Happy New Year!!! Okay, I’m a little early... but still, I hope 2009 proves to be a year of grace and peace and accomplishment... I hope each of my bloggy buddies finds agents or book deals or both... I hope you all stretch the limits of your dreams, then find new goals to strive for, and maybe enjoy the scenery along the way... okay, definitely that last bit.
In case any of you were wondering, I didn’t make my writing goal. Not even close. I’m about half-way through. I could list you a bunch of excuses, but they would be just that and the truth is probably a lot simpler – it was too short a time limit for me to write a rough draft in the way I’m comfortable. From the start of this WIP, I’ve been at it less than three months (that includes plotting, I started from scratch). Honestly, I’m a little amazed I’ve been able to devote as much time to writing as I have been, given that the start of a new school year, one child’s birthday, and three holidays have come and gone. There’s been baking and planning and present presenting. We’ve had one flood (the first in the twelve years I’ve lived here) and one bout of vermin – don’t ask. And laundry, let’s not forget the laundry.
I mentioned in an earlier blog, I’m not one of those writers that goes by word count per day. It just doesn’t work for me because I’m liable to come back to the writing tomorrow and cut two full pages from the previous days’ progress. I re-read and re-edit during the rough draft process and, hopefully, that makes revisions a little less complicated. Probably not, but it’s the way I work. I can’t barrel forward with glaring inaccuracies or flat out mistakes in the previous pages.
What did I accomplish? Well, I like this WIP. The characters, the story, the setting, the themes... I needed to tell it and I needed to tell it now. In the last month, I posted my first paragraph at Nathan’s and my pitch at BookEnds... my pitch needs a bit of work, I think, but I’ll get to that as I go.
Last year, I mentioned that I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions. I set goals for myself, but I wouldn’t list any resolutions on the blog. I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately and wondered, in fact, if the real reason I don’t post these things is because I’m afraid of staring at a big fat failure a year later. I even paged through my old posts to see if I mentioned where I wanted to be today, and I came across this one:
Why is the song loser running through my mind? Huh... apparently it’s common for me to hit a funk at the year’s end... who’d a thunk it?
Three Things struck me from that post:
But whatever else happens, I’ll finish this one and I’ll start on the next... now’s the time to do it in earnest...
I did that! I finished Raskin’s Wings in March. I’ve submitted to a good number of agents – no one tells you ahead of time that researching agents takes more work than writing! I had some feedback and a few requests for partials and fulls and have, for now, pulled it from submissions. It’s a good story, and I truly believe it’s publishable... but it’s not the best writing I can do. It took getting embroiled in this one before I fully realized that. Right now the plan is to go back to that one and see if I can revise it... but it may be one of those fabled ‘under the bed’ books... we’ll see.
Failure is not a problem. Failure does one of two things – it either makes you stronger or it defeats you... I’m not the second one. I know I’m not, I just don’t have it in me to lie down.
Okay, I have on occasion stumbled across a writer that pulled me out of my little wallowy bullshit by their prose... I’ve never before done it to myself... It would be laughable if it wasn’t a touch crazy, but hell, if I was completely normal I sure the hell wouldn’t keep at a career path that hands you rejection at every turn.
The third thing was the comments. All of whom are the same people who I’ve visited all year and who visit me. Who tell me to keep going, even when it would be more sensible to quit. There are a few other bloggers who missed that one but have kept me on the path, and I thank you.
So, okay, New Year’s Resolutions (what’s the worst that could happen?)
Finish From the Neighborhood (I’ll open end the out date – but I’m thinking March... that’s a book a year, which isn’t bad)
Get a job that I like. (Harder than it looks in this economy – and the other vaiables in there include a boss flexible enough that I can take the occasional afternoon for my kids’ stuff or sick days when they are... and I’ll need a great babysitter) As a side note, anybody have any idea how scary it is to look for a real job after having been home raising kids for more than eleven years? It’s positively frightening... and it makes editors and agents look far less ferocious
Publish (anything... though, a book contract *girly giggles* would be lovely)
Of course, with a book contract I would be looking for the perfect agent first – but I didn’t want to add that one to the list... I’m not setting a time limit on that, though one can always dream.
Okay, Guys, I’d love to hear your New Year’s Resolutions if you’ve got any... or about how your bloggy buddies have helped you out, kept you going, or even helped you squander your time...
Here’s hoping you all have the most joyous New Year!