Sunday, January 01, 2012

2011: A Writer's Retrospective

Happy New Year!

Before we turn the page completely over on 2011, I wanted to share with you my amazing writing year.

As you may know, I spent a lot of time on my writing this past year.  But, unlike other years, I shifted part of my focus from production to submission--that is, trying to get published.

It was hard work.  I polished my manuscripts 'til they shone with an eerie light of their own.  I drafted and re-drafted several query letters, which took a lot longer than I would have thought possible.  If you think writing is difficult...whoa.

I researched and submitted to literary agents, publishers and periodicals, all in the hope of getting that all important nibble of interest from anyone, anywhere.  Of course, getting a nibble from someone whose interests you've researched and analyzed is worth so much more than a 'you'll hear from us in six months' auto-reply from another market.

My strategy this past year was to pay attention to calls for submissions from romance publishers and writing specific pieces targeting these publishers.  This strategy really paid off.

Pushing that send button on your email can be the most stressful action in a writer's life.  It puts your work out there in the cold hard world.

This year, I got several nibbles--people actually interested enough in my writing to want to read whole manuscripts!  I was thrilled.

I am pleased to report that my hard work paid off in 2011.  But my plans didn't start generating results in January or even by May.  I got my first showing of interest in the summer and signed my two publishing contracts in the last few months of the year.  Definitely worth the wait!

So, this year, I would urge you to take a little bit of time away from your writing and polish up those completed manuscripts--or do some looking and write a new piece specifically for a publisher's call.  Send your work out there.  That's the only want it will ever be read.

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