Balancing Act

First full week back at day job and also continuing to try to figure out the self-publishing concept at Amazon.com . . .

I’m finding that this day job is delightful this year and I wonder if I truly want to give it up. I also have spent time this week maneuvering through the book I bought on self-publishing at Amazon.  I’m over halfway finished with it. I also have a second book I bought on self-publishing that I want to read before I submit my book. I’ve learned a lot, but don’t know it all yet. Perhaps I never will, but I do want to be as prepared as possible.

I’m looking at the empty room my son occupied until mid July with an eye to making it into a writer’s office.

I listed some poems I remember that I want to include. My next step is to look in my poetry file and select more poems to go in my book. I have written many and hope I still like them.

This is Labor Day weekend, so I’ll probably spend part of it on the writing career. This is so new that it doesn’t feel like work yet. Teaching used to be that way for me. I enjoyed it so much that it didn’t feel like work. I have worked so hard to help so many. (Another book partially written is about my day job. It too may end up self-published.)

There are so many advantages to self-publication. For one thing, I’d see my books in print before I die. I’m not sure I have enough years left on this earth to get it all published the conventional way. My books vary. Some are for children; others are definitely for adults.

At any rate, I’m still plugging along at mastering the self-publication route and hope to continue so that my book is published by November 1. Just in time for Christmas shoppers!

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Self-Publish on Amazon.com

I have a book of poems I want to have published. I’ve mulled it over for years. Some of these poems were first written and published by magazines twenty some years ago. If nothing else, I’d like a generalized location in a book form to hand these poems to my sons. Gee, that was a mouthful, wasn’t it? But I digress.

I saw two books on Amazon.com about self-publishing on Amazon. The idea is that you write your book, design the cover and once approved by YOU, your book is available at Amazon.com  The concept is that the book is ready to be printed as orders roll in. Well, with three sons, I’m sure I’ll sell three of them. ha ha.

This book, and let me give this man credit – I’ve just begun reading his book, but I am very inspired – his name is Chris McCMullen (I am calling Chris “him” because what he publishes – his types of book – look to me like something a male would write. I am sexist. You knew that, didn’t you? I’m also an older woman from a previous generation, so please indulge me.)

Anyway, the name of the book is How to Self-Publish a Book on Amazon.com and it’s written by Chris McMullen.  I’ve only read a few pages, but I can see me and this book are going to be friends.

The book I plan to publish is a book of poems about my pets or animals in general. My poems usually tell a story and they rhyme. They have meter and rhythm and all those elements I learned in school. I enjoy writing them and I will enjoy seeing them in book form. I hope to have the book ready to sell by November 1. This could be a cute stocking stuffer or perhaps a good gift for someone who likes animals and poems. I am more excited than I’ve been in a long time.

Ideas

I usually use the Writers Market to find places to submit my manuscripts. Recently I started reading the one I have from the beginning and I’m finding many interesting, helpful articles. There are suggestions for many ways to make money writing besides submitting manuscripts. I hope to continue with my “read” and do the things I’m seeing can be done.

Besides that, I want to get my small book of poems published by Amazon.com by November. I have two books that supposedly tell me how to accomplish that.

I guess I haven’t really given up at all.

Second Breath

I reread yesterday’s blog, and it seems all those things are even more reason to write and change my career to writer.

This morning I read about sending a book query to an agent and/or publisher. The information is invaluable as I have at least two books half written. Both will be either memoirs or based on a true story. Both involve things that are currently of interest to the American public.

I feel much better physically today. I am doing things to prepare for my workweek. I’m trying to transition to a more sophisticated look in my clothes. I’ve always loved seeing what Brenda (character) wore on the closer, but recently I’m paying more attention to her mother’s clothes. (I have the dvd’s from the previous seasons.)

To get where I want to go, I have to go to my day job and take care of expenses while I pursue this writing career. I think I have sold another article. I haven’t asked yet, but from what I’ve read in the Writers Market, the time to know has passed.

I’m trying to build relationships with publishers. I remember a man named Mr. White calling me on the phone to tell me how much talent I had when he was publishing my poem “To My Friend, George”. I remember the kind letters I got from the editor of “The Morris Report”. He published my poems and an article I wrote. When Dennis Rogers published some of my anecdotes, friends and acquaintances would write or call to tell me how much they enjoyed my writing. My Creative Writing teacher at NCSU told me I should sell my writing and quit giving it to Dennis Rogers for free.

So it’s not just a few people who have said I have talent. It’s many. I want this and I should not give up so easily, although I felt very bad yesterday. That’s even more reason to pursue this dream. I can do this physically. The 8 hour every day job may be too challenging with my health problems and my age.

