Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I can haz winners? (Also: making time to write)

 I drew the winners of my first-ever contest!!! Hooray!!

But before I announce them...let's have a post. (Mwahahaha...that's my evil, I'm-keeping-you-in-suspense laugh. Is it working?)

I was at a bar with one of my friends Saturday night and we were talking about one of her friends. This person was supposed to be producing art work for a show she'd agreed to do, but said she just couldn't find the time to create anything. She works full-time, and has a side job on the weekends, so by the time she gets home from work most nights she's just too exhausted to pick up her camera, canvas, or whatever and create. She misses her art, but she just doesn't have time anymore.

And you know what I said to that? Cry me an effing river. (Was that harsh? Maybe. Harsh but true.)

Here is my reality: I have a full-time job, a part-time job, and two freelance commitments. I also have two dogs and am married to an 8-year-old (no, really. I bought him Transformers boxers for one of his stocking stuffers.) All of these things take time, and I am, quite frankly, exhausted most days. (And I don't even have kids, like I know some of you do, so my house is quiet most nights.)

But I still can't wait to write, every single day. I spend time at work thinking about my next plot twist. I doodle my signature during phone calls so I will be prepared for future book signings. I even (OMG I can't believe I'm about to admit this) hold "interviews" with myself in the car sometimes (Wow, I am a freak.) And it's all because I love to write, and I can't wait to live my dream.

I honestly believe that if you have a passion for something, if you really want to do it, you will make time for it. I'm up most nights until 2am or later, writing or reading. Other writers I've talked to are up at 5am banging out a few hundred words before their kids get up, or before they go to work. The point is, the ones who really care about it make it work. Maybe they steal 15 minutes here and there throughout the day, but they do it.

Now it might happen that you're in a slump. Maybe you used to write every day, but now you only write every other day, or a few times a week. One of my friends recently (as in, uh, today) recommitted herself to writing, and I think that's wonderful. If you're reading this and you've noticed that you've let your writing fall by the wayside lately, I want to challenge you to pick it up. Find little times when you can write. Skip an hour of TV to write instead. Stay up half an hour later and wake up half an hour earlier. Bring a notebook with you everywhere and write in line, at stoplights, or on the subway. Stop bathing. Do whatever you need to do - just write (although if you stop bathing, let me know so I can keep our relationship strictly online). 

OK, but enough about that...it's time to announce the WINNERS!!!!! of my first-ever contest!!!!!!

I had quite a few entries, and almost everyone earned extra points! I took everyone's entries, including extra points and tweets, and put them in an Excel sheet. Then I went to random.org and had it pick a number for me, and that's how I picked the winner!

The prizes were signed copies of The Given Day by Dennis Lehane and The Pilot's Wife by Anita Shreve!

We'll start with The Given Day...let's look at how pretty it is:

Oooo, aaaah.

OK, and the winner is....number 35!!

which is...


OK, for The Pilot's Wife, the winner is...number 42!!!

Oh, wait, we forgot to drool over the prize, didn't we?


OK, and number 42 is Carol from Carol's Prints!

I am especially excited to give this book to Carol because, before she even knew I was giving away a signed book, she left a comment on one of my posts (On Beginnings) which read:
And I LOVE Anita Shreve ... I am crazy jealous of you right now.
So I feel like I made her verra happy.

Congrats to Carol and Tameka! You have 72 hours to claim your prize - just shoot me an email at heather (dot) trese (at) gmail (dot) come with your address and I'll ship your goodies out this week! And to those of you who didn't win...I really, really wish I had enough prizes for everyone, because people wrote some really sweet messages! But never fear because....

I am approaching 100 followers pretty quickly. Once I get there I will be hosting another contest, so tell your friends to stop on by!


  1. OMG, Tameka will be SO excited! :-D Yay winners!

    And YAY writing!!! Woo-hoo!


    I am seriously freaking!!!!! Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes!!!!!!!! I won!!!!!!! Wooooooo-hoooooo!!!!! I'm so gonna treasure this one. I have all her books, yo! And now her beautiful, shiny signature. Oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy. I LOVE YOU!!!!!! And OMG, you quoted me!!! That's super extra special!!!! *dances and whirls and does a chest bump with the wall* *cringes and wishes she had not done a chest bump with the wall* Oh yes!!!!! I love winning, but this is super extra duper-double-fantabulous win!!! Goooooooooo meeeeeee!!!! Squeeeeeeeeeeee!

