Friday, July 18, 2014

Hook or Pitch ???

Sometimes there are golden gems on Twitter.
Found one today !

In addition to my own health issues that took me out for over six months, I am a stay-at-home caregiver. But, God blessed me big time and provided enough healing so that I could resume caring for two of the most special people in my world: my husband and my adult daughter. Life is busy and hectic and frankly, except for medical appointments, I don't get around much anymore.

Over the past few years, writing fell to the bottom of my "Must-Do-To-Survive" list. Then, Dear Heart and Daughter both struggled with changes in abilities and needs so they went to the very top of my list. I have been in a serious learning mode. And they say old dogs can't learn new stuff. Well, let me tell you..... but, that's for another post.

About a month ago, my stress level went through the roof. One day in sheer desperation I turned on the intercom, shut the office door, and pounded the keys. Have no idea what I wrote that day, but I put words together, threw in a comma now and then, and watched rambling thoughts tumble from my tired brain to the computer screen.

In short order, I took a deep breath, opened the office door, and resumed vigilance. With a smile. I pondered, long and hard, the sudden change in my attitude. Ahhhhh. Well, it seems that, for me, working with words restores sanity.

I began to carve out some time every day or so to weave words together and my breathing eased, my thinking calmed, my smiles felt genuine.

A few days ago, on one of those rare occasions when we enjoyed a short visit with new neighbors, the subject of my writing came up. Our new friend asked, "What do you write?"

Oh dear. I have not submitted a single thing to a contest or answered a single call for submissions in over three years. The "writer" within me had gone into hiding. Or somewhere.

Somehow, with hands jammed into my pockets, I mumbled something about 'personal experience pieces, anthologies, personality interviews.'

The neighbor smiled and tactfully changed the subject. Back at home, I checked my web site. Sure enough, I'm still there and all my publishing credits still look somewhat impressive.

To test the writing waters, I posted a few longer face book posts. Then, I tip-toed back into my Twitter page and typed out some 140 characters. Power!! So, I pulled out one of my most beloved short stories that has never won anything and worked it over. Just preparing the story for submission to a major contest went to my head so I went for broke and pulled out a memoir to submit also. Just kind of went crazy there for awhile.

Winning or getting my work published is not the issue. My writing career began in the closet some sixty years ago and it is okay if my next twenty writing years stay in the closet. Getting those thoughts into words is ecstasy. Developing sentences, creating paragraphs, explaining ideas, formatting ideas, jotting down scenes, and creating characters is thrill enough. For today.

Except, a writer is never satisfied. Last night while trying to think of something to expound succinctly on Twitter I read a tweet from Hope Clark. Followed the link and oh boy. Right between the eyes.

ELEVATOR PITCH. Goodness, I used to have one.

So, while I am busily recreating my own personal pitch, if you write, check out the blog I found. It is a gold mine. There is a HUGE difference between the "hook" and the "elevator pitch." R.S. Mellette at From the Write Angle hits a home run.

Hook or Elevator Pitch

And, yes, I understand that all my close personal friends doubt that I can say ANYTHING in a few, chosen, succinct words. [ Big Smiling Face Here ] Just wait !!! In between dishes and laundry and transporting and ...... well, the words await !!!

Hugs and love and happy writing.