It’s Time To Give Up

I am not “feeling it” anymore about the writing career.

I worked one day so far in my current day job and have hurt and felt too bad to even consider writing or submitting anything.

If there is a “plan” as my Presbyterian “friends” have suggested, for my life, it has somehow gone awry.

I’m tired of the rat-race. I’m tired of doing my best and watching others, who try to escape work, get all the acknowledgement and credit.

I’m tired of living paycheck to paycheck and being transferred and displaced and treated like I don’t matter anywhere.

There is no reason left to write.

Query Letter

Today I read about the query letter in my Writers Market. This was mostly review as I’ve studied this form before. I was reminded of how to compose a query letter and underlined key points so when I’m ready to write one, I can find them easily. I understand the usefulness of the query letter in limiting what I write to things editors want to publish. I still enjoy just writing with no market in mind, but if I’m changing to a writing career, that is not the lucrative way to do it.

Book Proposal

I read the Writers Market earlier today. I need three chapters and a synopsis to approach a publisher. Some places prefer agented submissions. I need to look for an agent as well.

My book of poetry might be self-published. I have two books I bought recently explaining how to self-publish on Amazon.com. I would like to have my poetry book published by Thanksgiving. This would give people a chance to buy it as a Christmas gift. It would give me a chance to buy and give it as Christmas gifts. 🙂

 

Let’s Try This

Writers spend a lot of time thinking. I have done that over the past few weeks trying to figure out how to submit what I have written.

I went through articles and worked on a couple of them. I tried to find a market to send them to. That was the wrong approach. I need to find the market and then the article. If I had read my Writer’s Market more, I would have seen they advised doing it that way. Instead I thought and experimented and came up with that idea on my own.

New plan. I will read at least two pages in the Writer’s Market daily.  When I say “read”, I really mean “study”. I will figure out how to be a professional writer.

By this time next year – actually sooner – before this time next year, I will be working daily as a professional writer.

Dreams are meant to be acted upon. I have a plan now and I have the guidance I was seeking.

I’ll post quick comments about my daily reading of the Writers Market. It has many pages. I’ll use this blog to make notes about what I read and how I use the information.

Backwards

I’ve been doing this submission attempt backwards. Yes, I have 60 articles started, finished, half-done . . . so I’ve been choosing one to work on, working on it and then as it is in the final draft, searching for a market to submit it to.

As I look through the Writers Market, I see topics I could write on, or have written on, but none of them are matching the article I am trying to submit. I’m doing it backwards! I need to look through the Writers Market and as I find ideas to submit, look through what I have written on that topic.

The poetry article I’ve written is superb, but I don’t see the exact market for it. The elements of writing article is also very good, but again, I did not find the exact market for  it. However, I do see markets that remind me of pieces I have written and that’s the way I will go about submitting my work. First the market, then the piece. I won’t be writing to the market, but finding something I’ve already written to send as I find suitable markets.

The Writers Market is a very big book and contains much information. Sometimes I get so engrossed in reading it that I am surprised to see that a couple hours have passed since I sat down with it. I never submit anywhere, without checking out the website that is listed and browsing through a copy of the magazine.

Editors are busy people and you must respect their time. If I want them to seriously consider my work, I need to seriously consider their publication. What kind of voice do they buy? What kind of articles? How long are most of their pieces? To whom should I send my submission? What is their lead time and what is their basic beliefs?

When I hone in on a magazine because I think I have something they might be interested in publishing, I study them much as I studied books in school. I get to know them. Sometimes that means I realize the piece I planned to submit is not a good fit. Sometimes it means I’ve struck gold and I think they will like what I’m sending.

Homework. Authors write, but they also do homework to market their writing. At some point I would like to have an agent who can do some of this searching for me. For now, I will search the markets and then look for an appropriate submission.

The poetry article is shelved for now, but I feel like I will come across a good market for it before all is said and done.

What Does It Mean To Be A Writer?

If it means you write everyday,  I’m a writer.

If it means you’ve been published, I’m a writer.

If it means you sit down every day with a salable idea in mind and write it and then sell it, I am not necessarily a writer. Sometimes I do; sometimes I don’t.

Often things I begin writing turn into stories or articles. But they don’t start out that way.

One of my friends told me I was a prolific writer. One of my bosses told me to please not send her anymore long emails.

I’m a writer. Sometimes I write more about a topic than other people want to read.

I think when I get myself and my writing more organized and more marketed, I will be more of a writer – or maybe more of an author.