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! 



2 comments:

  1. I have so many writer friends who are choosing self-pub, not as an alternative if traditional publishing doesn't work out, but as their first choice. You will have so much creative control. So many publishers not only don't pay advances, but expect you to be doing the marketing anyway. Heck, you might as well reap all the benefits and produce your book as you want. So excited for you!

    You know, I am taking a one month break (at least) from my A Thought Grows blog. It has a lot of followers, but they're all other writers, which is lovely support, but they're not necessarily readers. I think you're smart to follow your heart with this blog. I am going to go more that route with my other blog and may eventually just get down to that one and dump A Thought. We'll see. It's tough to be a heard voice in the crowd, but something in my gut tells me you will do it. Truly.

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    Replies
    1. Julie, thank you as always for the tremendous support. I am truly appreciative of your blog (A Thought Grows) for the reason that it helped bring us together and I got to learn so much more about you, your writing, and the processes you go through as you continue with your writing journey! I also appreciate the more personal blog you've started for the reasons you mentioned - that the readers who you've built relationships with, get the chance to see a different side, learn a little more, and feel warmed by your day-to-day successes, trials, and everyday joys. You bring up a good point, and I agree that those kinds of followers will likely be actual readers of our work.

      Thank you also for the vote of confidence on self-publishing. At the end of the day, I love the story I've written, and hopefully it translates well in the book. :) I will certainly keep you posted!

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