Writers know that our passion is often a lot of hard work with little to no reward. Some of us make it big while other toil away year after year with no response from the public. It can be frustrating, disheartening, and ultimately the reason so many give up on their dreams. It’s important to have a plan, an end goal for your work. After all, the world did not ask for us to become writers, so we must put all the responsibility on ourselves. What is it you want as a writer? Is it to finish a book and bind it for family? Is it to pay off your student loans for a job you don’t love? Is it to see your name on the NYT Bestsellers list?
My goals have changed as my writing evolved. At first, I wanted to hold my published book in my hand. Been there, done that, it was the most incredible feeling. When I was dissatisfied with small press publishing, I made a choice to pursue indie publishing. This was also fun. I had so much control over my content and covers, it was like a free pass to wander in wonderland. If I willed it, it could be done. Then, after publishing several books, the fun wore off and I wondered why I wasn’t getting the response I wanted. During my indie time, I lacked a goal. I wanted to make money and reach readers, but there were no specifics in the notion. So I toiled and toiled but got nowhere.
Last year, I decided to “put some skin into the game,” and spend money taking classes and working with an editor. With my book coach, I made a plan. I would finish my novel and enter Pitch Wars. (I’d link to the Pitch Wars site, but the excitement is SO HUGE that the site has crashed. C’est la vie.) So from October 2016 to August 2017, I learned, I wrote, I revised, and then I submitted to Pitch Wars. There were somewhere around 3,000 submissions. In the end, they only took 180 mentees.
After an agonizing 22 days (the very last day waiting for the post was the WORST!), I’m here to announce: I MADE IT IN! I’m a 2017 Pitch Wars mentee to the wonderful Katherine Fleet, author of The Secret of Letting Go.
The shock hasn’t quite worn off. I feel like my world is exploding. I made a goal. And then I made it happen.
For the next two months, Katherine and I will work on revising Hiding Hudson. I’m so excited to get started and dig into a story I love more than anything else I’ve written. The best part? Katherine loves it as much as I do and I’m so SO lucky to have her. After I’ve revised and polished, Hiding Hudson will go in front of agents. End goal? Get an agent during the agent round in November.
Today I’m making a goal sheet for my new home office. It’ll look something like this:
Finish manuscript. Get into Pitch Wars.
Get an agent.
Get an editor.
Get a book deal.
Take book coaching classes.
Become a book coach.
Write full time.
I plan to keep checking things off this list and using it as a visual reminder for what I’ve already accomplished.
Moral of the story? Make goals and achieve them. They don’t have to be big. Write a sentence. Write a paragraph. Finish a scene. Make goals. Achieve them. Check them off your list.
Stay tuned for my post about Author Accelerator and my deep love for Julie Artz, my book coach. Also, look for my post all about Pitch Wars and why you should enter next year. I’ll be updating periodically throughout the process.
Now, back to the trenches so I can cross off more items on my list.