Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A New Month Approaches

And with it comes goal setting.

For May, I want to put a little more effort and planning into my list of to-do's. I've become incredibly fearful that I will never meet the requirements of becoming a published author. And I'm not just referring to being able to write a compelling, flowing novel with characters that really do seem to breath and talk and muddle through life with a sense a purpose or lack thereof only to discover a valuable one.

I'm concerned I don't have it in me to create worthwhile faithful romances in a timely fashion as editors would require of a budding author who tends to write novels in the 60k range. Am I alone? Or do others find this concept of writing publishable novels on a quarterly or semi-annual basis daunting?

Regardless of whether I'm alone on this or not, I'm trying to place myself in the writer's seat of a published author for LI's (Love Inspired). And I'm goal setting with that in mind to see if I've got what it takes to be one of their authors.

Have you ever tested the literary waters of tasks and deadlines that a published author might face? If you're game to try this out with me (at least we don't have to incorporate marketing in our tasks yet), please join me by creating an aggressive May Goals list and lets see how we measure up. I'll post my goals on Friday. I hope you'll join me in creating your own goals for then, too.

And for those published authors reading this, with all your wisdom, is there anything you feel the need to warn me about? I'm all ears!

Surrendering to Him,



Diane said...

I am amazed at writers that can pump out so many so quickly and wonder how they do it sometimes. Good luck! :O)

Jessica Nelson said...

Oh girl! This is exactly what I've been thinking about lately!
After I finish revisions, I plan to time how long it takes me to write a 55k book because I really don't know, and I've written 4! LOL

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Diane, it amazes me too!

Jessica, I know exactly what you mean, I've written five and still don't know how long it takes to create a polished one. I know I can write a first draft in a month due to NANOWRIMO, but polishing seems to never end for me. I'm hoping I'm closer to discovering it's time requirement now with so many years of working on writing done already.

Karen Lange said...

Goals, yes, a good topic! I need to slow down long enough to make some for the coming months!
Have a great day,
Karen :)

Joanne said...

Wow, on a quarterly basis? And I thought one novel a year was tough! I'd guess that as a writer, you'd have to be uber-organized, to an extreme, to successfully accomplish this. That To-Do list sounds like a good place to start ...

Erica Vetsch said...

I think the thing that has surprised me the most was having lots of books in different stages of production. I'd want to tuck into the WIP that was coming up on deadline, and content edits would arrive on a ms. I'd work through those and copy edits would arrive on another one...while my heart and mind wanted to be with the original WIP...then galley proofs arrive, cover art sheets, a proposal for a new series to get together...

Not that I don't love it! I just had to readjust my thinking because before publication, I was very linear, working through a ms, critiques and edits, final polish, etc. Then moving on to the next project.

Wendy Paine Miller said...

I set so many stinking deadlines for myself, I think I'm ready.

However I still need to get tougher and tougher skin b/c some of the not so positive reviews might weigh too heavily on me.
~ Wendy

Sarah Forgrave said...

I have been all about setting goals for myself, but my latest sabbatical sort of stalled me out. I think each writer works on a different timetable. Some are 2-3 books a year kind of writers and others are 1 book a year writers. (I suppose some of that has to do with the length of the book too.) I'm pretty sure I'll fall in the 1 book a year category. At least until my kiddos are a little older. :)

Loree Huebner said...

I've set deadlines for myself before and it is amazing what one can get accomplished under pressure.

You can do it if you really want to. Goals…I’m with you! Let the work begin!

Katie Ganshert said...

Well....I'm a bit of an unusual case (or maybe not). I have two contracted books that are already written. Another that is ready to be submitted, but can't be until my contract allows. And I'm working on another that will be finished sometime this summer. So the whole deadline thing isn't breathing down my neck.

However - and this is a BIG however - I don't write for Steeple Hill or Heartsong, so I don't have to produce as many books as they do. Maybe (hopefully) someday....but not yet.

Keli Gwyn said...

Planning is good. Setting goals is great. However, one thing I'm learning about life as a contracted author is that things can change with a single boink of my email program. When I hear from my publishing house, I have to respond, which can mean setting aside what I'm working on and taking care of the new task. Flexibility is key.

Robyn Campbell said...

Great post, Eileen. I DO know how long it took me to write SEVENTY-TWO HOURS. Two years. But I did an entire rewrite too.

I'll join you in the goals for May thing. Perhaps (and this is a big perhaps) it will help me put the BIC and write. I do know I'm doing NaPiBoWriWee the first seven days in May.

If I want to be published, (and I do) I need to get hopping. :0)

Susan Anne Mason said...

I have the same anxiety, Eileen. But I'm sure we'd figure it out when the time arrives.!

Will start thinking about goals for May!


Anita said...

Sometimes we really "don't" know where our efforts will take us. I've had so many ideas; not just about books, but other entreprenurial things. And I've yet to have full fruition. So, a while back, I decided to not live my life being frustrated; but to enjoy the gifts God has given me and putting them to use in other ways.

You are surely talented, and I see no reason why "you" should not continue to pursue your goals "if" your fire is still burning hotly! :)


Tana said...

I'm all for accountability! I think keeping yourself on a schedule is a very good idea.

BTW, my novel Ethereal is not for young teens, and it's secular not Christian. I just wanted to let you know that! =)

Cindy said...

Great article, Eileen. This is a topic I ponder from time to time as well. Although being at the beginning of the journey has pushed this to the back of my mind. One day I know it will come creeping up on me fullspeed!

Being a full-time working mom of a 4 year old and considering going to school for my BA, I sometimes wonder if I would be able to finish a book in a year!

I think you're taking a great approach to setting goals for adjusting to a contracted authors timetable. I will be praying for you during this goal setting time. I know that with your tenacity, you will do it.

Thanks to all the other ladies for their advice. It's great to hear your input.

Faith said...

This sounds like a really good idea! Setting yourself a pro deadline and seeing if you can meet it. I like that concept... and I bet you'll learn a lot about your writing habits and ability to work under pressure along the way. :)