Friday, March 4, 2016

Letter From the Editor by Claire Caldwell

Good morning, everyone!

I’ll start off by wishing a happy book birthday to this month’s Heartwarming roster:


Congratulations on your releases, Karen, Syndi, Linda and Catherine!

One of my favorite parts of being an editor is how much is always going on at once. For example, right now, I’m simultaneously celebrating and promoting new releases, line-editing soon-to-be published titles and brainstorming future story ideas with authors. Which has gotten me thinking, lately, about how social this job—and the job of an author—can be.

Though us book people are often depicted as retiring introverts (and hey, who among us hasn’t opted for a night in with a novel and a warm drink), there’s so much more interaction and collaboration than we get credit for. Even if I’m technically alone while editing, I always feel like I’m having a conversation with the author. Throughout the day, I’ll be on the phone or emailing authors and agents, checking in with colleagues, tweeting…  I know the same can be said for many writers, too. 
Which is to say nothing of signings, readings and conferences. And all of that is great! It’s what I love about the job. But there’s also something to be said for solitude.

Though I’m not due at Harlequin until 9am, my workday actually starts at 6, so I can get in some of my own writing. I started this routine about six months ago, when I realized I needed to carve out some dedicated time if I wanted to meet my writing goals and sink my teeth into a new project. I’ve really come to savor that sliver of time when I can be alone with my words (and a cup of coffee, obviously).

Whether it’s in the form of a retreat or finding a quiet hour to close the office door every day, it’s so important to take time not just for but with ourselves. I hope everyone gets that opportunity for solitude this weekend.

Speaking of opportunities (please forgive my awkward segue!), the Heartwarming editors will be announcing an exciting pitch opportunity at the end of the month. Keep an eye on the So You Think You Can Write blog (www.sytycw.com/blog) for details!

Stay warm and have a wonderful weekend,


Claire

25 comments:

  1. Hi, Claire! As you can see, I'm at my desk bright and early today. I don't know how you-and the other Harlequin editors-manage all the varied tasks you do every day. It boggles the mind. Best of luck with your own writing.

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    1. Thanks, Leigh! It boggles my mind sometimes, too! But it's worth it to get to work on so many great things--and with so many great people--at once! :)

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  2. As an avid reader I admire all of the hard work that authors and editors put into producing great books. I often wonder if there's ever an internal conflict that you all struggle with sometimes - the enjoyment of reading vs. writing/editing. Thank you for all that you do to bring readers enjoyment.

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  3. Thanks for a look behind the scenes! And this month's covers are gorgeous!

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  4. Hi, Claire! Great post! I often wonder how you editors manage it all? It's difficult enough to have one (or two) stories swirling around in my head, but to have several at one time like you guys do? Wow. And with you being a writer yourself, I can't imagine what's going on inside of your brain. I am a lover of solitude myself, although I do enjoy some social time, too. I think that's one of the best things about writing - you don't usually HAVE to be social unless you WANT to. Happy Weekend!

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  5. Hi, Claire,
    Because you and I have been swirling and concocting ideas a lot this past week, and all the editing and AA's last week, this sliver of time is precisely one of those moments when I feel we are in the same room together and I adore that. Ever since I read your book of poetry, I've wondered how on earth you had time to write for yourself. I think it's amazing that you keep your head on straight!!! This weekend I will have solitude to write and carving out that time has been more difficult over the past couple months than I'd thought possible. Since we just got 4 inches of fresh snow...I have to go make my hot coffee now.

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    1. Catherine, the way we "talk" in the margin notes of your manuscripts always makes my day! I hope you have a cozy writing weekend--stay warm!

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  6. Hi, Claire,
    Because you and I have been swirling and concocting ideas a lot this past week, and all the editing and AA's last week, this sliver of time is precisely one of those moments when I feel we are in the same room together and I adore that. Ever since I read your book of poetry, I've wondered how on earth you had time to write for yourself. I think it's amazing that you keep your head on straight!!! This weekend I will have solitude to write and carving out that time has been more difficult over the past couple months than I'd thought possible. Since we just got 4 inches of fresh snow...I have to go make my hot coffee now.

