Thursday, February 25, 2010

Interesting Question....

"What is your goal for your writing?"

That question was posed by one of our newer members at crit group. Due to the weather, only three of us showed up, and this person went on to add, "I notice you're always talking about your characters and upcoming signings, release dates, edits....are the others as serious about their writing as you seem to be?"

I answered carefully of what I knew about the other's goals, then went on to state my own. Which includes:
-Building up a solid word-of-mouth group of readers
-Getting my stories published
-Hand-selling as many as I can and encouraging others to follow their own publishing dreams
-Keep writing and improving. And remembering I'm only as good as my next book.

I want to be successful. I also want to one day be able to support myself, or at least substantially supplement our income with my books. At first, my goal was to simply get these stories out of my head and onto paper. Later, I discovered people actually wanted to read them. So if what I'm writing seems to make others happy, why not earn a little money at the same time, and try to reach a broader audience?

I was so thrilled when my sister and I walked into a bookstore in Vancouver and I inquired about my book. Surprise...it was in their system, and the book seller was happy to meet me. My sis has even talked to her coworkers about my publishing venture and has passed one of my books around her office. So maybe one day I'll be able to write off a trip to Canada as a business expense, ha ha?

Or venture out of state, or even more of my own state, in order to sign copies of my books and meet readers and potential writers? Most of all, I would dearly love to attend two or three yearly conferences in order to a) learn more about my craft; b) meet agents and editors face to face; and c) meet my blogmates and other favorite authors in person!

So what are your ultimate goals? Did you start out writing for fun and then be more ambitious about it? Or has seeing your work published always been the goal? And what about, despite your best efforts, you seem to fall short?

Yes, constant rejection can be disheartening. I realized I have been taking many baby steps in the past two decades. The first was to simply keep writing. Then I found out people were interested in the stories. Queries to NY and agents fell flat. I self-published and not only learned I like to talk to people, I'm a good encourager. And I'm also good at promoting other authors. I'm a traveling 'look only' bookstore for my favorite authors, lol:)

But the bottom line is this: If you have a dream, don't give up. You have to have faith in your abilities/talents or you'll be miserable. And I'd rather be a positive person. I don't want to reach the end of my life with a bunch of 'should've, would've, could've' regrets. I want to be able to look back with satisfaction and know I've brought happiness to others.

And hope that in my climate controlled library in God's mansion, He'll also have a laptop.

Olympic Update:
Did you see Lindsay Vonn's accident on the Giant Slalom? I think Julia Mancuso got a raw deal. Apparently, the skiers are allowed to start down the mountain one minute after each other. And when Vonn wiped out, Mancuso was already on the course, and they had to motion for her to stop, for safety issues. But instead of bumping her to the back of the line, she had to get back to the top and start over. And with her concentration rattled, she placed in 18th place, well out of medal contention. I don't think that was fair.

And with the stress of having my grandkids here, I put them to bed, watched the Olympics until ten-thirty, and went to bed myself. I've been staying up until midnight and getting up at six; I was tired and needed my sleep! But tonight is the final women's figure skating; I WILL be watching:)

5 comments:

Amber Skyze said...

Very inspiring post today! :o)

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Julia Rachel Barrett said...

I want to see my books in readers' hands, that's what I want! Kind of like - if you write it...they will come!

Ashley Ladd said...

Most of my goals and plans echo yours. The thought of booksignings, however, put me into a cold sweat. Well, maybe not that bad, but almost. I used to do them with a group of friends which made it bearable, then the group fell apart. When some of them sold many more copies than I did, it was very disheartening. Since I work full time and my kids had activities, it seemed my time not at the day job was better spent writing and promoting other ways or doing things with my kids. Now that my kids are older, I can rethink the time concern. But the fear? I need to get over that. Even pumping myself online where I'm not face to face with people is tough.

But I agree - we have to keep working on our dreams. I have to get over being shy or just work through it.

I've signed up for Lori Foster's conference this summer - are you going? Otherwise, I've signed up for the Romance in the Backseat online conference happening March 20th-ish. I'd like to find more online conferences until I have time and $ to attend more in prson. Hope to see you in person at Lori's!

B.B. Walter said...

Very inspirational/informative article, Mol!

You know as well as many, that your goals are much the same as mine. To begin with, it was write, write, write! just to get it all out of my head and on paper - before I exploded. (laugh)

Now, it's a matter of get it out there because -OMG- people like to read my stuff! Say what??!! and Who knew??!! (Oh, yes, I suppose my family has been screaming it for years -smile-)

I will say that you are waaaay better at promoting other authors than I am. And you do think outside the box more when it comes to "How to Promote Your Book" in other avenues than traditional book signings.