will comply.

On another note, I have noticed an increase in traffic on my blog on the days that I post, and maybe the day after. My twitter account is doing well – two hundred and fifty-nine followers and counting. I want social media to count, so I need to encourage a lot more interest. When I first opened my twitter account I thought no one would follow me. Not many people did until I started Diary of a Writing Woman, and began to tweet. It’s a lot to keep up with, when you have an eight to four job.

A friend has offered me their photography and filming services. I have no skills in either area, so I am quite grateful and excited. Expect a related post in the next few months. I have a reputation of being almost terrified to have my picture taken. When I post them, please be kind, because that’s a really hard thing for me to do. It’s a level of self-exposure that I need to work on. My blog is very important to me, so I will do it. To be honest, I’m afraid of ‘hate.’ I subscribe to a couple of You Tube channels, and just by the disclaimers, I know some of the girls get hurtful, unnecessary comments.

Every hit and every subscriber is a big deal to me. Your support makes me know that my little blog is appreciated. It’s been a month since I’ve had the Diary of a Writing Woman feature. It’s helping me a lot, although I struggle to maintain a routine.

http://wordsfromanneli.wordpress.com and abaseng have been avid supporters. I look forward to your comments. Thank you.



Chapter 1 and 2Throughout my journey in writing this novel, there were months that I did not write a single line. Sometimes it was pure laziness, other times I was crippled with worry. I question if I’ll type ‘The End,’ let alone get it published. I’ve been working on this novel for about a year and eight months, and it has been a great experience. Not only am I pursuing something that I love, and will be able to check ‘become a writer’ off my bucket list, I’ve been privy to learn from some wonderful people.

One of the most rewarding things I’ve experienced this year was that one of my school friends started a blog. She blogs her short stories, and credited me as an inspiration. Another welcome effect of writing a blog is to experience support. Family support is wonderful, but there is something special about a stranger cheering you on.

Writing is so subjective. It takes courage to expose your thoughts to others. It’s not just your view or imagination that you expose; it’s your grammar, punctuation, vocabulary, and style. I take refuge in the fact that I put great effort into my posts, and I accept that even people who are the best at what they do are criticized.

Last week, I mentioned that a friend of mine agreed to review my book, and that I sent chapters one and two to her. She sent them back on Monday, much sooner than I expected. She did a fantastic job. I accepted most of her suggestions. I have since made the changes and am currently working on chapters three and four. I will forward them to her by next week, because I want to send the first four chapters for a final edit by the end of this month.

I think chapters three and four will go by faster, because of all the practice I got making changes to the first two chapters. The story line is the same, but I thought it lagged and needed to read better.

‘Writer’s Digest’ is a reputable organization. I will be using their 2nd Draft Critique and Editing Services. Their minimum submission is fifty pages, which is just about my first four chapters. I will review their service in a separate post. If anyone knows of a better option, please send me a link.

My goal for this coming week is to send chapters three and four to be reviewed. However, I’m hoping to surpass my expectation.