Friday, January 18, 2008

Are you ready now?

Yesterday I gave you a call to action. What is your plan?

So, are you ready now?

If you were to suddenly get $1000 could you create a future with it? What about $500? $200? $175?

That is my goal. I want to help you create a way to market yourself and your writing so that you have a plan that will allow you to pursue your dream the moment you have the capital.

Maybe money is not your issue? Maybe your issue is time.

Then my goal is to show you time management skills.

Everyone who knows my schedule wonders how I do it all. One reason is I have an awesome husband who is behind my dream but it's also because I manage my time.

Maybe the issue is not knowing what to do.

That is why I have this blog and I try to teach you how to move forward. Post your questions. I'm happy to answer them.

But whatever needs to happen are you READY NOW? Are you ready to move forward when that final piece of the puzzle falls in to place?

If not, then start to do what you CAN do. Luck happens when you're prepared. Go get ready to be lucky!

H.I.G.H. 14

We've had SO many new readers in this last two weeks let me tell you what HIGH is. HIGH stands for How I Got Here.

So, yesterday I was talking about when it looked like my writing career was suddenly taking off. I had two national publishers paying me for articles and a local publication that wanted me to write monthly for them. It was an amazing time, and after only 1 year of pursuing publication full time.

Over the next few months I wrote those stories while finishing the final draft of my novel. I sent my manuscript off in January to the Novel contest, and received an offer to collaborate on a book that same month. It was a non-fiction book about a local man who'd been active in local and national politics. My degree was in Political Science so the project couldn't have been more perfect. I was excited to be doing the work of a writer fairly consistently. I drove to Cleveland to do research [which I LOVE] and it gave me an opportunity to hang out with my uncle who lives in Cleveland. [Which I also LOVE] Life was good.

I was in Cleveland in March when my first national publication hit newsstands. It was awesome. We drove around looking for a store to buy the magazine and my uncle told the woman at the checkout that I was in it.

I loved ever minute.

It was also around this time that I found out my manuscript was semi-finalist in that major writing contest, Operation First Novel. The top prize was publication and a $50,000 cash advance. So learning I was in the top 20 had me vibrating with excitement.

By June I was a wreck. Literally. the national winner would be notified any time. A group of us were talking in forums about the contest. It was my all consuming through. And then came the night when I learned...

I wasn't in the top 3.

This was one of my least proud moments. I was literally crushed. I was a mess. No one could understand how crushed I was [in fact, looking back even I can't understand why I was so crushed]. I had put all my hope in this one opportunity to succeed. I had elevated this contest so high in my mind that I believed I couldn't make it unless I won this particular writing contest.

Looking back now I realize how GREAT it is that I didn't win that contest. It goes to what I said at the beginning of this blog. You have to be READY when an opportunity presents itself. I had a complete story written but I didn't have craft down to where it needed to be, NOR did I have the network of people, or the marketing plan in place to capitalize on the book's publication.

If you run in writing circles you'll learn bad sales numbers can be worse than being an unpublished writer. If I would have won that contest and NOT been ready to market myself [especially with such a HUGE cash advance] I could have done great harm to my future career as a writer.

It's all about preparation. Are you ready?

I wasn't ready for what the next 18 months were going to bring to my life and my writing.

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