Driving the other day with our GPS, I suddenly saw how my writing life resembles this navigational gadget. My husband looked on with raised brows as I burst into fits of uproarious laughter. If you read on, get ready to laugh and release some healthy endorphins into your system.
In writing I “put in” my goals and happily slam my foot on the gas doing what I love most these days, writing. But then I find the pavement running out from beneath my wings and must “recalculate.”
Goal: Write the dream novel.
Fall in love with an idea, a genre, a character, a setting, a theme.
Research, research and read tons of novel writing books.
Join a writers’ group.
Attend an expensive writers’ conference.
Plan like crazy getting the main plot points, conflict, MRU’s in order.
Gas up to the speed limit, getting the first draft down on paper.
Email: “Cozy mysteries are no longer selling well.”
Goal: Get an Agent
Research sites, friends, writing groups, the kitchen sink and the fence post.
Research query letters
Research agents not on any predators’ list and their submission guidelines and blogs
Revise, critique, and polish the query. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
Send it to The Agent
Email: “Sorry The Agent is no longer accepting fiction clients.”
Goal: Submit to an Editor Myself
Research, study, fiction editors and publishers. Repeat, repeat.
Learn how to do a great One Sheet
Join or start another writers’ group heavy on critiquing.
Attend some more expensive writers’ conferences.
Get editor appointments
Get some nibbles
Memorize every word the editors say.
Revise, get critiques, polish, check DPOV, pesky words and tricky errors. Repeat till done
(or till you hate the novel).
Send full to first editor asap
1st Editor Response: I really like this but we have just bought a novel with similar theme
and setting. Sorry.
Repeat most of above
2nd Editor Response: I like this so far, but we are really looking for novels of 90 – 100,000
words. You’re about 20,000 words short.
Repeat most of above
3rd Editor Response: I like this but it’s too wordy. You need to cut about 20,000 words.
RECALCULATING! The thing I now do best.
What about your writing life? Ever feel like you are on a GPS merry-go-round?
The good news is that my auto GPS, most of the time, even with several recalculations, manages to get me to my destination. I hope the same holds true for my writing life, especially since I have the best model on the market, GHS. God’s Holy Spirit.
If this article made you smile and feel less alone as a writer on the uphill journey to publication, please leave a comment, tweet the article, and share it on Facebook.
Thanks so much for stopping by.
Elva Cobb Martin is president of the South Carolina Chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is a former school teacher and a graduate of Anderson University and Erskine College. Decision, Charisma, and Home Life have published her articles. She has completed two inspirational romances. In a Pirate’s Debt is being considered by a literary agency for representation. A mother finally promoted to grandmother, Elva lives with her husband Dwayne and a mini-dachshund writing helper (Lucy) in Anderson, South Carolina. She and her husband are retired ministers. Connect with her on her web site www.elvamartin.com, her blog http://carolinaromancewithelvamartin.blogspot.com on Twitter www.twitter.com/Elvacobbmartin, and on Facebook. (Yes, that’s a flower behind my ear. Why not live life celebrating, whether published or not).