It’s July! Time for a Mid-Year Progress Report

Somebody pinch me. Is it already halfway through 2018? Where did the year go?? Seeing as how time seems to be flying past at twice its normal rate, I figured it’s time to check in on the writing goals I set back in January and evaluate my progress.

I confess, I had to reread my first post from this past January to see what I said my goals were for the year (they’re at the end of the post). But, now that I’ve got them, let’s check in on my progress, shall we?

1. Publish my romantic suspense WIP.

Ahem, well… I’m pretty sure I’m not on track to get Flashback into your hands during this calendar year, but I’m optimistic about next winter or spring. It’s been a tough decision what to do with this manuscript. I’ve debated trying to go the traditional route, but after my contest experiences (see last post), I think it’s fairly clear I’ll be a better fantasy writer in the long run. The romance and romantic suspense genres both have fairly strict requirements in traditional publishing in terms of length and story content, and quite frankly, I don’t do very well following a lot of strict rules. I much prefer the freedom and scope for the imagination found in speculative fiction.

Then there’s the issue of needing an agent in traditional publishing. Not too many agents are looking for authors who write in diverse genres. Usually the readership doesn’t overlap, so it’s harder for the author to build a name for themselves, and, consequently, it’s harder for the agent to make money selling their books. It can be done–look at Nora Roberts and JK Rowling–but they’re the exception rather than the rule. If I found an agent for Flashback, I’d end up writing romantic suspense for the next several years. I enjoy it, but I don’t love it, not the way I love my spec stories.

All this is to say, right now it looks like I’ll be self-publishing my inspirational romances through my imprint, Goldenwood Press, and seeking an agent for my fantasy work.

A lovely critique partner of mine read Flashback this past winter and offered some wonderful feedback, which I’m using for one last round of edits. I’m about halfway through editing on paper, and then I’ll need to type everything up.

After another read-through, I’ll send the manuscript to an editor for a copy edit. I’ll also need to find a cover designer and work on the interior formatting for the paperback and e-book versions. I’ll be sure to post updates as I learn through this process!

2. Start an e-mail list.

Ummm…nope. Haven’t done it. Haven’t even read about how to do it. But you can be sure I’ll let you know once I’ve got it figured out. Plus this website will have one of those annoying “join me” pop-ups. But you’ll get something for signing up, I promise. 🙂

3. Put together a novella for a sign-up bonus.

Yeah, no. I have it outlined (mostly in my head), and I’m excited to tackle this story, but I’m afraid it has fallen to the wayside for now.

So you’re probably wondering, what has this “author” been doing for half the year if she hasn’t been working on any of her writing goals? Funny you should ask. I’m going to tack that one on as a new goal right now. (Because yes, you are allowed to add goals even if it’s halfway through the year. Who decided goals have to be created in January anyway?)

4. (New) Find an agent for The Cursed Ones.

Back in January, I didn’t include this goal because I hadn’t touched this manuscript since I finished revising it in August. I had this nagging feeling that the story could be better, but I had no clue how else to improve it. And after you’ve rewritten something enough times, it starts to sound more appealing to stick a hot poker in your eye than look at the darned thing ONE MORE TIME.

The break was good. It’s amazing how much perspective you can gain with a few months away. At the end of January, I found a couple of guinea pigs (translate: critique partners) to slog through my draft and offer feedback. I reread and edited my chapters as I went, then sent them along to my CPs. Between things I caught and their insights, I’ve been able to shape this story into something that finally lines up with my original vision.

My CPs finished reading it at the end of May, and I’ve spent June and now into July going through it one more time, fixing everything based on their feedback. By the time I’m done, it will finally be ready to query. Whether or not anyone in the traditional publishing world will want it, I can’t say–but I do know that I’m excited to try. I’ve got about eighty pages left to edit, and then I’ll be ready to query. Wish me luck!

During the loooong waiting process that is querying, I’ll be working on my other goals, as well as (hopefully) starting my first draft of Dusk for Dreams–I’m chomping at the bit to start on something new. I’ve also written a short story I’d like to edit and submit to magazines for publication.

So, lots going on over here, on top of all that usual “life” stuff, like you know, keeping a lot of people alive, fed, and educated. It’s a good opportunity to remember that God empowers me to accomplish His goals, and since He’s called me to write and take care of my little people, He’ll provide the means to do it all. I’ve drawn encouragement lately from the Old Testament book of Ezra. It details the Israelites’ return from captivity in Babylon to the city of Jerusalem, where they’re trying to accomplish the enormous task of rebuilding the temple. Despite obstacles and opposition, God continues to provide the means necessary to accomplish the work.

He’ll do the same for us when we ask.

Where are you at with your writing and life goals this year? I hope you’ve made progress, even if it’s not in the areas you anticipated. Feel free to share below, and enjoy the journey!

 

Image credit: Pexels.com, CC0 license.

 

 

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