Have you missed me? I’ve missed you all. I’m afraid to say that I’ve become a total landlubber…and yet, I feel more adrift than ever.
In the creative world, things are afoot, and yet, have me spinning in the sense that I don’t know where to place a foot next. I FINALLY finished the in-depth revision of the novel, ending at 299 pages! That’s not to say I am FINISHED, but infinitely closer. There are sections that still need clean-up, names that need to be changed, and chapter endings that need to be adjusted.
To celebrate being one step closer to submission I purchased Jane Friedman’s Great Course, “How to Publish Your Book.” I’ve watched the first three lectures, which were so interesting even my husband sat down to listen for awhile. One thing I like about Friedman is that she doesn’t sugarcoat the reality of the publishing world nor what it takes to be a published writer. For example, she reminds us early on that only 99.9% of submissions are accepted and if you want to count on making a decent salary in life you should probably do anything else. This does reconcile one to one’s day job! At the same time, she reminds us that the chance does exist, and in order to be successful you must balance art with business. She reassures us that if we’re prepared and understand the landscape we find ourselves in…the publishing world, dun, dun, duuun!…our odds of surviving and flourishing are much better.
Meanwhile, my new website is tantalizingly close to being done, and fits in well with where I find myself creatively because before I start sending out those submissions I must make sure that my “platform” is ready…meaning, my Facebook and Instagram accounts look professional (or at least appropriately authorial), I know my “brand” and how I want to be perceived, I’m meaningfully tweeting (is that even possible?), I have a decent bio and synopsis prepared…basically, that I can prove to an agent or small-press that I’m ready to be taken seriously as a professional writer and be an asset to them.
All this is exciting…and overwhelming, at once. I don’t know what to focus on next, so I’ve been spinning and not getting anywhere this past week. Which is why I finally pulled out my old cross-stitching project, sat at the kitchen table with my feet up on a chair, and tried to calm my brain with orderly, repetitive stitches. I’m not sure if it worked or not…and I think its telling that I’m back here at the “ship” reaching out to all of you. I feel a longing for that structured, daily blogging which kept me on the writerly path and forced me to put one foot in front of the other…even on a metaphorical ship!
Tomorrow is one of my most favorite days of the year…All Hallow’s Eve…Samhain…the Celtic New Year. I will prepare a small feast, light candles, carve the pumpkin, and surround myself with friends, family, and a little big of magic. As I enter a new year, I wish it full of writerly magic and suspect you’ll be seeing this landlubber a lot more.