Monday, January 27, 2014

Progress is Progress


Some of you may have noticed that my blog was down for some time, for a little over two months in fact. I had decided to step back and re-evaluate what I wanted for my platform as a writer. What would be out there and viewable to the rest of the world. I wasn't sure if I wanted to have a blog filled with travels, mixed in with writing, mixed in with life stories--both good and bad. I thought perhaps it was all too much. Too revealing, too chaotic, and perhaps too unfocused. But I realized that it showed the ebb and flow of life. Real life. Albeit, my real life. And would that be so terrible?

I'll leave that question unanswered. All I know is I enjoy writing these journal-like entries. And to continue to "write with honesty," as I've been told time and time again.

In December, I attended the Big Sur Writer's Workshop. I was joined by seventy-five other writers in various stages of their manuscripts, likely their first novel. I brought with me the first chapters to Violet Storm and White as Snow. Both of which have undergone a tremendous revision because of the great feedback I received from the critique groups at the workshop. So if you're curious to read what's there now, it's not the same as the new draft I have. So bear with me as I work on posting the updated first chapters.

As for the workshop: overall, the experience was well worth the price tag. I walked away with some really powerful tools, and some new friends to boot! I was happy to hear such great feedback on the chapters I brought with me, and I now have renewed confidence in both stories!

I am also happy to say that the newly revised Violet Storm manuscript is much more polished and currently circulating among several agents I have queried. It's been a couple weeks since they've been submitted, and I have yet to hear any requests asking for more chapters. This is not uncommon, and I'm not terribly worried whether it gets picked up by an agent, and subsequently a publisher. Why? Because the giddiness and excitement of taking the self-publishing route is overpowering the urge to go the traditional route.

A recently read a blog from a fellow writer in a similar position. He didn't seem particularly afraid to self-publish and was thinking about the small advances being given to writers these days by publishing houses. Not only that, but in self-publishing there is so much more freedom and control over the entire process. It is no small amount of work, however. That is where the challenge ultimately lies. And it sounds like my kind of gig. With the support I have, from art, to photography, and an amazing network of other writers (you all know who you are), it no longer seems as daunting or impossible to find a decent amount of success in self-publishing. Because of my corporate career and the expertise I've gained over the years, the art of marketing feels like second nature.

My goal when beginning this journey was to write stories I felt passionate about. And then write more. Many more. I wanted to share them with the people I cared most. Writing makes me happy. And at the end of the day perhaps that's the only fulfillment I need. 

So in the meantime, I'll be working on a plan of action to help me successfully launch and then sell Violet Storm come March. I'm giving myself until the end of February to continue querying agents. If there is no progress on that front by that deadline, I'll start on a full-fledged campaign to get VS off the ground. Boy, I'm sweating bullets just thinking about it. 

To my fellow writers, entrepreneurs, and artists, I'll keep you posted on this plan if perhaps it can help you in any way.

More to come!