I’m Getting Published! (or My New Years Resolution!)

No, I’m not getting published…yet, but I’m putting it out in the universe!

Have you ever done that? Wanted something so bad you think about it, dream it, and talk about it all the time? Has it ever worked for you? A few years ago my husband introduced me to that concept. I’ll admit, I am stubborn, hard headed, and often resist change and trying something new. Then one day I took his advice and did it. Man, talk about a life changing experience! As a result, I’ve experienced positive results so I can attest to the fact the saying is true: “Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.”

That goes for both positive and negative thoughts. If you dwell on every negative thing that could happen in a situation, guess what, it will because that’s what you concentrate on. Why? Because you don’t take the steps to find a way to make what you want happen. Flip the switch from negative to positive and the results will surprise you. Changing your focus from what won’t happen, and putting your time and energy in what ‘will happen’ makes a huge difference. Determination to see your goal reached will help you succeed.

So, along with losing weight – isn’t that on EVERYBODY’S New Years Resolution list? – I’m thinking publication. Do I have my sights stuck on traditional publication? Mmm… not so much. The publishing industry is fickle; too much old school thinking. Today is a new day, literally. 2012 holds so many publishing options it’s not necessary to get stuck in the old ways. There’s E-publishing, Self-Publishing by way of ‘vanity’ publishing, or publishing by way of Amazon.

Decisions, decisions, decisions. I know I’m going to see my book on Amazon…now it’s a matter of how it’ll get there.

And here’s where patience and research comes in.
Since I’m putting all of my positive energy out there, let me share the list of things I want to happen this year, as far as my writing career is concerned:
  • Be published by a publishing company.
  • Sell a lot of books of course!
  • Be interviewed by local radio and television stations.
  • Participate in the Writer’s Conference in my city. 
  • Continue to make wonderful connections with other authors and readers.
Interesting goals, but all are attainable…if I set my mind to it and follow the steps I’ve learned along the way. Can’t wait to see what my end of the year blog will say. I will definitely follow up to see what I have been able to achieve.

But for now, I continue to push forward. The question I’ve asked myself since completing A Heart Not Easily Broken is this: My MS is done…now what?

One of the most valuable lesions I’ve learned from my critique partners is to not wait to start writing the next book, especially when writing a series. Why? First of all, no matter what publishing route you take, readers will want to know when the next book will be available. Publishers and agents will be interested in the fact your writing a series, because lets face it, series can lead to more sales verses stand alone titles. Before investing in you, and your product, they will want to sample the next book to be sure of the continuity of your storytelling as well as characters. It’s always best to have a second book available upon request. The last thing you want to do is be pushed for time to get something down on paper and have it lack the fire and spirit of the novel that caught their attention. Think about it: when you query, you never do it with the first draft of your story. You’ve gone over it with a fine tooth comb to tighten up the prose as much as possible. That takes weeks, months even. Publishers won’t give you that kind of time to see results. If you lose their interest, they will move on. Why give them that chance? 

I haven’t waited around. After taking two days of down time to clear my head and spend time with the family, I dived back in and started writing the second book in The Butterfly Memoirs: Jaded. This wasn’t the writing by the seat of my pants kind of writing. Completing my first novel taught me a lot about my writing technique, planning, outlining, and scheduling. As a result, it took me twenty days to write the first draft. That was ten days less than the thirty days it took to write the first book.

What did I do differently?

First of all, I took time during the second and third edits of the first book to work on the deep character profiles and story outline. I didn’t rush through the process, only took time to muse over the story as a way to take a break from the first book. Doing so allowed me to go back to edits with a clear head. Having the second books out line completed paid off. There was no down time needed to muse over my characters or decide what type of story I wanted to tell. The day before I started writing chapter one, I found all the pictures I needed for scene references, character references, and put my charts together. From there, I wrote, wrote, and wrote some more.

Another thing I did differently was write my first draft on my laptop instead of by hand. LOL, I heard the gasps out there. When writing my first novel, I used the old school method of writing by hand. As a result I have three-hundred and fifty handwritten pages of my first draft. I wrote like a crazy person, any and everywhere I had a chance. In my car at the red light, while waiting for the kids to come out of after school rehearsals, and yes, even in the bathroom. The second draft was done while transposing the work to my laptop. A third draft was done on the laptop.

This time around, I opted not to write the first draft by hand. Since this first draft was written on my laptop it cut down the places I could write. Writing at the red light was not an option, and doing it with the laptop in my lap in the car while waiting for the kids was not comfortable. So, I had to start a schedule.
Schedule, I loath, but I’ll be darned if my hubby wasn’t right. It really does work!

My mornings start with routine house leaning three days a week. That is followed with checking in on my social networking sites – shout outs, promotions, and making new friends. After that, I allow myself two hours to put in some serious work before the kids get home. After that comes evening family responsibilities, homework and dinner. After eight P.M., if I have a thought or a scene that wasn’t finished in the time allowed, I put in another hour or two. Ten P.M. is my cut off time. It’s time to give my brain a break, watch T.V., or go to bed.

Two days out of the week are dedicated writing days. Light attention is paid to house cleaning, and one hour of social networking. After that, it’s on. I enter my writing cave and stay there for hours, taking a break every two hours to stretch, eat, check in online, or lay down to rest my eyes and brain. By three P.M., I’m done for the day. After six hours of straight writing/editing I am usually pretty productive.  Depending on the depth of emotion of the chapter, or the material to be covered at that point in the story, I may write one to three chapters in a day, an average of thirty pages, or about seven-thousand words. That’s on a really good day.
Is my schedule perfect? Nope, and it’s not set in stone. But I can truly say for the last few weeks it has worked wonders. I’m not mentally worn out, my house is cleaner, and my family happier. Not to mention there are less burnt dinners. LOL! If I stay on this path, I’m sure I will find reasons to continue putting my positive thoughts into the universe and see the results I’m looking for.

So, what are your writing goals for 2012? What dreams do you wish to see fulfilled? What path are you taking to make it happen? I told you mine, now share!

Happy writing!

MJ

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2 thoughts on “I’m Getting Published! (or My New Years Resolution!)

  1. The positive thinking really does work. Worked when I finally met my husband–I finally decided that I was going to meet the man I was supposed to marry within a year. I did. Worked for my first publishing contract last year–I was determined that I would get a contract before I turned 30. I did. This year, I'm believing for an agent and at least five more books completed.

  2. I've used this method religiously for six years now. It hasn't worked yet, but I try, try, try to keep focussed & upbeat. If my body was as 'exercised' as my mind I'd be a stone lighter, & the hardest part is trying to keep believing when nothing appears to be happening.The thing that gets me out of bed every day is the thought that somewhere out there, 'The Universe' is working-away for me & that it'll happen 'soon'.There's a saying: "The harder I work; the luckier I get." Hard work helps too. If you're working as hard as you can, you'll be (theoretically), increasing your chances. Or you could just buy a Lottery ticket & hope for the best. I tried that too. It didn't work either!

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