April 30th, 2010

NEW DRESS

I have a list!

Yesterday, in an attempt to figure out how to push my writing career forward, I made a list of what I could do. In short it is this:

1. Continue to write and revise the three novels I'm currently working on. No use giving up now.
2. Continue sending out query letters for Smashing, and follow up with the agents who already have it in another 3 months, when it's appropriate.
3. Put some focus on writing and revising short fiction for publication.
4. Figure out how to use social networking/online presence to keep my name out there.
5. Continue researching for great literary masterpiece, as yet unwritten.
6. Continue to be awesome.

Exactly how I'll accomplish all of this stuff, I'm not sure (#6 is no problem, of course). But, I have a list! That's something, especially after feeling so frustrated by the lack of forward motion. Each number in my list has multiple pieces - number 1, for example, is about 3 different (very different) projects, all at various stages, 1st draft, half-draft, 8th draft languishing in a pile under my desk - but each has promise, and could do something very different for me. My goal is focus on one at a time, understanding that after each set of rewrites/revisions yet to come, I'll let them gel for a while, then shift to another.

More query letters shouldn't be a problem. The lack of hearing from the agents who already have it is frustrating, but it's expected. I wish there were some better way to do it all, but the consensus I seem to get from all the reading and researching I do on the publishing process seems to be, yes, the system has it's downsides, but it works, so suck it up. So, yeah, I'm continuing to wait.

The short fiction focus might be the biggest challenge. I don't have much in the way of short fiction. I have three stories I see as being really good, but too long. So I've started by taking them off my wordpress site. That done, I'm going to revise all three, and try and get them under 5,000 words a piece. I also need to write some new material. The wait for literary magazines is around the same as waiting for an agent to get back to me (anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months), so I figure, with the three I have, to make a decent round of submitting, I'll need to produce at least 3 more of varying lengths. I hope putting some effort into producing short fiction will be good for me, and let me focus on the craft of telling a story.

As for the rest, well, they're on the list, so we'll see what happens.