Advancing Confidently Into a Novel

Last week I attended a talk and poetry reading by Michael Czarnecki, a poet and publisher in upstate New York.  He mentioned a quote that had always affected him deeply and it made a deep impression on me as well.

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

I’ve taken that quote and put it on a photo I took of giant hay bales in a field, ready to be taken to the barn, then made that my desktop background so that it encourages me every time I open my laptoop.  I think it’s a good principle to labor under when trying to write a novel for publication.  An early American version of “If you build it, they will come.” (Field of Dreams

I write for the joy of creating the story, but that joy is multiplied when it’s shared with other people who appreciate it.

(Incidentally, Michael’s house burned down about a month ago.  There’s an Indigogo fundraiser to help them re-build. They lived very simply, with no running water or grid electricity, so the house wasn’t insured. They really need help rebuilding. Any contribution would be very appreciated. More info via the link Raise the Roof for the Czarnecki’s.  Of course, there are writerly perks for contributing.)

Less than a week away from the end of Camp NaNoWriMo and August, writing has slowed down significantly.  I can see an end in sight, I’ve actually written the last few lines of the book already, but getting there has shifted into slow motion.  There’s going to be a whole lot of re-writing and adding to this book in September.  My writer’s group helped this past Thursday night with ideas and letting me talk through my plot.  (I can’t recommend joining a writer’s group enough.  The right one can absolutely tap you into a well of creative energy.)

I also have a plan that’s helping to keep me going.  I’ll get the first 50,000 words of Biomalware done in August with CampNaNoWriMo, then in September I’ll re-write and add to the novel.  Then a quick edit and pass it out to my writer’s group.  Put it away in October and wait for the group to give me feedback.  Edit again at the end of October, and start submitting.  Ideally, I’d like to have my first rejection by the end of the year.

Okay, that’s a fib, I’d REALLY like to have an acceptance from the first agent I submit it to but that seems so much like reaching for the stars that I’m scared to hope for it.  I’m willing to go the distance for this book.  I’ll keep submitting until I run out of agents that I want to submit to, then I’ll submit to editors and when I run out of those, I’ll self-publish.  One way or another, this book will be available for people to purchase.  I’d rather for it to be sooner rather than later.  (I’d also like a movie deal because I think it’s that type of book, just to to put that out there to the Universe.  *winkwink*)

In the meantime, I’ll write another piece, or two or three, of the book I started serializing on Yahoo!, Devolution.  I’d love to finish writing that one in November with NaNoWriMo.  I think it has a lot of potential too.

There’s always something more that I want to write and I can’t help believing that if I keep plugging away I’ll eventually reach my goal of writing for a living.  Of course, working smart can help make that path a little smoother but when I can’t do that, I’ll just stop the hell out of the weeds.

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2 Comments

  1. Pat Miran said,

    August 27, 2012 at 12:04 am

    I like the “stomp the hell out of the weeds” idea – I may try that one myself. I’m sorry I missed Michael at the library. He is a very inspirational person and going through a hard time now after the fire.

    I’m hoping that one day soon your book is on the shelf at Barnes and Nobles as well as every other bookstore in the country. Keep your dreams close to your heart for it is our dreams which allow us to remain young.

    • melorajohnson said,

      August 31, 2012 at 10:36 pm

      Thanks, Pat! I’m getting there.


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