Friday, January 17, 2014


So for the last few weeks, I've felt like I've had a lot going on. Because I have. And what's really exciting is that all of these things are writing related.

I'm a waitress. That's how I'm currently paying my bills. But that's not a career, and I have my shiny new Master's degree (not to mention student loans) telling me that I should be doing more. And it's really frustrating sometimes. I've looked for full time jobs, but the thing is, I'm picky. I don't want to be sitting behind a desk working 9-5 bored out of my mind.

Obviously the dream is to become a full time writer. But the reality is much trickier. I kept telling myself that I'd be sending my novel out to agents soon, and that I'd just wait and see. I know that even if I did get a publishing contract, that would certainly not mean I could quit my job. But it would mean something. It would mean that I'm on the right track.

In the meantime, though, I'm going a bit crazy. I have a lot of friends at work, and I love them. And they're wonderful enough to listen to me babble endlessly about writing stuff and pretend that they care.  But I want to be doing more with my time than waiting tables and coming home to watch TV now that my novel is done. I want to engage more with other writers and book lovers. I do that with my VCFA friends, of course. But I want to do it more!

I didn't consciously make a choice to change things. But suddenly, it feels like all sorts of things are falling into place for me. So here's an update on what I've got going on now:

1. I did finish my novel AND wrote my query letter AND sent it out to five agents. That's a small batch for now, because I think the query letter needs to be revised some more. Once I start hearing back from these agents, I'll do some more work on the letter and send out another batch.

2. I went back to talking about books and writing on my YouTube channel: Read First, Write Second. This is important, not only because it's fun, but because making contacts with other readers and writers could potentially be beneficial down the road if my novel gets published.

3. I'm back to writing in this blog. (Obviously.)

4. I joined NetGalley, a site where publishers provide ARCs to reviewers in order to get publicity for their books. And I've already received 7 books. So that means more reviews on this blog and my YouTube.

5. I recently finished The F-It List by Julie Halpern and was really impressed with the way she handled the sexual content. So I e-mailed her asking for an interview, and she agreed! Look for that coming soon. But it's majorly exciting, because I realized I could ask other authors for interviews. It doesn't hurt to ask. And hopefully stuff like this, and the ARC reviews, will bring more readers to this blog.

6. I started freelance editing! Right now I'm working on one client's book, and I'm doing a 20 page sample for another. This is exciting for lots of reasons. First, I genuinely enjoy editing. And second, it's a way to actually make some money using my degree.

7. I plan to make business cards eventually to advertise my editing services.

8. I want to buy my own domain name and build my personal website. This is going to take some time, because I need to research things, and I'll need to hire someone to build the site for me. Because I am beyond tech-challenged. But I want to be able to promote myself, and all of the various things I do, in one place.

9. And finally, this is an idea that was only introduced to me yesterday so I'm still mulling it over, but I'm considering self-publishing some short stories on Amazon. I'm going to look into this. If I do it, I'll use a pseudonym to keep this separate from anything I eventually publish traditionally. I don't expect to make much money off of it, but you never know. I have stories written anyway, and it's very hard to find journals and lit mags that are looking for YA short stories.

I feel like I should have a tenth one just for the sake of tidy list-making. But I think that's all. So I thought I'd share, if anyone cares. I'm really excited. (In case I haven't mentioned that.) I feel like I'm working towards things now. And it's a good feeling. It's something I can remind myself of when I'm at the diner and am struck with the overwhelming urge to punch a customer in the face.


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