Happy New Year all,
I'm returning to my blog well after any reasonable time off, but I'm ready to join 2008 now.
One of my critique partners pointed me to J.A. Konrath's invaluable writer's resolutions (jakonrath.blogspot.com, blog date Dec 21). Good advice about keeping up with your blog (ahem!), finishing the damn book, attending writer's conferences, etc. The resolutions I'll focus on are setting realistic goals, helping fellow writers and refusing to be discouraged.
Although I'd like to believe it's in my power to find an agent, it's out of my control. But sending queries is in my control. And, although I strongly believe TODAY is the day I'll hear from the agent reading my full manuscript, realistically I know I need to identify more perfect agents and send more queries. So, every two weeks, as I'm finishing my damn second book, I'll identify five more agents to query.
Although I'm not published YET, I can still help fellow writers. I attend a critique group where hopefully my critique is of value to others. I attempt to follow the critique advice I previously blogged about and I'd like to believe it's helpful. I was elected Treasurer of The Writers' Guild of Texas, a non-profit organization formed to support the Texas writing community. I've spent the last two years researching, improving my writing skills and learning about the publishing industry. If someone asks for (reasonable) help, I'll give it to them. As I'm finishing the damn book.
Now the hardest: Refusing to be discouraged. Soon I will blog about contests. But for now let me say, I've entered eight over the last two months (some short stories, some novel excerpts) and will send one more entry by January 15. I've received three "Sorry, not this time" responses. I've received 22 rejection letters in response to queries. We've all heard/read about Stephen King's 500 rejections before he was published. So every time I start to get discouraged, I think about that stack of paper stabbed to King's wall, login to WritersMarket.com, and research a new agent to query. As several of the rejections I've received from agents have advised: "It's not right for me, but it'll be right for someone." And as Maya Reynolds (mayareynoldswriter.blogspot.com) advises, set goals and take the steps necessary to reach those goals. Treat your writing career as a business. That I can understand. That I can control.