Last year I blew it – I swore I wouldn’t do it again this year.
It’s time to make my public commitment of my writing goals for the year. 2010 was a challenging year for me, not only personally, but for my writing as well. But I ended the year on a good note, and I am feeling enthusiastic and optimistic for the year ahead. So, without further adieu, here they are:
1) I will secure an agent. Plain and simple, I need to do this. The market has become such that – even for children’s writers – an agent is a must. I’ve been fortunate in that all the books of I’ve sold thus far were sold without benefit of an agent, and without having to pay an agent’s commission. But the market has changed dramatically in recent years, and the truth is, if you want to be published by the bigger houses (and who’s kidding – of course I do), then an agent is the way to get past those big, heavy doors and slip my foot inside. I have been submitting a manuscript to agents for a while, but I think it’s the wrong manuscript. The good news is, I finished another novel at the end of the year, and I think it’s stronger and more marketable than the one I had been shopping. The new novel – a dystopic, speculative YA fiction – still needs some fine-tuning, but I’ve already had one agent ask to see more of my work, and this may be the piece that does it.
2) I will finish “Project Evil Heart” – that is the working title of a contemporary adult novel that I’m collaborating with another writer on. We are each quite intrigued to see how this goes, but we have had such fun working together, I’m afraid of how it will feel when it is done and we don’t have the same excuses to get together and laugh till our faces hurt. But we will finish it – and by then, one or both of us will have an agent, and they can fight over how the book is handled.
3) I will finish my YA novel entitled “The Complete Guide to What I Should Have Known” that I started last year. Yup – I’m committing to finishing two novels in a year. I have no reason to doubt I won’t. Well, in a way, I’m only finishing a novel and a half – so it isn’t as huge an accomplishment as it sounds. I liked how this book started last year, but then I lost my way for a while. that’s when I picked up the dystopic novel (that had actually been started about 10 years ago!) and decided to finish that. It has even more importance to me now, due to events in my private life – but we won’t get into that at the moment.
4) I will sell at least one book. Of course, if I get an agent, the odds of that go up considerably. I have two novels finished, a third that I pledge to have done, so I’m feeling pretty confident about my odds. Call me optimistic, but there is so much enthusiasm for writing in my life right now – not just my own, but within my family, my close friends, my writing associates too. My writing parter and best friend is part of it. My family who lives all across the US is another. And my own life situation – changing jobs to one that focuses on writing every day – is helping me to reconnect with how important this aspect of my life really is. I truly feel that one of these books is going to sell, and I will be able to dive back into that life of words that I know is at the core of who I am.
So there it is – and I’m not going to allow myself to slack off as I have in recent years. No excuses, only forward motion. I hope you all have a fabulous year ahead filled with all those things that make your life worth living!