Tuesday, June 9, 2009

SRS Smackdown Spotlight #2: Vivian Mahoney

Time for another Smackdown Spotlight. (Because it's fun to meet other smackdowners, no?) Make sure to visit Holly for her spotlight on Stacey Goldblatt.

Here at Cuppa Jolie, I'm thrilled to welcome Vivian Mahoney, aka HipWriterMama.

Vivian, tell us a little about yourself, like what makes you a HipWriterMama (LOVE the name by the way!)?

Thank you, Jolie! Hmmm. What makes me HipWriterMama? When I started blogging a couple years ago, I wanted a moniker that made me feel fearless in going public with my writing dreams. It was hard for me to see outside my identity of 'Mommy' and in some ways, I lost sight of my inner confidence after leaving my career to have children. Thus, HipWriterMama was born.
My blog is all about inspiration posts, writing tips, author interviews, and musings about life. I like to keep positive on my blog and find ways to encourage others to reaching their best. I'm also fortunate to be a postergirlz for readergirlz, a literary advisory group for teens -- probably the first and only time I'll ever be a poster girl -- and it's a total kick.

Tell us a little about your current revision project. Why is the smackdown for you?
The Summer Revision Smackdown couldn't come at a better time. Thank you so much, Jolie and Holly for organizing this! I've revised my historical YA manuscript numerous times, from first person to third person, back to first person, and now to alternating POV's. I could probably revise forever. But, sometimes it's time to let go of the fear and say enough. It's time.

Fear has been my biggest challenge in moving forward. Getting my butt in the chair to write? No problem. I crave my writing time since my life is all about the kids and helping my husband grow his business. It's the fear that maybe an agent won't like what I've written that keeps me revising, rather than submitting.

My challenge in this Smackdown is making sure the alternating POV's work and flow well together. Some chapters are more tedious than others, but it's been very rewarding seeing the result. After this revision, I'm going to throw down the gauntlet and say I'm done. After all, it's okay to have self-doubt, to question, to worry. But I'm not going to let my dreams fizzle. I've worked too hard on this manuscript.

Great attitude, Vivian! Keep on being fearless. Do you have a revision tip you can share with the rest?

The revision tip I'm going to offer today is to be easy on yourself and break your project down into manageable chunks. It could be one hour at a time (like Robin Mellom) or one chapter at a time. Whatever you choose, make sure it's something that's attainable so it can be done on a consistent basis. This habit will give you the strength and ability to work on your project no matter what gets thrown in your way. Let's face it, life throws a lot of curve balls and we need to know how to work past them. I've found it's the little steps that provide the fuel to take things to the next level. One chapter can turn into two. Into three. Into done. Are you game?

Thanks so much, Jolie!
Thank you, Vivian.
Don't miss tomorrow's Wednesday Whip Tip!


Anonymous said...

Great post! And I love that you're using this time to keep pushing past your fears! You do know how brave that is, right? :)

Robin Mellom said...

Great post, Vivian! I totally agree with the idea of breaking things down into manageable chunks. Attaining a goal, even if it's small, keeps the momentum going. And this is all such a head game.

Good luck to you with your revision and with SUBMITTING!!!


Suzanne Casamento said...

Bravo HipWriterMama! Good luck with the Summer Revision Smackdown!

Vivian Mahoney said...

Thank you Suzanne, Robin and Becky! And best of luck to all of you!

Jolie - You are a gracious hostess. Thank you!

i, chihuahua said...

thanks for the post! i especially love the revision tip, with its emphasis on combining small chunks with consistency and habit.

PJ Hoover said...

This is exactly the advice I need for this summer! Thanks, Vivian!

holly cupala said...

I love this, Vivian! It's so fun to hear more about you and your fearless attitude about revising. Don't be too hard on yourself - that's a great piece of advice, and one I try to remember! Manageable chunks, definitely! Thank you, Vivian.

Lisa said...

Great interview - thanks, Jolie and Vivan!

How's this week going for everyone else? I need a big kick in the pants this week . . . or just some simple ideas I can actually pull off while things are hectic!


Patty Palmer said...

It's true. Revising can be endless.
Glad you will be submitting soon. Yay, smackdown!

Beth Kephart said...

Any story Vivian tells is worth paying attention to. Break it down into chunks. Yup. It's the only way not to break down altogether.

Vivian Mahoney said...

You guys are the best. Thanks for your encouragement!

Let's all make this Smackdown rock!

BJW said...

Thanks Vivian, sorry I took so long to comment on your revision and writing tips. I appreciate them.

Now if I can only learn to hit that curve ball life keeps throwing at me.

Ok now manageable chunks. Or in the words of the immortal Bob Wiley, "Baby Steps. Baby steps around the office... baby steps into the elevator. I'm in the elevator...Ahhh