Resolutions: A Little Late & A Little Early

Much to my surprise, NaNoWriMo took a lot out of me. I still find myself recovering from thirty days of staring at a computer screen for at least eight hours a day. My most recent issue has been that any time I look at a computer screen for more than thirty minutes, my head begins to ache severely. I’m not sure if that’s a large issue, but I’m already beginning to get over that, hence this new post. Another persistent issue though, is my aching ass from all the sitting. That hasn’t changed, and most likely won’t until I can afford a more comfortable chair to write in.

But I think the majority of my pain has passed. I’ve taken more than enough time to give my brain a well deserved rest, and now it is time to come back with a vengeance. I have been keeping up with the editing of my first novel, The Drive Home, and I have dedicated myself to the goal of having a “presentable copy” of the book by early January. Very early January. So far, in my editing, I am about the 3/5 the way through manuscript and a lot has changed since my early drafts. Near the start of the New Year, I will have a version of my novel that I can comfortably start showing to friends and family without that fear of inadequacy.

Late, 2013, Resolution #1: Have a finished, polished draft of The Drive Home, in the New Year (this New Year!was my resolution at the start of 2013, but it took a bit longer than expected).

That is only the beginning. This is where I will start powering out newer versions of my novel, editing like a mad man, and making it perfect. I mentioned this once before, but Hemingway re-wrote the ending to A Farewell to Arms, thirty-nine times. As much as I would like to avoid that being the case for The Drive Home, I’ll do whatever it takes to make it perfect. I would love to hire a professional editor, which is highly recommended for self published, or any sort of published, authors, but I am more broke than I care to admit (you didn’t just read that). I hope to find a decent editor to review my work as both a copy editor and a content editor, but until I find one that’s inexpensive, my friends, family, and myself will have to do.

That brings me to my first resolution for the New Year.

2014 New Year’s Resolution #1: Finish, and I mean finish, The Drive Home.

I have a plan, a production schedule and even a business plan, to begin uploading and printing, and selling my novel, in six months. Half way through the year is my goal. If I can accomplish this sooner, outstanding, otherwise, six months is a reasonable goal with a finished novel. But don’t any of you worry; you’ll be the first to read sections from my novel, before it goes into publishing. I said I’d do that, and I won’t let any of you down.

2014 New Year’s Resolution #2: Finish writing, then editing, my NaNoWriMo novel, One Last Hunt.

So, I have one finished novel, but during the month of November, I wrote another, completely different novel. I didn’t quite finish it during November, but I did get very, very far with it. Since November, I’ve added another seven thousand words and I still have about five chapters left to write. For the first draft, at least. But my priorities are in order, and the first thing on my docket, is to finish The Drive Home.

I have many more plans for the coming year, but most are dependent on those resolutions above, and the success of each project. Once I near these goals, I’ll keep everyone updated on my progress, my plans, and how I went about achieving these goals. But until then, I’ll keep writing, slaving away at something I love (if only everyone could be so lucky). I hope everyone had a merry Christmas, and have a great New Year, I know I will.

Lastly, if anyone else has any any writing / creative / storytelling, resolutions for the New Year, I’d love to hear them.


Thanks, But No Thanks

Something that comes with being an aspiring author is rejection. I began by submitting a query letter, with a portion of my novel, to a few literary agents and a few publishing companies. Within approximately two weeks I received my first rejection letter. While the idea of a rejection letter has no affect on my morale whatsoever, my first rejection letter was… let’s just say, less than comforting.

At very least, I expected to receive a form letter:

“Thanks so much, we read your work, unfortunately it’s not for us, thanks anyway, etc., etc.”

My first rejection letter was much more impersonal. More impersonal than a form letter? Yes. My first rejection letter simply said:

“Thanks, but no.”

Nothing more, nothing less. Again, this doesn’t bother me because I was rejected, this particular literary agent knows what they’re doing, they’ve been in the business for some time, and knows what they’re looking for. The reason this irked me, was because it was so severely impersonal, and “empty.” But, I’ll live and I’ll persevere.

Additionally, I received my second rejection letter.  (Yay!!) This one filled me with excitement. I’m almost certain it was a form letter, but it was thought out. A full email page, four paragraphs worth of:

“Thanks, but unfortunately not what we’re looking for,” and “Keep trying, just because it’s not our forte doesn’t mean it’s not good work.”

As I said, a form letter, but I read this and thought, “Thank God, that this was a thought out, full letter.” It made me feel that the work I put into my novel was worth it, not just brushed aside with a few words. Hell, it even made the anxiety from simply seeing the bold “new email” font in my inbox, worth it.

So, the moral of the story is simply this: Keep trying, don’t let rejection get you down. You can scour the internet for aspiring author stories, and ninety percent of them will say that they received dozens of rejection letters from agents and publishers. What I’ve come to realize is, that rejection letters shouldn’t be viewed as failure, rejection letters should be viewed as a milestone, as a rite of passage. The number of rejection letters you receive will showcase how hard you worked to prove that your story needs to be told. But I guess that’s just one authors opinion. And this author, I’m going to shoot for ten rejection letters. I think that sounds like a nice round number to aim for. Ten rejection letters, then the world will be ready for “The Drive Home.”  If it comes sooner than that, perfect. If it comes later, let’s hope it doesn’t come to that, but I’ll still persevere and I guess I’ll have to raise that expected number by a few. Coming up soon I’ll examine the research I’ve done in regards to sending query letters and book proposals. See you then.