The other night I talked with two fellow writers about goals. One of the many discussed subjects was self-publishing vs traditional publishing. I’m doing both. Going hybrid is the best route for me because there are some projects I want to get out into the world without the hassle of submitting to agents and publishers. It’s not that they’re projects I don’t care about, it’s more that they’re products that don’t need traditional publishing routes. The business model I’ve established simply determines that there are certain products that don’t need the facilities provided. But some do. And as 2017 enters its final quarter, I’ve been assessing progress in my new ventures and determined where I’m headed into the end of the year and more importantly 2018. With every major goal, there’s a common statement: “Then I Have to Keep Going!”
Are my sci-fi novels bestsellers or being adapted?
I’ve got my goals for self-publishing next year, and it makes me happy because those are aspects I have complete control over. One of the most frustrating things about the traditional route is so much is out of your control. I’ve accepted that and my task of making Thursday nights where I submit to at least one agent keeps me constantly moving forward. And the reason I’m willing to go the traditional route with my major sci-fi novels is I want “the championship.” I want to be a NY Times Bestseller, I want movie and TV adaptations. It’s ambitious, and because those are factors that I’ll only have a certain level of control over, I also realize it may not happen. But I’m moving forward as if it is. Because if I don’t believe it’ll happen, why the hell would an agent want to represent me? Why would a publisher want to give me one of their few release spots in year? They have to know I’m in this for the biggest win possible.
And I feel like I am close. That sounds cocky, but the last two rejections had marvelous things to say that indicated they read the pages thoroughly, but then mentioned one thing that stopped them from signing me. I haven’t received a templated rejection in weeks! And yesterday’s rejection was a full manuscript request. It stung like hell because I got THAT close. Initial query: done! First 50: requested! Full manuscript: yes, please! Offer to represent me: Pass. It felt like the racing equivalent of tripping near the finish line. But you can bet your ass I’m back at the races with more submissions and continued work to become a bestseller and get my movies in theaters and on screens!
No. Then I Guess I Have to Keep Going!
Am I Able to Write for a Living?
I’m generating revenue, but not enough to sustain writing solely for a living. Through Spine Press + Post and the incredible collaboration with Melissa Koons, we’re getting closer. And I’m thankful that with a great business partner, we can adapt, learn and adjust our business model. We have a new approach in 2018 that will include publishing more books by us to continue shifting both our lives from needing additional jobs to just being authors. That’s why I’m excited that I’ll be releasing a new short story anthology in 2018, as well as self-publishing sci-fi and fantasy children’s early chapter books and new Porcelain Prompts.
No. Then I Guess I Have to Keep Going!
Do I Look Like a Nerdy Avenger?
This may seem like an odd question to ask about a writing career. But it’s more correlated than you think. You see, I’ve found an incredible connection between my physical health and ability to be creative. If I eat like garbage and don’t work out, I don’t write as much. If I stick to a workout schedule, then I get a ton done during my writing and editing sprints. But I reached a plateau at the gym, I was getting bored because other than staying in shape, I had nothing driving me. So I asked myself what I could drive toward and I determined I’d do two things:
- Try out for American Ninja Warrior (which I’m training for and will be submitting an application in January!) I don’t know that I’ll get on, but it’s giving me specific training goals and new focus at the gym so it’s been great.
- Look like a Nerdy Avenger. I’m a realist, my personality is not conducive to leading man. When I did theater, I was almost exclusively supporting. Which I don’t mind, the characters are more interesting and I was good at it. So I want to look like I could be a part of Captain America’s squad, the tech consultant to Cap, Falcon and Winter Soldier to provide support while still being able to hold my own.
These two goals keep me focused during workouts, and therefore helps me stay on task with writing. I’m doing well, need to ditch some weight around the stomach and legs but I’m getting closer with each workout.
Not yet. Then I Guess I Have to Keep Going!
So there you have it. For the big three questions of my career, all the answers are “No” right now. Which is okay, because I’m on the way, and I’m going to keep going.
What are your big writing goals? How can you tangibly monitor them and take small steps every day to achieve them? Let me know and if you need self-publishing help, you can get it with publishing and marketing services from Spine Press + Post.
ONE FINAL THING
Speaking of SP+P, I’m going to be doing what I call a brand-split. This is because I used to write on this blog, Writer’s Conquest, about marketing for writers. That energy is now dedicated to Spine Press + Post. So if you want to get marketing and publishing news, you should follow our blog over there. You can do so at this link.
This blog, Writer’s Conquest, will be focused more on the tagline: We Fight. We Write. So stay tuned for inspirational writing advice, motivation, and announcements about my own writing.
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