A few years ago, my BETA reader informed me that she wouldn’t be reading anything else I wrote, until I actually finished something. Honestly, it made me angry. Enough so, that I didn’t spoke to her for a week.
Her words lit a fire under me. I finished a novel.
It wasn’t a good novel (it was atrocious), but it was finished. I decided in that moment I would make a five-year plan. If I wasn’t published (or at least contracted) in the next five years, I’d stop the madness. Because, truly, writing is a tiny step into madness. I become someone else (or several others), my life intertwined with that of the imaginary speakers in my head.
The Five-Year Plan looked a lot like this:
- Finish a second novel
- Find a Critique Partner
- Enter (and hopefully win) a few contests
- Submit to publishers and MAYBE get a request for a full manuscript
- Join local chapter of RWA
- Pitch my novel to as many places/people as possible and perfect my pitch.
- Finish second novel and repeat process.
- Get published.
In less than a year I completed the first five tasks (except the winning part, now knowing how subjective contests are, I don’t care much about that, I could write a blog about the lady who hated me because she sympathized with my antagonist). In the past month, I completed the last two, by selling my first submitted manuscript to The Wild Rose Press (the company that first published my mentor, who is an AMAZING author and even better friend) and finishing Novel Two, it’s in the process of being polished so that I can submit it to my editor.
When I first signed my contract, I was terribly sick. I spent nearly two months with bronchitis. It was awful. There was no celebration. The contract offer was made while I sat in the waiting room of a clinic. When I signed the contract, I took a nap immediately after. There was no celebration, no profound moment of excitement for what I’d accomplished.
This morning I received a reminder about pitching in May. There was a moment of panic. Oh my God, I need to get something together to pitch! What am I going to do? I’m not ready! I’ll never get a contract like this!
Wait a minute …
I sat in front of my computer, dawn slowly creeping in through the blinds, my usually noisy house … quiet, and the reality of my situation truly hit me. I’ve been a writer my entire life, with one goal. I had five years to sign a contract.
I accomplished my dream in less than a year (with tons of help from some amazing people: V that means you!).
Now, I have a new five-year plan. Promo, anyone? But for the first time in my life, I know professionally what I want and more … I know I can do it. I cannot wait until I get to share The Finish Line with all of you.