My first tip is something extremely basic, online document storage. No matter how good/bad, well formatted, creative, etc. your work is, if you lose it–it’s gone.
My computer crashed on me during NaNo and I was really concerned I would lose documents (thankfully I didn’t) but I had learned right before my crash about Dropbox. Many of you have probably already heard about it, or use something like it, but for those of you that are unfamiliar with it here’s the details.
Dropbox is a free online storage system, the best part is you can add it to all your computers. So if you like to work on more than one computer your most recent file is always available. There is even an app for your phone, so you can pull your documents up on your phone as well. I absolutely love Dropbox. You don’t have to visit the website or log on to retrieve files either, there’s an icon on your desktop and you pull files directly from there. Your files are private and safe, but if you would like to make them available to other people (critique groups, writing partners, etc.) there is also that option.
So there is my super basic writing tip for the day, although it’s not the most enlightening tip–it’s helpful, right? 🙂 Hey, it’s the little things and this is definitely one of those little things that has made my life easier.
I’ve been trying to think of something I could add to my blog, something helpful, because for the most part that is why I visit other blogs looking for information. So I was thinking maybe once a week I could add a short post about something I learned along the way, especially those things that I wished I would have known from day one. No way like learning the hard way. Since I will be trying to keep these post short, I will just mention some quick and hopefully helpful. And if you have any tips, feel free to leave them as comments.
I finally decided to add my “road to getting published” post. I don’t know if it’s really that interesting, but I know I scoured the Internet for these stories while trying to get Gossamer published–hoping it would give me some insider tip–so here it is.
I have written off and on for years, starting manuscripts but never finishing one. I finally decided I was going to finish one and wouldn’t stop until I did. Those that know me have heard the story behind that and briefly I will mention it.
One year, several years back, we were celebrating my Dad’s birthday and he told me the best “gift” I could give him would be for me to write a book and try to get it published. He knew it was my dream and wanted me to go for it. Of course I didn’t. About two years after that request my Dad died suddenly and unexpectedly from cancer. Well a few years passed and one day I decided to do it for my Dad. I would write a book and try to get it published. Even if it never happened I could say I tried.
Now back to the story, I was a good ways into a MS (manuscript) when another book was published with the exact same working title as my book and a similar premise, frustrated I put the work to the side. I set to brainstorming other ideas and started researching faery legends. I fell in love with Irish changelings legends and the entire Irish lore surrounding faery folk. The story was born and just poured out of me. Once I started it flowed amazing well, and somewhere in the back of my mind I knew if I finished this MS it would be successful. So armed with that possibly delusional and extremely positive mindset I never stopped.
During the whole writing process I began researching publishing, agents, manuscripts, queries…etc. Now that part was exhausting. Once I finished Gossamer I began edits, joined writing websites, and kept researching. After finishing my query and synopsis I started submitting to agents and a few small presses. Well to my shock, I received within hours of submitting, a request for my full MS from a small pub. Suddenly I had one of those “this shit is getting real” moments. I began to second guess everything about my work, my writing, my abilities as an author. This is when I decided I needed to be part of a critique group.
I was already a member of a YALitChat so I found an amazing writer, who was also looking for a group and she had already contacted someone as well, so thanks to a fair degree of luck (and possibly a little fate) my group was born. Reagan, Jessica and myself began our little critique group and I feel incredibly indebted to them for helping polish my MS.
As the publishing world goes, things slowed down from there. I worked on cleaning up MS, waited to hear back from several agents (all while getting those lovely form rejects) and the pub with my full. I continued learning the industry, improving my writing, and working on some new projects–I even did NaNo!
Well come January Lyrical Press had an open call for a new YA line (super thankful for twitter or else never would have heard about it). So I submitted–and get this–three days later had a contract in my inbox!! It was seriously a surreal moment! I kept rereading it, thinking it couldn’t be real. After I convinced myself it was in fact real, I contacted the pub with my full and everyone else that needed contacting (following proper offer etiquette), and a week later I signed my contract with Lyrical.
Now here’s the kicker and the reason I knew the contract with Lyrical was meant to happen. Remember the story I told you about my Dad, well I received the offer on a Friday–the day before my Dad’s birthday. Some may not think that means much, but to me that was a huge sign. I knew it was the right choice.
So there you go, that’s my story and I will keep you posted on my road to getting published, after all it has just begun!
The blog is updated and hopefully working properly again!
In other news, I now have my editor assignment and I’m excited to work with her. She seems really helpful, communicative, and friendly–a perfect match for me! (because I’m probably going to have a WHOLE lot of questions!)
I also received my first deadline for Gossamer and I’m super excited. I’m sure to most people the words editing and deadlines causes them to cringe (and one day I probably will too) but right now it makes everything seem that much more real. It also means I have my tentative release date! If everything stays on target Gossamer will be available in August. Yay!
So it’s been brought to my attention that my blog is all sorts of crazy messed up. I think I’m going to have to completely remove the design template and start from scratch so please bear with me while I rework it. My guess is, just like major cleaning, it’s going to look a whole lot worse before it gets better.
I’ve started working on the second book in the Gossamer series again and I have to say, I’m loving the direction it’s going. Even I can’t wait to see where it goes 😉 Okay, so I have a basic outline and plot but the best thing about writing–sometimes you even surprise yourself with plot twists. So for all you future Gossamer fans (because you know you will LOVE it) part two is looking pretty exciting. Oh and I already have the end worked out and it’s going to have big surprises! Now if I could only think of a name. I have a few ideas but nothing concrete. I need something with double meaning, it needs to make you think of faeries but have a a deeper underlying message. Suggestions??
I have officially signed my contract with Lyrical Press. Gossamer has found a home, and I couldn’t be happier!
I’m so excited, it’s hard to force myself to actually do real work now!
My story on the road to getting published coming soon (when I’m not giddy with incoherent excitement!)
What a crazy weekend! I’m exhausted because–instead of sleeping–my mind was on overdrive. I have big decisions ahead of me (good ones!) but that will be for another post. In the mean time, I need to learn some patience. I’ve never been extraordinarily patient and the last three days have been a testament to that. I’ve mentally exhausted myself with the “what ifs”, which is funny because in my newest WIP my MC tells someone “life’s not about the what ifs”. I’m calling her bluff because right now, that is all my life is about! Okay maybe not, but still, I can’t turn the thoughts off. I need to just let things unfold naturally but it’s easier said than done.
A (hopefully) exciting update, coming soon!