donderdag 19 juni 2014

How to get published: write a book!

The problem with 'aspiring'

A lot of people dream of being a writer. And not just any writer, but the next J.K. Rowling or George R.R. Martin. They dream about being discovered, offered a publishing contract, and being able to retire to the Bahama's in a few short years.

I'm not here to crush those dreams. In fact, I'm all for dreaming. The thing is, these dreamers often forget about one tiny detail: you have to write a book to become a writer. Seems simple, doesn't it? And yet, I'm one of the many aspiring novelists guilty of putting the cart in front of the horse. If I never try, I'll always be able to say that I could have been a great writer, if I had just given it a go. Isn't that a comforting thought?

Getting started

That ends now. A few days ago, I decided that I couldn't just keep dreaming and wishing. I'm actually going to write a novel. It will be very hard work, and I will probably want to give up many times along the way. But if the novel turns out to be crap, I'll be able to put the dream to a rest (hopefully). Maybe I'll even chase a new dream.

I'm starting this blog to document stumbling blocks and frustrations, and hopefully some successes. I've noticed that there is a lot of information to be found on being a writer, or on editing and publishing a novel. And yet, there is little information on the day-to-day details of actually sitting down and writing. For those of you looking for a friend in misery, you've found her right here.

The plan

I'm starting the actual writing now, in June 2014. My hopes is to have a publishing contract by June 2015. While this seems optimistic (and somewhat unattainable), it's the first time I have actually set myself a deadline.

Realistically, if I can't manage to get a publishing deal by then (or at least have an agent and good prospects), I won't be able to make a living being a writer. I might still write on the side, but the ultimate goal is that pinnacle of writing succes: quitting the day job.

This means that I will have to:

  • Write the first draft. That means I will be writing at least 2000 words a day, preferably more.
  • Edit, edit, edit! I hope to rewrite my first draft at least 3 times.
  • Get an agent. I'm not really the type to go into self-publishing (though I'll keep my options open).
  • Get a publishing deal!
  • Promote the novel, so it actually reaches people.

Hopefully, this story will end with the publication of my first novel. In that case, I'll be happy to let you use me as an example.

And if I fail miserably, at least I'll have provided you with some entertainment.

The Noveling Novice 

Are you a dreamer or a doer? How and when did you make the decision to stop aspiring? I would love to hear from you! 

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