Photo from Gretchen E.K. Engel
The Scriblerians regularly “get together” virtual style on Google Hangouts and the topic of our blog came up. We decided to do columns with our individual theme. It was easy for me. I chose Write-Run-Live. My favorite and easiest blogs are ones I do that center around setting goals and encouraging others in their journey.
Right now I’m finishing up the rewrite of a manuscript. I’ve changed it from first-person present to close third, altered the timeline, and changed the title as well as some of the focus of the story. Believe it or not the hardest part was flipping from pantser to plotter. It took a bit of tweaking scenes before I realized I had to strategize. I took the new timeline and made it work. Writing the scenes and editing them have been the easy part.
That’s a metaphor for my life right now. Along with writing, I’m training for my second, and perhaps third half-marathon. Then there’s the kids’ summer activities, and I’m in the middle of a large project with my day job. Scheduling my life is the hard part. Getting it done works with some planning. Did I mention that I’m becoming a plotter in real life too? OK, maybe I’ve always been a plotter who just looks spontaneous.
That said, I do crazy-busy as little as possible. It’s like the speed work part of my training. They’re my favorite runs. I sprint for 400m (1/4 mile) then walk for a 1/4 mile. This alternates for a number of sets. I can sprint knowing that I have time to rest. Toward the end of the rest, I’m ready to run again. Like life. I enjoy seasons of busy when I know there’s an end in sight. And relish the slow times knowing a busy season is around the corner. Another metaphor.
Do you like a scheduled life, being spontaneous, or a bit of both?
The community of fiction writers has been one of the most supportive groups I’ve ever belonged to. Its members are quick to reassure others that yes, we’ll get our best work published. It’s only a matter of time.
And it’s true. It’s happening within our Scriblerians group.
I’ve read a number of blogs and articles describing the signs that an author is close to landing a book contract with a publisher. But there’s nothing like having those indicators right here at home among the Scriblerians. They bolster the confidence of all our members, and if you’ve experienced any of the following, know that your time for seeing your book in print will likely come too.
(Any or several of these signs might apply to any of our members.)
- You find your niche and a following grows rapidly for your blog, Twitter account, Facebook author page, etc.
- You are approached to speak about a topic you blog about or cover in your fiction.
- You are asked to write about it for another’s blog or periodical.
- You are hired to edit a published author’s work.
- You win one or more fiction-writing contests.
- You are sought as a judge for writing contests.
- Your short story is selected for an anthology or for publication in a magazine.
- You are selected by a publisher as an “influencer” for its books, reading and reviewing regularly.
- You are hired for any reason by a publisher that knows you aspire to be published.
- You become involved in the production of others’ books as an illustrator, editor, or consultant.
- Your rejection letters become more personalized, offering suggestions for changes to your manuscript.
- You are asked to resubmit to an agent or editor after changes to your manuscript.
- You are referred by a published author to his or her agent.
- You sign with an agent.
Of course, none of the above may happen. We’ve heard of authors who send out a few queries, full manuscripts are requested immediately, and they sign a contract with a publisher within weeks.
But most of us need some bolstering along the road before we reach our destination. If you seek publication of your book—fiction or nonfiction— I hope an item or two on our list encourages you.
What other signs can you cite and add to these?