Sunday, January 19, 2014

Write or die: Insecurity busters

Greetings for the first time in 2014.

Friday I sent off my first official query letter to an agency. It was quite nerve-racking. My hands actually quivered a little before I let the envelope slip from my fingertips into the mail slot. Then I almost panicked because I thought, Should I have sent that via certified mail. Crap! I've attempted writing query letters many times before, but I never ended up sending them off. After many tweaks, they still never seemed ready enough to represent me to a publisher or agency. I have a different point of view this year! No resolutions, just some viable solutions to my quandary. Time to warm up those "cold feet" and get things moving!

Never break self-promises
I vowed to dedicate this year to writing more, way more, and I don't intend to disappoint myself. That's for others to do. I've spent the past couple years fixating on promoting my one book rather than trying to produce more stories. That old one-track mind thing gets the best of me sometimes. This year, I'll be doing much more writing, blogging, guest posting, and less time promoting, social media hopping, and general time wasting. I've kicked myself into productivity mode. It was a brutal kick, but I think it worked.

Get moving, build confidence
Productivity means more to me than just writing. It means performing activities that inspire and encourage me to write, like reading, blogging, and watching movies and shows that I have a high interest in, especially those in my favorite genres (sci-fi, fantasy, mystery, and thrillers). Networking is also on my to-do list but not social media related. I'm talking about joining writing groups and societies dedicated to improving the craft. I want to take more writing classes, webinars, and attend seminars and speaker events. All of these things, I know, will help me toss query letter insecurity right out the door.

Let uniqueness pave the way
Another thing I've learned as I trek through this writing/publishing journey is that it isn't wise to take others' opinions too seriously. Listen. That's fine. Even ponder their POVs. But it's best to develop one's own opinions based on personal experience and motivating factors. We all have them, and one person's is never the exact replica of another's. For example, I have many writer friends who discourage me from attempting to submit manuscripts to traditional publishing houses and agents because "it will never happen in today's world. The industry is too biased, full of politics, and the publishing giants keep most of the money." This has some truth to it, but one thing to remember is not everyone makes a million, but not everyone doesn't. Meaning, there are great writers who fall in between making pretty good money writing. I'd be content with a small-scale, 4-digit income per month.

Goals for the next few months:
  • Finish writing at least 3 stories (long and short) by March 1. 
  • Send out at least 3 queries by March 15. 
  • Become a member of a few more writing groups/organizations (I made a list)
  • Keep my desk clean and clear. (Clutter distracts me)
With that said, off I go to tap those keys. 

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