Tuesday, December 31, 2013

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The goals that really matter



  




In 2013 I made a goal. Get an agent.

Of course, that’s the kind of goal that’s impossible to control. There’s no telling when or how I will find an agent or if a novel will catch the attention of those that matter. I knew that when I made the goal, I know it now. So, I made a contingency plan. 

If I didn’t find an agent (or a small press publisher) by the end of 2013, I would self-publish in 2014.
Well, neither of those two plans will come into fruition (unless I get a phone call, oh say, in the next 3 hours).

I’m not going to self-publish. Not yet.

Have I changed my mind about self-publishing? No. I still think it’s a legitimate route for a writer, but not for me, not right now.

In 2013 I queried two books. 

1.       A YA fantasy. My first book, my first love. I had enough luck to receive a handful of personalized rejections on this novel, with comments that made me realize it still needs work. The concept, the writing, the characters—they’re good. But the plot needs work. I’ve come to realize this is a weakness of mine and I’ve been working to learn how to strengthen this aspect of my writing. Having already spent so much time on this book, I needed a break, so I’ve set it aside for now. 

2.       YA contemporary. This one got close to snagging an agent. This one got some attention from contests and a few fans on twitter (love when people tell me they want to read my novel, feels very good). I’m working on an R&R on this one now, that’s all I’ll say. This is neither a success nor a failure, this story is still evolving. 

Knowing that book #1 needs a rewrite, book #2 still has hope of finding a home soon and book #3 (MG fantasy) is just at the beginning stages of querying. So, no, I’m not making any big decisions now. I’m going to keep slogging through the trenches ‘til things become more clear.

How about my 2014 goals? 


Well, first thing first, I’m still seeking representation/publication. I hope to find an agent, but I’m not making that an official goal because I realize that it’s impossible to guess how my career will unfold.  This year, I’m making some more tangible goals. Mostly little things, like reading a book a week and keeping track of it, pending a little less time on twitter, Beta reading more often. 

Some a little bigger. 

Truth is, I have a ton of untold stories inside me. Four or five at least, that I want to write right now. I wish I had spent more time drafting in 2013. I might have been drowning a bit in revisions if I had but I’d have two more finished novels if I’d been more disciplined. Instead I have two half written novels. Step 1, is finish BOTH of those novels. I don’t really care how long it takes, but I will finish them as soon as I can. And write another one of those stories clawing at my brain. So at the end of 2014, I hope to have 3 more finished novels. Hopefully revised, but I’ll get to that when the time comes. What will I query when? I have no idea. I’ve been playing with the idea of creating a pseudonym.

I also hope to blog more. At least twice a month here. 

So those are my goals. 

I’m hoping 2014 will be the year that things start happening for me, but right now I’m still in the in-between phase. I don’t have a clear path. I can only take one step at a time until I find my footing. I can only keep moving, keep hoping, keep fighting and keep learning. The most important thing is that every year, I grow as a writer. I’ve done that in 2013. I’ll do it again in 2014. And that’s the biggest success of all.





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