Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Slightly Lately Insecure… Erm…

So Hallo, fine peoples! Sorry to screech in here tardy. Life interrupted last night and the blogging thing didn’t happen. But here I am… only about 5 hours later than usual, which in some cultures is pretty much on time…

So what am I late for? Insecure Writer’s Support Group First Wednesday!!! Welcome!

Always so judgy...
The question this month is: In terms of your writing career, where do you see yourself five years from now, and what’s your plan to get there?

Well SHEESH… we all know how MY plans go… Okay, so maybe you don’t. Let me e’splain. No. Is too long. Let me sum up…

Five years ago I had just met my first deadline for a to-be-published by Penguin (Berkley Prime Crime) cozy mystery. I was flying high and sure I could leave the day job by this point in my career. But a thriving book business was also being simultaneously flooded with brand new “I can publish myself” authors.

Now I am not knocking self-publishing. Done right, many authors produce fantastic books. I still hold up Helena Soister’s The Compass Master as one of the best books I’ve ever read. And tons of people do a fine job. BUT, having tried that thing myself, I know doing it RIGHT is more work than just finding a publisher to help you. The trouble was, many people were also NOT doing it right… and sales for people began falling… and then life interfered (bloody inconsiderate sometimes, that life) and so a self-publishing year that coincided with a life pelting me upside the head year threw me off my supposed fast track. This year I’ve published ONE short story and have ONE YA book with an agent. I’ve written no full novels (though I have written a couple short stories). I am scrambling to get myself back up on the rails, but I am butt heavy so my center of gravity is off.

What was the question?
Oh right… five years… Well I hope to GET this agent (or another). I have three fairly done YA books, so if someone finally wants me and likes me, maybe I can get some help for final touches and have that YA career launched. I also have a fairly done mystery I think I am going to try with, but I don’t want to confuse things with the agent process… I know a single agent is what most want to be…

Anyway, in five years I hope to be on a traditional publishing track putting out about one YA and one Mystery a year, with an occasional thriller mixed in for good measure. I would LOVE to break out, but I’ve come to believe you can’t count on that. I just want to be back in my zone. Writing regularly, supplementing my income, getting the retirement stream flowing well enough that at least I can retire as soon as I’m eligible (nine years this month until I can access my retirement money and it is sooner than that that my age and years of service is enough for health benefits in perpetuity).

Is that a plan? Hardly. But I am scrambling here… thus my insecurity…

Anybody have a better plan?




24 comments:

Em-Musing said...

I hear you. My plans always get altered by one thing or another...but I keep pushing on. Guess that's my,
"go to" plan...just push on.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Getting back into your writing zone is an excellent early step. Aim for that then go from there. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sidetracked by life doesn't mean a complete derailment. Just keep chugging away!

Chrys Fey said...

I also long for an agent. I've been attempting to get one for years. *sigh* Maybe next year will be the year for both of us to land agents? I hope so!

Michelle Wallace said...

Getting back your writing mojo is important.
Then you just keep at it as per usual...you'll get there. I'm sure of it.
Happy IWSG Day!

Pat Hatt said...

Life may get in the way, but have to keep on keeping on at the end of the day.

Tamara Narayan said...

At least you have a plan. Sounds like a reasonable one to me.

Jennifer Hawes said...

Sounds like a plan!

Andrew Leon said...

I'm not certain at this moment that anyone gets to make it to year five. We'll be lucky to get out of the next four alive.

Stephen Tremp said...

Hart, I'm constantly scrambling. But at the end of the week I add up my progress and lo and behold, I made progress.

Karen Walker said...

The best laid plans, so they say. I decided years ago, rather than call things goals, I set my intention to accomplish something. It takes some of the pressure off. The word goal makes me feel like a failure if I miss it. Good luck, Hart. Hope this coming year is easier.

Victoria Marie Lees said...

I thought most writers scramble to keep themselves sane. Bravo to you for your publishing past and here's to your publishing success in 2017. All the best for a good holiday season.

The Cynical Sailor said...

I think that's a great plan! I love the "judgy" cartoon - that one cracked me up. Thanks for the laugh.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

You just need to get back into the groove. Trust me, I know how easy it is to fall out of it.

jack welling said...

Nicely done, Hart. Sounds like a plan. If you're writing to the audience you love, awesome! We know you love broomsticks and goat gallstones and, well. We know you love Harry.

This sounds like a great plan. You have interesting characters even in your cozy writing. Sprinkle in some angst and uncertainty (you have some of that lying around, don't you? I can always loan you some ...) and you are right smack in the first twenty - er years of life. I loved those sorts of characters. Still do. Too few about these days.

Go, Tart, Go. Run a full tub and get cracking. Can't wait to hear.

Mandie said...

Well I LOL'd at butt heavy. I don't know the first thing about self-publishing and traditional but your plan sounds well thought out. Just keep going!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Hart - you had a great start ... so you know you can do it - it's just pushing on again and again ... good luck, enjoy Christmas though! Cheers Hilary

Jan Morrison said...

Sounds good to me! But then it would...
The best thing is to keep writing and revising I think. Sending them out to agents or publishers ( I'm about done looking for an agent - too refined by far here in the north) as they get where you like them. One word at a time.

Nick Wilford said...

Your plan definitely sounds doable. It's been quite a fallow writing year for me too, but I'm going into attack mode for 2017 and getting a head start by trying to write a lot in December (in the busy festive period - never great with timing, but hey ho). I know what you mean about self-publishing being hard to do right, I doubt many of us are trained marketing professionals and the market is getting saturated. But it is rewarding in its way. Hope you manage to snag that agent!

Chemist Ken said...

Sounds like you have a lot of potential books ready to go. Sorry that life threw you for a loop, but I'm sure you'll get back on track and finish up those books and get an agent. Good luck!

Diane Burton said...

Great goals. You can do it. Tell yourself that every day! Best wishes.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and your family.

G. B. Miller said...

Yeah, I can sympathize with your pain. Consistency is the key, and that's something I'm trying to get back into. Life indeed, can be curse when it comes to writing. It's how you deal with it that makes you a better person and a better writer.

Father Nature's Corner

Jenny Baranick said...

I think having one short story published and a book with an agent is still a pretty darn good year.

Helena said...

OMG Hart my darling, thank you and hugs and kisses for praising my book! I can't tell you how much I respect your opinion and your own writing. You so definitely know how to write sassy characters and complex murder mysteries, and you have an empathetic insight for YA kids. The only reason you're struggling on the publishing end of things is 'cause of self-published twits like me. Yes indeed, the flood of indie books is messing things up for all of us--no agent is even asking to see my books, so sometime in the next couple months I'll be publishing my next two novels, which of course will be promptly lost in the drowning flood of other self-published novels.

Hang in there because you deserve to be a bestselling hotshot who retired early and now has lots of time to go on wildly popular book tours. I'll be rooting for you.