You are probably wondering: "Why? I've been so inspired all of a sudden?" Good question!
My good answer:
- An instructor recently told me not to settle for less than what I think I deserve. That I was born to write.
- A fellow SCBWI member just got a 3 book deal with Hyperion. She got an agent in March and sold her book in a "good" deal by Aug. Best news is she has 2 kids - the same age as mine - and started her book a couple years ago. There is hope for us moms that juggle diapers, pacis, and keypads (really its computers but pens sounded better).
- I have a hunch. I know this is the path to my purpose. How I don't know - but I just do. I have no excuses anymore. My 4 year old is in PreK and my 16 month old starts a mommy day-out program. Or as I now call it - mommy-day-write.
So - now I need a plan right? Ok, plan #99 - hopefully #99 is a charm!
I call it The "Get off my Ass" Plan - creative, clear, yet catchy. I am going to reach beyond the stars for my dream. I'm shooting far and I am shooting high.
I'm shooting for the Milky Way!So here it is!
1 - Finish my YA Thriller, "Grace under Fire" - CHECK.
SIDE NOTE: Ok so I've already done this. I just wanted something to check off something so I felt I was moving forward. Is that cheating? Come on you all do it to - create a "to-do" list of the things you have already done - just so you can feel like you have achieved something in your busy day. Fess up!
SIDE NOTE Squared: Actually I have finished 1 YA, 1 MG (which is shelved due to editing complications), 1 PB series, 1 holiday PB, and 2 PBs. But who is counting? Actually my husband probably is and most likely my parents. And I know my bank account is!
Question of the day:
How many books can you write and still be unpublished? Answer - Ill tell you as soon as I find out. Stay tuned!
2 - Review Plot thoroughly - CHECK, CHECK. I am working through my manuscript with my amazing critique group to revise each chapter.
SIDE NOTE: Actually it is not a critique group, it is a support group called The Calliope Circle. Kinda like "Alcoholics Anon" but without the booze. Ok, ok so there MAY be a little booze - not with them that's just coffee and snacks, but maybe when I'm writing or trying to write.
SIDE NOTE Squared: Speaking of support groups - is there a "Writers Anon" out there and if so - did someone sign me up without my consent? It sure feels like it.
SIDE NOTE cubed: And if there is a Writers Anon- who would sign up? Doesn't every writer want to be known? Maybe not.
3 - Remove my name from the Writers Anon list!
SIDE NOTE: Does anyone know who owns the list or is that a dumb question?
4 - Revise, revise, revise - CHECK. If I knew WHAT to revise it would not be an issue. The issue is figuring out how to find out, who to believe, and when its done!
SIDE NOTE - I am already working with a great editor, Harold Underdown, in a class that spends the next 6 weeks revising and re-revising (is that a word?) my first 3 chapters, synopsis, and query letter. I have worked with him before and I like him. Be wary though - he cuts to the chase . His services may even come with a disclaimer - "Not for the soft-hearted". But as my dad always said: No pain no gain." I am starting to believe him.
5 - Focus on literary agents.
SIDE NOTE: For my first MG book, "On Tattered Wings" I queried mostly publishers.
SIDE NOTE Squared: Status? 19 form rejections, 5 personal rejections with comments, 3 "we would like to see it"s, and 1 editorial letter who ended up not taking it after I did all the edits (that is a whole nother story and yes I am a little bitter about it.) So 18 rejections and 1,000 cliches later - I shelved it. Then there is my NonFiction book that was in the top 2 books being considered by American Girl but was
6 - Research Agents - This year (or what is left of the remaining 33%) I am going to focus on getting a clean query packet out to 10 - 15 agents that really fit me and my style. I'm shooting for November. Doable - right? Write!
You all probably know the rest but Ill quickly recap.....
7 - land a 3 book deal with 6 figures
8 - get my book on shelves in all major and independent book store.
9 - receive great reviews form top publications - maybe even an award or two.
10 - hit the bestseller list and stay there.
11 - sign a movie deal.
12 - Walk the red carpet and accept my well-deserved Oscar for "Best script/screenplay"
13 - hit the big time - The Big O (Oprah)
14 - help other struggling authors :)
Ok so I have my plan - now I just need some goals for the remaining 33% of the year
- Finish going through book by end of Sept
- Edit - no wait - PERFECT query packet by Oct 1
- Send packet out to 10-15 agents that I hand chose by end of Oct.
- Perfect book with a great line edit (oh Harold!)
- Wait for all 15 to come back screaming "YES WE WILL TAKE IT!"
- That's it - easy as pie!
So as you can see I am shooting past the stars because the stars are not far enough for me...
I'm shooting for the Milky Way!
Now, who's the Space Cadet? :)