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  7. I used to love writing in solitude but smart phones make it tough to do that when the screen is highlighting with new FB, text, Twitter, Instragram, Pinterest updats... I'm like you Claire- I keep myself on a strict schedule and that's the kind of discipline that helps so much when writing while working :) Can't wait to hear more about your stories!

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    1. Not gonna lie, I often have Twitter/email open in the background when I'm writing (and editing, lol). Too many distractions! Though they're also important tools for the job. :)

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  8. Ah, solitude, when we can be alone with our own thoughts and no one interrupts the flow. I love that time. Have a wonderful weekend.

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  9. If I don't get my share of solitude, I become quite cranky, Claire. I report to my day job @ 6:00 a.m., although I'm not writing, I savor the peace and quiet before the workday begins for my coworkers. As for my writing time, I must protect it, so I unplug until the words are written. I'm excited to hear more about the pitch opportunity. Have a great weekend!

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    1. Oh gosh, I don't think I could face the world that early in the morning! And good on you for having the self-discipline to unplug. Have a great weekend, too!

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  10. Great post, Claire! I'm with Jill...I know I haven't been writing enough when my mood takes a serious nose dive. :) Happy writing!

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    1. Thanks, Anna. I know what you mean about the mood thing. Hope you get lots of writing in this weekend! :)

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  11. Claire, I'm amazed with all that is on your plate when you don your editor hat that you can find time to write. It seems when I think how great it'd be to slow down a bit, that's when my calendar seems to fill up and my days get crazier. I hope all the editors in Toronto know how much we value and appreciate them. Have a good weekend.

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  12. Glad to hear you value and appreciate us, Roz!!! (I don't know how Claire does it, either. I do find it difficult to have the same out-of-office pursuit as my in-office one. I'm usually so behind on my reading for work that reading for pleasure only happens on vacations. And writing? Haven't done that in about 15 years... Rock on, Claire!)

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    1. Did you give up the writing as a conscious decision, Victoria? A newspaper editor I knew once, whose writing was wonderful (I had a jealous thing going on there; she not only wrote better than I did, she red-penned me to death), did just that.

      I loved your post, Claire. Like everyone else, I like that look at behind the scenes.

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  13. I love the quiet, early-morning hours (after our pups are fed and walked, of course)! It's my favorite time to write!!

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  14. Wait. You're an editor AND a writer. How do you keep your head from exploding??? I'm a very social person, but like Jill, if I don't get some alone time, I get cranky. I have a one hour time slot between 5 am and 6 am to drink my coffee and work on my writing. After that I'm inundated with people. 20 kindergarteners all day long, tumbling classes full of chatty girls all evening...there are some days that I really crave quiet!

    And a pitch opportunity?!?! Whoo hooo!!!!

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  15. Sorry I'm so late to the party today. Good wishes on your dreams, Claire. Well, your other dreams. I'm sure at some point you dreamed of working with the likes of us. Ha! We all admire all of you. I can't imagine trying to get inside someone else's head and story when mine is so cluttered with my own life.

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  16. Claire is the very best! She even takes the time to call authors who have dropped off the face of the earth... cough thanks for checking on me cough. And if you want to read something she's written, I enjoyed her book of poetry! http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/189498787X/ref=mp_s_a_1_9?qid=1457132807&sr=8-9&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=claire+caldwell

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  17. Cool beans. Thanks for the link Amy. Almost all the teachers I work with are poetry snobs (yes, that's the term they use). I'll go take a look. Love the personal insight, Claire.

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  18. Cool link,Amy !! Ok. Sun is going down. Great day at the "keys". I've got the wine. All y'all comin' over?? Got that, Karen? Lol!!!

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  19. Great news about a pitch opportunity!

    Question - can you be involved in two pitches from Harlequin at once? Or choose one?

    Thanks!

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