Wednesday, November 28, 2012

On not being published (yet)

OK. So, I promised that part two of this NaNoWriMo thing would be about my journey to publication…

First, a quick update on where I am in this year's challenge: I'm caught up! I wrote my 1,667 words today, and now there are only two more days to go. Wow. I'm not sure what I'm going to do when I finish. (That's not at all true. There's plenty to do!)

Anyway, I guess this story begins last year," when I finished NaNoWriMo 2011. I didn't actually plan on finishing. I gave up on my story after missing too many days of writing. I was a reporter at the time, and after writing all day for work, it turned out to be really hard to motivate myself to write fiction.

However, I took the week of Thanksgiving off and went down to Florida with my parents and my then-boyfriend, now-fiance. That week was pure relaxation…and a little bit of anticipation since we were planning on moving to Alabama from Arkansas in the weeks following.

So, I realized I had time to finish …so I did! I wrote several thousand words a day for those five-ish days and finished my novel!

And when I was done, I didn't hate it. I still really liked the premise, and my mind was already swimming with edits I wanted to make. But, I took a break from it. I'm still not sure if this is the right decision, but I suppose it had to be for me at the time since did in fact move to Alabama and start a new job/life/etc.

In February, I began the editing process. I edited, and I edited, which I've never really done before. I think there ended up being three drafts. During this time period - from February to about the end of May - we bought a printer!

I was super excited about it, and it has turned out to be such a nice thing to have! I learned that editing in hard copy with red pen? …there's actually something to that. I tend to pay more attention when things are down on real paper.

The next step was to write a great query letter. There are tons of online sources that will tell you how to do that. Mine does its best to appeal to the agent, talk about me and the project AND what inspired it - because that's important to me, I think.

So far, I've been rejected by a number of great literary agencies, and that's what I expected would happen. I think I have the right attitude. I hope I do anyway.

This is the first time I've edited a project and done this! It's GOOD to get rejected. Every writer says so - especially and famously, Stephen King: "My mother knew I wanted to be a writer (with all those rejection slips hanging from the spike on my bedroom wall, how could she not?),"

So, I'm preparing for several more in the coming weeks. I'm going to hold my head up. And, what I'm NOT going to do is keep pushing this project. I want to make sure that when I get published, it's with the right agent and the right project, and if this one isn't it…well, that's why I'm still writing.

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