Sunday, January 03, 2010

A New Attitude for 2010

As most of you know, it's been a long time since I sold my first (and only) fiction book. Three years to be exact. There are any number of reasons why I haven't sold again. I switched agents during that time. I lost my editor, twice. My new agent had to take eight months off for medical reasons... the very day she was going out with my new work.

But when it comes right down to it, I just haven't gotten the right book into the right editor's hands at the right time.

And I'm concerned because in some ways selling has become my focus. Rejections sting more, whereas I used to take them in stride. I'm suffering from professional envy more than I used to, even with people I care about and am truly happy for.

Writing is a business, so it's good for me to be concerned about selling, especially when I want to write for a living. That's my goal, so selling is key, but it isn't everything. I've lost sight of the fact that writing is also my art, my passion, and my calling.

I'm out of balance, out of whack, whatever you want to call it. I feel it in the way I read Publisher Market Place. I feel it in the way I write or don't write. I don't feel the same confidence in myself as a writer and that affects the way I interact with fellow writers, editors and other industry professionals.

So this year, I'm going to focus on myself as an artist--as a writer. I'm going to focus on words, on craft, on seeking out inspiration, on nourishing my inner artist. My new focus doesn't mean I'm going to stop my agent from submitting, or that I'm going to run away to a Tibetan monastery to write in peace and solitude, (though doesn't that sound kind of nice? LOL) But my blog may be different. I may blog about my journey, or I may blog only intermittently. I'm not sure how it's going to look, but I do have a couple things in mind:

1. I won't be attending any conferences this year, only craft workshops and writer's retreats. My RWA chapter has a few good ones coming up that I'm looking forward to. I also plan on putting together a writer's retreat on the Oregon Coast for anyone who is interested.

2.A reevaluation of my goals every few months. I need to keep my finger on my creative pulse to see how I am doing. Keeping in mind I also want to start a non profit and run a marathon this year, I need to keep all my passions in balance.

3. Read or reread some good inspirational books. I love Natalie Goldberg's, Thunder and Lightening. Anyone else have any suggestions?


Lisa Nowak said...

I can relate. I'm one of the "pre-published" (snort) crowd and it's hard not to be envious of other people's success. Not to mention maintain any confidence at all in your own skills.

You're so on target about not having the right book in the right editor's hands at the right time. This business is so much about luck and personal taste. And that's not something you have control over. But it sounds like you've got a good plan for the new year.

Your writer's retreat sounds interesting, if it's not too expensive. Now I'm going to go write a note to myself to ask my library to buy your book, because I'm too broke to buy it myself and those bozos don't have a copy. How lame is that?

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Anonymous said...

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Amanda Ashby said...

Hey Teri - I love your new attitude (and your honesty!!!!). It's so easy to get sucked into a dark place and lose sight of what made you want to do this stuff in the first place. Have you read Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott? That's a book that really helped me a lot!

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