Since we are about to enter the only month in the year set aside as the spooky one, I thought it might be fun to compare ghouls versus goals. Webster defines ghouls as legendary evil beings that rob and feed on corpses. Goals are the marks set as limits to a race.
I kinda think the two are closely related, and I’m about to tell you why.
Each year at the December meeting, my local chapter passes out sealed envelopes to every writer attending who wrote their goals for 2010 and put them in a sealed envelope at the December meeting in 2009. Until this year, I have NEVER met my goals since I aim big. This year I have finally reached one of them. I can’t wait to open my envelope at our Christmas meeting.
But you know what? I’ve decided it isn’t about meeting goals at all. It’s about doing what we love to do with the hope that one day we will hold our books in our hands. It’s about the camaraderie we get from all the writing groups we join, all the writer friends we make along the way. We don’t need the validation from someone to know we are authors, all of us.
Next year my first book comes out, and I can’t tell you how excited I am about that. But it didn’t come easy or without drama. That’s why I’m going to tell you about all the ghouls that have tried to take away my goals for so many years.
CHASING THE MARKET – Although I have never actually done that until just recently, I have to list this as the number one reason why it took so long for me to find a publisher willing to take a chance on me. I never really did go for what was selling – I usually wrote what I loved and unfortunately what NY wasn’t buying for one reason or another. In essence, I ran away from the market.
Manuscript Number One - my Colombia book – the ghouls said no way you can have a romance in Columbia. Two heroes will never work in a romance. (My favorite book, BTW.)
Manuscript Number Two - my YA – the evil blankity blanks said it was too gritty back when I wrote it…not gritty enough now.
Manuscript Number Three - my first mystery about stealing sperm which I did not realize was a mystery until recently…not bad, they said, but not my breakout book.
Manuscript Number Four - my ghost story - the jury is still out on that one, although it’s because my editor loved this one that she asked if I had a cozy.
Which brings me to chasing the market. Cozies are selling right now, or at least they were. I didn’t have a cozy, but you can betcha I quickly came up with one. They say by the time you sit in on a Spotlight On at Nationals with one of the NY publisher, and they tell you what they’re looking for, it’s too late to start writing one. By the time you finish it, the market will already have been flooded. Now if you already have a manuscript that would fit their needs, good for you.
The second thing that has kept me from selling sooner is my own STINKING THINKING. It throws me into writers’ block so fast, my head spins. “I can’t finish this manuscript.” “I hate my characters.” “No one will ever want to read my stuff.”
What’s up with that?
And lastly, meet the “'YOU SUCK' GHOUL.” We’ve all danced with him once or twice or a million times before. I’ve let too many contest critiques, comments on my stories, and/or rejection comments make me doubt myself at times. I’m a good writer, dammit! So why did I let someone else convince me I might not be?
Okay, I’ve bared my soul and told you all my insecurities, Now I want to hear yours so I don’t get even more insecure. What ghouls are keeping you from achieving your goals?
Maybe if we can find a pattern, we can put our heads together and find a way to say “Bite Me” to the goal-sucking ghouls.
And just when I thought I was ready to move forward with my new story, life happened… in the form of a vacation in Phoenix with ten crazy women. The bad news is I never wrote Word One on my story. The good news is I have enough funny stuff for the next two books in my sarcastic ghost series.
And no comments about the back cleavage. It sucks getting old!!