#authorstats

If your’e an aspiring author, search Twitter for #authorstats. This hashtag was started to give us encouragement. They asked published authors to list their stats… how long to get an agent. How long to sell their first book. How many revisions.

This is the first one I saw:

Author after author had a similar story. It took years to get an agent, and it took revision after revision after revision.

The hashtag succeeded. I feel encouraged. I’ve only been trying to get an agent for a little over a year. I haven’t even completed ten revisions. My lack of success at this early stage is entirely normal.

Whew!

My only concern now is managing to pay the bills until I land an agent, sell the book, and earn a little income from my hours and hours and hours of up-to-this-point free labor. Because I now have a firm belief that it is not if I sell, but when.

The latest round of major revisions is complete. My next task is to sit down and read it from cover to cover to make sure the new additions flow. Then it will be off to the editor for another quick go-over, and then it’s back to querying.

I’m excited for the next rejection that might give some feedback and lead me to another revision. Of course I’m even more excited for the possibility that they might request my manuscript. Or beyond that, that they might request their own set of revisions (meaning they’re interested enough to see if you can do the work.)

Of course, in quiet moments I doubt myself. I’m sure I’m a talentless hack who has deluded herself into thinking she has something to say. Criticisms and slights ping pong around my head. However, now there’s one thing I can counter with. I’m not an idiot. And even if the doubters are right, right now – I can learn. I can improve. I can revise. I can do this, just like those other authors did.

What goal are you trying to achieve that seems out of reach? Are you frustrated that others make it look so easy? Does that make you doubt yourself more? Rather than stewing about it, try asking them about their journey. Find out their stats. You may just find your doubts are unfounded, and you’re right on track for success.

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It’s Written in the Stars

Every now and then I do something completely out of character for me. I did that this week and saw an astrologist. Now, this will probably offend some and cause others to roll their eyes. I put myself in the 2nd camp. You see, I find the entire idea of planets orbiting millions of miles away having anything to do with my life utterly ridiculous. There were other babies born the day and time I was born. Are we all having the same lives? Horoscopes are so vague that they could apply to anyone. Astrology is sheer nonsense on a scientitic and rational level.

However, as one person explained it, there are many people who have psychic gifts, or if that title offends you, people with perceptions outside of the normal realm. Using dates, planets, and charts is just one way to channel those perceptions and gain insight. Others use numerology, or tarot cards, or pendulums… all equally nonsensical in a scientific light. Since I have some of those unusual perceptions and know they’re legit, I can live with her explanation, tamp down my utter disbelief in the system, and see what they have to say.

Why would anyone do this when they don’t really beleive? Simple. It’s an excellent tool for gauging my desires. Last year, when I first consulted this astrologist, I had pretty much already decided to move to Missouri, but there was still some doubt. Was I giving up too soon? If I hung in a little longer would things swing my way? Was life going to be just as difficult there? I wanted to get another pespective and see what my reaction to it was. During that first reading she told me all the planets were aligning and I was about to have a huge career in entertainment. My reaction?… a primal scream in my head that said, “NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!” While I have no idea if she was right, my reaction told me all I needed to know. I did not want that career. I truly was done with Hollywood and wanted out. That alone was worth the cost of the reading. My decision, despite recurring doubts, was made.

Right now there are no huge decisions on my horizon, but doubt has been creeping back in. Am I up for this? I was so busy being social in October that I got almost no writing done.  Yes, I’m having a great time. Yes, my life is full of wonderful people. Yes, life has slowed down and stress has been reduced to almost nothing. However, this life is not sustainable. What happens in 3-4 years when my entire life’s savings is gone and I haven’t published anything? What if this leap really does leave me crumpled in a heap at the bottom of the chasm, and at an age that it will be hard to climb out? Aaaahhhh! As you can imagine, these thoughts are not conducive to creativity and writing, so I put my logical thought processes on hold, and consulted an astrologist.

Consulting these paranormal people is always a great confidence builder if nothing else. It doesn’t matter if I talk to a psychic, numerologist, or astrologist, they always say the same thing – I am destined to be a writer, teacher, and prophet, (ugh) whose work will have an affect on many people. (ugh ugh) I don’t feel qualified to teach anyone anything, let alone many people. I just want a life full of friends, cats, laughter, and lots of quiet hours in my office writing. As for the outcome… ppphhhhtttt. As long as I can sustain my life, who cares.

This reading was the same. Apparently come next August I need to have this book finished and submitted to a publisher because some moon, or planet, or something is moving into my publishing house. And this book is going to bring in money, launch my career, and potentially lead me back into the entertainment industry when the book is made into a movie. All that sounds great, though I have no idea if any of it is true. However, once again, what made this entire reading worth the cost was the deadline. People have asked, “When do you hope to finish it?” I would just shrug my shoudlers, “I dunno.” Now I have a goal… a deadline. August. This book will be done by August. I am once again confident, encouraged, and ready to make this dream a reality. Despite the silliness of it all, purpose accomplished.

Now, on a fun note, apparently those renewed interests in romance that I blogged about recently are not in vain. At some point early next year, I am supposed to end up in a relationship, and one that finally gives me the deep, spiritual connection I have longed for. Oh my! It will be fun to see if that turns out to be true. A man, a career, and security. It’s written in the stars, now let’s see if I can write it in my life.

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