Wow.  It’s been two years since my last post on here.  It’s amazing to read the posts I’ve written two years ago, just to see where I was then on this road to being published.

I can’t believe it’s been two years.

Yet, I am still on that road in hopes of having my novels published and/or my screenplays optioned.  In the last two years, life has happened, raising a family of three boys with my husband and all the activity that has gone into that, writing book reviews for a magazine on a monthly basis, volunteering at the boys’ school and at church, freelancing, etc.

On that road, still, I am working on completing drafts of about three novels and I have plans to create two screenplays. I created and recreated my scheduled writing times. I have joined and been part of a writer’s group for about a year meeting every two weeks where I submit my pages.

Just recently, I have decided to make 2015 the year I self-publish my first novel.  Along with seeking representation both literary and screenwriting.

Yes, this writer’s journey is still happening and I plan to pick up where I left off over two years ago and record it again.  I know there are other writers like me out there…on this road, which is mixed with elation, pride, frustration and discouragement along with several other emotions.

This destination of being published or optioned is the golden prize and yet I’m learning that just writing and enjoying the creative process of doing that is priceless in itself.

All I know is that I haven’t given up which is crazy in itself that I haven’t as long as this journey has been going on.

And so it continues…

On this road of being published or optioned, I am writing – working on completing those drafts and just writing…

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On that road to becoming published and/or optioned I am working on revisions – three to be exact. I’m hoping to complete them in the next few months.  Previously, I had been focused on words and daily word counts.  I still am but I have now started in on the revisions.  One paranormal mystery, one amateur cozy, and one mainstream.  I feel like I have far to go on each, and little time to devote to them but I’m just going to be faithful and trust that the revisions will get done.

This road can seem long at times.

It’s been a few more months since I last wrote a post here.  Unbelievable how time flies…

On this road of being published, or optioned, or (hopefully) both, it’s been all about word count lately since last April.  1800 words to be exact.  In order to complete my manuscripts and scripts and I need to put words on paper, so I’ve been pushing myself in the midst of a fairly busy life as a wife, mama to 3 kiddos, book reviewer, house cleaner, etc. to make that daily word count.  It hasn’t been consistently every day but it’s getting to be consistent, at least on a weekly basis.

Words, words, words and more words…

I’ve been focusing on my Manhattan amateur cozy mystery and a couple of others, including a Boulder mainstream.  I’m about to embark on another Camp NaNoWriMo monthly writing spree.  I’m hoping for my success this time.  I did one in July but I made it to 1/5 of that 50,000 word goal.   Goodness, I have so many story ideas and so little time.  I’ve got to make these daily word counts, count.  Really count.

I’m re-evaluating my writing schedule again.  Pulling back or at least rearranging some time.  I had 4 scheduled 7 hour “work” writing times per week.  However, that usually meant me staying up until 2 in the morning on average for four nights a week.  Lately, I realized how beneficial it would be for me to get to bed earlier at night so now I’m looking at the writing schedule again.  I have weekend slots allotted in addition to the 4 scheduled writing times — those, I’ll keep along with one 7 hour “work” night.  The question is what to do with the other 3.

If I’m serious about writing, publishing, optioning and I need to treat it like a job and that means time.  So I have to figure that one out.

It’s been more than a few months since I wrote on this journey, though I think of this blog often and of my journey as a writer.

A few days ago I made the important decision to self-publish.  I’m taking the plunge and will put my work out there on eReaders.  This won’t halt the intent I have to query agents and look for a publisher the traditional way.  What it will do I hope is get people reading my books and thus I can build a following that way.  A large enough following that would raise the eyebrows of the traditional publishing houses and get them interested.

It’s exciting and scary at the same time.  I’m excited to share my work with others and have them read and engage.  It’s scary because I’m putting myself out there, myself and my writing, and I’m hoping to put my best work forward.   But if I can get some buzz started about me – good buzz – it can only serve to help.

So here goes.  The chosen work will be Cathedral (working title) – my amateur cozy mystery with my 25 year old administrative temp at the center.   So work on that project will take priority status.

