As some of you may have noticed, I took a little min-hiatus that ended up longer than I had hoped. There’s been a lot of changes in this writer’s house, all good. I’ve made a shift in my “day job” that should allow me more time for writing. I’ve also spent a very exhausting nine months growing another geek child. He now allows my husband and I to sleep more or less. As our new sense of routine is getting under control, I’m putting my focus back on my writing.
Death by Dragon was a big learning experience for me. Not just in getting the draft written using a new writing method, but in sorting out how critique groups and such work. I do feel like I have a better sense of how to make the process go more efficiently the second time around, that alone is a victory.
It’s easy to feel like an underdog in writing. Getting a book published is no easy feat, and I have never heard of a legitimate “shortcut” that makes it easier for anyone. Some might argue that many a celebrity lands a fiction book deal. Quite a fuss is made when this happens. What I don’t think a lot of people realize is that those books are ghostwritten. The celebrity comes up with characters and an idea and a writer puts them all together, but the celebrity’s name goes on the cover. The truth is that it takes a lot of time and work, and you often have to be your first and biggest fan.
Luckily for me, I love do love me some underdogs, in fiction and outside it too. Just last night I got to experience watching Veronica Mars on the big screen. Not only is it a story about the girl detective who was an underdog, but the whole process it took to get that canceled TV show onto the big screen was an epic tale of the underdog claiming victory. I can’t help but to find that just a little inspirational, and no, it’s not because the movie soundtrack playing in the background that’s causing med to say that.
I keep track of my writing goals by the week and Monday is my start the clock day. I got home from the day job and got an amazing session in. I was so excited. Then the week got stolen away from me because my allergies were bad enough that they kicked my butt and took my name. I was exhausted and spent a lot of time groggy or sleeping. Especially, like most aspiring authors, I have a day job that pays the bills and you never know when you will or won’t get a book accepted for publication.
For the record, I probably should confess that I have no intention to self-publish any novel at this point in my writing career. The information that guided me to this decision came from several sources including conclusions I have made based on observation, number crunching, and questions I have heard answered by authors who have started their careers as traditionally published writers.
One of the best bits of advice I received was from writer Kevin Hearne at Phoenix Comic Con. When he was an aspiring author he had the same day job as I did as well as kidlet and family obligations (I have a husband and toddler). The day I met him was the day after he had finished his last day at his non-writing job. He was now going to be a full time writer.
Mr. Hearne told me that if you can do 2-4 pages a day (that’s 500 to 1,000 words), you will have a 300 page story in about three months. I try to do a minimum of four a day. This week I don’t know if it will happen. Perhaps I need to forgive myself and the plants that caused my allergies and move on. I have a chunk of the story done and I suspect it will be done in time for me to begin revisions for the writing contest I’m looking at.
Remember, 2-4 pages a day and you too will have a novel.
Oh, and if you like quirky urban fantasy, Mr Hearne is quite the talented writer. His Iron Druid Chronicles make me giggle. A lot. Maybe if we ever get that dog we discussed adding to the family, we must name him Oberon out of tribute.