Back on October 15th I wrote a post detailing, or rather ranting about my stagnation as a writer. I vowed to set goals and make actual progress... Egads, I promised in print which makes it much harder to back down.
So I thought making it a monthly progress report, posted for all to see would keep me even more honest... and focused. You’ll see, in this months’ post, I fell short in a few areas but overall made some real progress. I’m hoping, keeping in mind I’ll owe you all another report in December, that I’ll hit every goal this time.
Okay, in the last post (or in the comments somewhere) I mentioned that I wanted to submit at least four times a month and work on my wip for a minimum of an hour a day.
I sent out three submission – so one shy, but more than I did last month and two of them took a good amount of time to write and edit, so I’m fairly proud of myself... still I’m hoping to improve.
I sent out one short story, one greeting card submission (though for three different cards), and one essay. I learned, by the way, that cover letters are far less nerve racking for me than queries... I’m not exactly sure why, but I was thrilled with how virtually painless it was.
My Novel – I did not get in as much work as I wanted to and I’m being a little hard on myself over it. Time wise, I did okay. I’d skip some days but then manage to eek in three or five hours on it later so I think I stuck pretty well to that hour a day mark, if I didn’t surpass it...
I got stuck on the first two chapters, I think I also posted about that somewhere, but the voice really threw me and it kind of stalled my progress for a bit there, even though I was putting in the time the work was not where I needed it to be... I did, however, flesh out some themes that I didn’t even know were there (God I love that about writing fiction).
What did I learn or devote time to this month that had to do with writing but not really with my listed goals?
First, I worked on my pitch at BookEnds. It wasn’t on my agenda because I’m not ready to query, but I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to have a great agent critique my pitch, so I wrote one especially for her post. (It’s due up in the next round of crits and I’m a little queasy about it).
Inspired by the agent posts about pitch, JJ Debenedictis hosted her own, called Goblin’s Crucible – which was invaluable... and took up the better part of my writing time for two days... Thank you for the very intricate critique, and thank you to Josephine Damian who also gave me some invaluable advice. If you read the comments there, you’ll see I revised my pitch an awful lot... another reason I’m nervous about Jessica at BookEnds critting the first one, the new one’s much better and I’m still not quite there.
I also took some time to research perspective agents – some allotted time, and some agents I stumbled upon here and there and then took the time to check out a little more thoroughly... my list is now two pages long and I’m noting the really interesting ones with little stars... so when I’m query ready I can look back at them first.... Researching agents for me also means tracking down some of their books in or around my genre and either, checking if they’re a style that’s comfortable or comparable (I say checking because you’d be surprised how often I have copies or have read them) – or putting them on my to read list for the next time I’m in a bookstore.
Okay, I’d like to thank all of the bloggers who took the time to check in with me, or caught me in comments and asked how the writing was going. Most especially Ello and Mary Witzl, because they checked in often and were a great reminder when I was goofing off in cyber space... Thanks for the extra support, I actually find it dead useful and would be more than happy to add anyone to my ‘are you writing?’ list if they’d like the kick in the pants.
My goals for next month:
I’m changing my novel goal. Making it a set amount of time is not working for me. I don’t feel like I’m making enough progress that way, so instead I’m making it an amount in chapters.... The first two chapters will be redone by the next check in... that’s actually a lot right there, but I’m going to add two chapters on top of those... I’m hoping to push it up past that, so I hope I’ll be able to give you all a glowing account of how I doubled my own goals.
My goal for submissions will stay at four. Hopefully I’ll make it this time.
For those of you who didn’t know, I’m hosting a book club blog on Patricia Wood’s Lottery. Please visit the post and see if you might like to participate. I’m really excited as Patricia’s offered to participate in the discussion and it’s really wonderful to have the author on hand to discuss a novel with...Hope to see you all there.