I’m intrigued.  It’s not hard to publish your work these days and the electronic route is fast becoming the popular way to go for established authors as well as aspiring writers.  Not to mention I could make a little money in the process.

We’ll see.  It’s a new frontier for me.

On this road to being published and/or optioned, I am just plugging away, working on two novel projects in the moment and revising that paranormal mystery.  The road to being published seems far though I hopefully not too far ahead.  I’m 41 years old and I wonder “when will it happen to me?”  Logically, I know the response to that question but the process of writing drafts, writing and perfecting query letters to send to agents seems long and at times tedious.   In the meantime, life is happening and time is flying. 

I then see fellow writers getting themselves published electronically on sites such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble through self-publishing sources like Smashwords.  So now their ebooks will be available for download.  Is self-publishing the new way to go?  Publishing is evolving and demand for ebooks is growing.  

Either way, I need to continue cranking to finish those projects so I can get them out there, in front of people. 

On the road to being published, I am participating in National Novel Writing Month – NaNoWriMo for short or NaNo even shorter.  The goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days nonstop without editing.  I am at about 23,000 words and yes, tomorrow is the last day of the month.  I’m behind and there’s a greater chance that I won’t reach that goal and finish, then there is that I will.  I am encouraged and excited though for NaNo and what it means for my writing journey overall.  Even though I may not make the goal, the momentum has started when it comes to me writing material.  I will have half of an original draft of a novel completed which means another novel work in progress on the table.  I will carry this momentum in through the next month as I continue to crank out original drafts and complete WIPs.  I am most excited about this point because I need material to show agents.  I am excited too, because I have established a consistent rhythm of writing which I feel will carry me through the next months.

So I’ve been working on my craft this last month in preparation for the submission process.  Sounds basic but it’s been inspiring.

I still have that paranormal revision to complete and the work on the query letters and synopses.  So the other goals are still intact.

On the road to becoming that published writer, I have now connected and am connecting with established authors, aspiring authors, literary agents…through their blogs and twitter.  Making connections.  Marketing.  Learning to market.    I am hopefully forming a community with the above plus writers, aspiring authors like me.  I’ve even set up a second twitter account just to accomodate those tweeps in the literary world.   I’ve broadened my horizon.

Exciting.

On the road to becoming that writer, I’m planning on working on two short stories and submitting them.  Getting published on the short story circuit can help with building up my credentials which will build me up as I submit to these agents.  Obviously this is in conjunction with the work on my novels and scripts.   A writer’s work is never done.

 

As I move along this road to becoming that writer who is published and/or optioned, I created some current goals for the next 80 days, thanks to ROW80.  Goals that are doable and will help propel me forward on this journey.   See said goals below:

1. Finish revising the last 20 pages of my paranormal mystery.  Print out and read through draft, making notes.

2. Work on and and complete the query letters and synopses for the paranormal mystery and my cozy mystery.

3.  Write 5 pages on each scheduled writing day (of which there are 3 scheduled in the week) towards two separate short story drafts and the existing draft of my WIP interracial romance.

4. Spend 30 minutes of each scheduled writing day (3 per week) developing my Harlem Renaissance mystery idea.

And a bonus goal that won’t take up too much brainpower just fingerpower:

5.  Type up 3 pages a day of existing screenplay into computer until complete.

It’s a lot.  It’s work.  But I’ve committed to this writing thing.

It has always been a passion.

As well as a career goal.

Not a hobby.

So it needs to be my job and with all jobs, there’s work.

Luckily, it’s work I enjoy.  :-))

I’m gearing up again.   Keeping my thoughts on the prize: an agent, a book deal, writing work in the film industry.   I am about to delve back in and complete the paranormal mystery revisions as well as work on the query letter and synopsis — all this week.  Also, looking to work on a short story — trying to build those credentials.

A blog friend of mine just published her short story in ebook for through Smashwords.  You can publish for free and of course, people can read your work for free.  I’m intrigued.  I downloaded her story on my nook — it looks as legitimate as all the other ebooks.  I’m really intrigued. I will do a little research.

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