writing for publication

When I asked for ideas for blog posts, Jonathan Danz wanted to hear about what keeps writers going. He wrote a post on the subject in his article, “The Search for Inspirado”, which is a great read.

I think it’s a wonderful topic that helps us to keep our focus when we’re feeling down about the whole process.

I want to qualify myself in that I don’t consider myself to be an aspiring writer. I am a writer who is aspiring to become published. An aspiring writer is someone who is learning to write, and while I don’t claim to have perfected my writing technique, I do know how to write. I know how to plot a story and write a scene. I understand the rules of grammar, and when I forget, I know how to locate the information I need. So I don’t consider myself as an aspiring writer.

As a writer who is aspiring to become published, I must work on educating myself about the publishing process. That includes learning the obscure art of the query letter and how to negotiate with an agent and/or a publisher should my manuscript ever be sold. I have to learn to navigate the labyrinth of copyright law, e-books, and the dreaded Google Book Settlement. I need to know how to market myself and my novel, and I absolutely must network with other writers, both inside and outside my genre.

I don’t want my novel to be published because it’s my baby. I want my novel to be published, because I am seeking a career as a writer, and that means I have to develop a business plan. There has to be another novel in the works when I’ve finished this one, and I’ve already developed the synopsis for the second book. I have also planned the third and fourth novels in this series, and when I reach the fourth novel for this series, I will begin planning the next series.

I have given myself a definite time period by which I intend to have this novel finished. I have disciplined myself to write every evening after dinner whether I finish a chapter or simply do edits. I have started this blog so I can connect with other writers and see what works for you. All of you have taught me so much from your own blog posts, and I find all of your insights so valuable. I’ve also found a lot of really nice people that are a joy to know.

So at night when I’m sitting behind my little dinky Dell with a string of drool oozing from the corner of my mouth and my eyes so bloodshot I look sick, I remember my business plan and manage one more sentence. I think of all the other writers out there who are aspiring to become published. I eke out one more paragraph and eventually I have a page. Every night. No excuses.

Then someone always asks the burning question: would you do this even if you never become published?

Yes. I’m afraid I would, first because I don’t give up easily, and second because I am in love with words and stories. I would love to be published while I’m alive, but if it’s not meant to be, I intend to leave my daughter a trunk full of novels. She can do with them as she pleases.

Fame and fortune would be nice, and I’m honest enough with myself to acknowledge my materialism. My goal is to become a solid mid-list writer who can bring in a steady income through the sale of my novels. I may or may not achieve that goal, but in the meantime, I will write.

Simply because the pain of not writing is greater than the pain of writing.

I hope you shall continue writing as well.

copyright 2009 Teresa Frohock


About T. Frohock

Please visit my web site at: www.tfrohock.com
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6 Responses to writing for publication

  1. kaykaybe says:

    Hey Teresa- I hope you continue writing! I didn’t realize that An Autumn Tale was a series. It occurred to me that perhaps my ever-rising word count is because I have to fit everything into one book.
    Perseverance is key, is it not? I’m loving having my kids home for summer, but the writing is losing focus. Thanks for the tweet on Ursula K Leguin. (I don’t Twitter, but saw the link on your page.) I’ve liked her since reading Native Tongue. – Kelly

    • Teresa says:

      Hi, Kelly!

      Each of the novels that I have planned for this series will be complete in itself. I hate novels that leave you with a cliff-hanger and a two year wait for publication. I’ve planned four novels for Woerld, each will encompass a different season. I started with autumn, because that’s my favorite season. I want to call the next one A Winter’s Garden, but I haven’t decided on titles for the two novels that will play through spring and summer.

      You can fit everything into one book! You’ve already trimmed hundreds of words and you know it! Everytime I read a little more of your novel, you’ve tightened it up and brought your story into a keener focus. You’re absolutely right about perservance. Keep writing, keep learning, and you’ll be amazed at what you can do.

      Sometimes real life intervenes on our writing, especially when we have little ones around. I’m lucky, my girl is all grown and helps me out a lot.

      I’ll be putting all the tweets into my Lunch Hour Links for Writers this week in case some missed a few of the tweets.

      Thanks for ringing in!

  2. Jonathan Danz says:

    Keep on keepin’ on! The more I write and read about other writer’s experiences, the more it seems like perseverance and discipline play at least as much a role as talent. So long as we are all enjoying the ride, we’ll keep getting those stories down where others can have a looksee. Thanks for the post.

    • Teresa says:

      Jennifer: I saw your post! I think it’s always good to take a quick inventory of ourselves and our writing habits from time to time, and judging from the number of posts I’ve seen on the subject lately, everybody is thinking about it.

      You said: would you suggest a word count – would be something I would be interested in! Could you elaborate on that statement a little?

      Hi, Jonathan, it’s always good to hear from you. I’m so glad you brought this topic up for discussion. I really had to sit down and think about my motivations as a writer. It was an excellent exercise for me.

      I can’t tell you all how much I appreciate you stopping by and taking a moment out of your own busy schedules to post here!


  3. jenniferneri says:

    Love this post, even if just for your honesty and optimism. I decided to take myself more seriously as a writer (hence my post what am I?) by setting myself deadlines and shceudles and I can relate completly to what you say about the end of the night…but it does all add up.
    I answer the same as you – yes I would write without ever having a word reach print. I have been doing it for five years now (with time off inbetween for baby #2) and have only had 2 shorts and one article in print. If it was for that alone, i would have given up already. It is all about that need we all keep mentioning 🙂

  4. kaykaybe says:

    It’s been bothering me since I made my comment above- Leguin wrote “The Left Hand of Darkness”- great scifi book about alien culture and how bonds between different peoples are formed. Elgin wrote “Native Tongue- about female linguists changing the world via their language Laadan. Whew! Record straight!

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