the next chapter ~ 5/24/2010

I spent a lot of time on book-related stuff last week, and while nothing concrete got done, I accomplished more than I expected. My heady ideas of editing the new novel never materialized – I only made it through 10 pages – and the hopes of marketing the old novel fizzled. But, I did spend much of my time on something I typically loathe…research. More importantly, research for where to go next.

I had been content to self-publish Still Life since it was originally intended as a gift to myself and my family and nothing more. However, this second novel is turning into something more. No, I don’t have illusions of writing the Great American Novel nor do I imagine myself on Oprah (but wow how cool would that be!). What I do envision is a better product, more in line with the writing process I was schooled in, and perhaps even, just maybe, a story that appeals to a publisher – big or small – who could carry it out to far-reaching avenues of which I’m currently limited.

But of course this new “business plan” means I have to work even harder to do the unthinkable. I must make a nearly perfect, polished read that will somehow stand-out amongst the bazillion other aspiring authors (many of whom are much better than I am at this point in the game). For you see, while I’ve been writing for years and am practiced in it, I never considered my work to be read by others. I was wholly content to leave it in on the floppy disk or notepad and re-visit and tweak to my heart’s desire. But write for others? Never crossed my mind.

Until now.

Believe me, I don’t relish the idea of fanning through the many publishers in search of a select few who match my material, nor do I look forward to the prospect of scanning every person tagged “literary agent” to best determine who is legit and who is not. More importantly, the concept of submitting query after query to people who may never read it (or *gasp* do) scares the be-jeebers out of me. But, I won’t know unless I try, right?

So yes, last week was a bust in terms of productivity, but it was a slam-dunk when it comes to knowledge. I became more educated in things I didn’t have a clue about 10 days ago. I am nowhere close to having it all figured out, and I will be learning until the day I die (or put down the writing pen). But, I did figure out this: there is much I need to do if I want to be aided by a reputable publisher or literary agent. And, I had the fabulous experience of talking with an editor friend of mine who works for a major publisher. That in itself is priceless.

And now this means I must finalize a strategy and get to work editing and crafting the newest work – because the sooner I get it completed, the faster I can receive that first Rejection Letter. I’m so excited, I can barely stand it!


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