    Ok, coming off my Shreve-crazyfan high. I'll be more civilized now (but know that it's killing me). A big congrats to Tameka for winnig the Dennis Lehane! I'm sure she'll be excited (though, don't be too hard on her if she's not as enthusiastic as me...I'm not normal). By the way (while I'm being all civilized), I completely understand what you mean about finding the time. Hubs, 2 kids (ages 13 and 3), church, volunteering, blog, dance, piano lessons, orchestra, guitar lessons (ok, the last few were the kids--but I totally have to drive them around)...and what's left then but zero time? And still I manage to write. Now, few people are as insanely obsessed with writing as I am (as in 4-6 hours of sleep a night to get in the writing fix), but I think you can do anything that is your true passion (although, it might require a bit of a nutter factor). My first manuscript I wrote in the process of a transatlantic move and despite having had to undergo surgery. So...does that make me a superstar? Of course not. It just makes me committed (or maybe it means I should be committed--the jury is still out on this).

    Okay, civilization ovah!!! I'm so lucky!!!!!! Thank you, Heather for drawing me!!!! I know it was luck, but I feel like mind power played a role in this. Yayyyyyyyyy!!

  3. OMG Carol that was amazing!!! I'm so glad you're so enthusiastic, and I promise you that Tameka is very excited to (she just got excited over Twitter and email, but had a similar reaction to yours). Yay!! I love making people happy :)

  4. Congrats, you guys! That's like totally awesome! I'm really happy for you!

    On the post: Heather, I couldn't agree with you more.

    A quote I love from Richard Bach goes: "Argue for your limitations, and sure enough they're yours."

    I think too often we talk ourselves out of making time for the things that are most important to us. Everyone has too much to do and wishes for more time.

    But I believe the writers who devote the time somehow, despite the obstacles, are the ones that succeed. That ability to make it work is the difference between a real writer and a wannabe (harsh, yes, but the truth often is). No good writing comes without sacrifice, and so I think your challenge is a good one.

    And please, since we're on the topic, give us a sample of one of your "interviews." :D

  5. Congrats to the winners and YES to what you said, you have to make the time, you just do it when the passion is there.

  6. Yeah, I think you're right about making time for it. Although it is very easy to fall into self-pity at times when we feel overworked and underpaid, isn't it? Ha! Nice post.

  7. Congrats to Tamika and Carolina! Yay! :-)

    Thanks for today's post, Heather. I needed to hear this today. :-)

  8. Yay! Congrats to Tamika & Carol! And also thank you to Carol for leaving such an enthusiastic comment. It brighted an otherwise depressing day for me. No one can be down in the face of that kind of excitement. And thank you Heather for holding the contest that generated that excitement!

    I've already found myself jotting down timelines and plot points when the fancy strikes me thanks to seeing all the hard work you've been putting in. Stuff I've been sitting on for nearly a decade is finally seeing paper (or keystrokes as the case may be.) Do you know the effect you have on people? ;)

  9. Yes, yes, yes. You totally have to push yourself and make writing a priority, no excuses! And congrats to the winners!

  10. Congrats to Carol and Tamika. Great post Heather. Let's hear it for Nike everyone, and just DO IT!

  11. Holly awwww...I'm touched. So glad my crazy enthusiasm brightened your day. I can't tell you how much I really, really wanted this book.

    Heather, you're the best ;)

  12. There are no adjectives to describe how ELATED I am to have won!! I love winning! I love books! I love Dennis Lehane! It's a hat trick of win! Thank you so much for holding the contest Heather, this totally made my week!!

    Plus I love your post, I do have to make time for my writing and just do it. I loathe my WIP and haven't been able to go back to it quite yet. I think I'll make it a priority to work on it a little everyday, maybe I'll get to a place where I don't hate it anymore.

    Congrats to Carolina as well!! And to me...because I won!!!! Yay!

    Heather, you rock!


Loved it? Hated it? Either way, I want to hear what you thought!

Copyright 2009

See Heather Write
. Powered by Blogger
Blogger Templates created by Deluxe Templates
Wordpress by Wpthemesfree