Sunday, March 27, 2011

Schedule Wisely or Get a Job

The above are the sage and heartless words of my dearest..

Several of the NYT Best Selling Authors churn out multiple novels in a year, which in itself with the required hours of editing and rewriting is monumental. Add in Twitter, FaceBook, a myriad of other social networking sites and a blog and the task seems unattainable. How do they do it? Where do they find the time?

I’ve spent 3 years beating my head against the wall, not literally (I hate pain), and I feel no closer to being published than the day I scaled down my real estate brokerage in order to do this. I’ve come to an impasse. (My husband is losing patience with my lowered income, but I’m fine with not working 80 hours a week.) It’s time to get serious, to get organized, or admit defeat and go back to work fulltime.

I have three finished novels and two under way. I write, I edit, I rewrite, I edit, but I really suck at querying. I have queries for each of the aforementioned novels but sending them out? Ewww! I’m breaking out in hives just thinking about it. I do the research, I find my dream agents, but… just...ewww.

Enough! I will, starting today.

Since I have three completed novels, I will work on one book at a time rotating them weekly. The new and improved (first ever) schedule I came up with went like this: 10 query letters per day-three hours, two hours of editing, two hours of blog reading/writing, two hours of FB/Twitter (time suckage no longer allowed), and four hours on the WIPs. A full thirteen hours of devotion.

Extremely proud of my spurt of industriousness, I boasted of my eminent success to my other. He rolled his eyes and sagely noted that I hadn’t scheduled time for him, bathing, eating, exercise, or (OMG how could I have forgotten?) chardonnay.

Okay so something has to go, and it won’t be my wine. Do I really need to query?


  1. Yes. Yes you do need to query. I am jealous of your new schedule. I need one of those...everything is so sporatic in my life that I may never actually finish a novel..

  2. Structure makes discipline easier. And Discipline separates the dreamers from the do-ers.

    A suggestion : research veteran editors who have been downsized out of a job and become agents. They have the contacts and experience to be great agents, while being new -- and therefore hungry for new clients.

    I wish you luck in your publication dreams, Roland

  3. Unfortunately, I agree with Gina that the querying is necessary. Its tough, but you can do it! Along with bathing and the chardonnay...I really do think that your at the tipping point, where if you just keep pushing, things will start falling in to place. Maybe not as soon as you'd like, but they will. Keep writing and submitting :)

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

  4. When you say ten queries a day, do you mean sending them out to agencies/publishers?

    I'd almost say 5 query letters out first for ONE ms then see what comes back (so you can gauge the effectiveness of your query letter, synopsis, sample pages). Choose your strongest and go with that one first if you are looking at agents. If you are querying publishers, I haven't got any good advice! :P Good luck and your schedule is amazing!

  5. No, you don't need to query. Just put your manuscript in a box and Simon & Schuster will send a limo out to pick it up.

  6. Firstly let me apologize for my tardiness in responding you fantabulous folks!

    The morning after the blog my laptop experienced a snafu. Apparently, Chardonnay is bad for a keyboard, who knew?

    At Arhooley, thank you for your cheery words, but must I schedule the limo?

    At Alledged Author, that was my imagination running away with me, researching 10 agents a day to send to would have me committing suicide. I've narrowed it down to 3.

    At Sarah Allen & Gina W., ya'll are cruel! And Gina, you have a novel, several in fact. Just sit your booty down and finish it.

    At Roland D. Yeomans, you sound so structured and intelligent that I want to shoot you. But I will follow you instead as I may leech something of your disclipine through reading your blog.

    At Everyone...I truly appreciate your comments and will promptly follow all of you. In return I EXPECT sage words of wisdom.