I’ve written two novels. I self-published the first, and am in the process of doing the same for the second.
(I’m waiting on edits, and to finalize cover art. The back cover will include, “Best selling author (to friends and family) of Under the Same Moon. Because I am nothing if not self-deprecating.)
The third book is in limbo. I have two ideas:
1. A lifestyle book including recipes, sewing and knitting patterns, and gardening ideas with a desert southwest touch
2. A female detective series set in Phoenix with a science fiction thread
Here is what I know for certain:
1. I want to write full time as a novelist. Like, as a career. I would like to make up stories and have people pay me enough to live on it.
2. I don’t write enough to do this.
3. I don’t read enough to do this.
4. I need to be more disciplined.
5. I need to not let my insecurities about not having the talent, luck or contacts to make it big in publishing. There are rather awful things published daily. You’ve read them. I’ve read them. We’ve all picked up that book and thought, “The verbs don’t agree! How did this get published?” Which, sadly, soon seems to be soon followed by, “Wait! They are making a movie out of that utter nonsense?” (Only to then be followed with, “Gah. Of course it broke attendance records. Of course. Just of course,” as I hold my head in my hands.)
So, I’ve created a plan:
1. Every Friday until I get my butt in gear, I’ll write a blog post about writing. The topics will vary, but I hope to connect with more authors online and share writing routine tips, great resources, books we should all be reading, etc. Language is fluid. We can be good storytellers if we aren’t throwing ourselves into the magical, fantastic world of prose. #writerschool
2. I will read at least 200 pages a week.
3. I will write at least 5000 words a week. This includes both blog posts and book projects.
4. I will connect with authors online.
5. I will schedule a writers’ retreat in Arizona with other friends working on being published. I have a fantastic group of women in Denver I got together with weekly for more than year. We shared our projects, edits and passion. We kept each other accountable. I sincerely miss this group for all of these reasons. I’d like to create something similar in Phoenix, and have everyone get together once a year at a long weekend retreat in the mountains where we share our stuff, including those ever elusive secrets of being published and the joy of finding your book on a stand in an airport. Or at Changing Hands. Or, who are we kidding: Costco.
The only way this plan will work is if I bear down and get after it. It would be even better if you’d participate too. Leave a comment if you are a budding writer. Tell me what you are struggling with, and share your successes. Tell me what you are reading. Tell me what you’d be interested in reading about around here.
Future Best Selling Author — to More than Just Friends and Family,
P.S. Min, this post isn’t entirely for you — but I hope Writer School is the nudge you need. You are one of the funniest, most poignant writers I know. We are all waiting on your book. And God knows if I can do it, you certainly can — and with more sarcasm and panache.