Monday, August 16, 2010

Circle the Wagons

"You don't work well when you don't have a specific goal or purpose you're working toward," says my boyfriend today. And he's absolutely right! If I don't have a specific goal that I'm trying to achieve, then I feel like I'm floundering. I have felt like I'm floundering for a little while now.

What to do next has been the question rumbling around in my brain for weeks. I've finished my book. I've sent it to almost 275 agents... What the hell do I do with myself now?

Write more. But what? A second book? Wow! What an undertaking!

I got a freelance gig that is frustrating because I'm making very little money writing articles on random stuff like fishing in Alaska or boar hunting in Europe or laser hair removal. None of which I care about. Not to mention the fact that I'm not as good at journalistic writing as I am novel writing. But whatever. All of this is the whining I feel like I've been doing while I'm floundering.

So today I took some steps in a great direction. First, I found an online class about how to write women focused articles for magazines like Glamour and Marie Claire. OMG! How interesting is that?! Plus, this course will help me get better at journalism style writing, which is a HUGE need of mine! And this course says, I'll come out of it with a portfolio of work I can send out to magazines and other potential employers. I surely hope so because I'm ready to make some money writing!

Secondly, I emailed this really cool friend of mine who is also a writer to see if she had any suggestions. She's an ad copywriter, so not exactly the same thing, but it's writing... Whatever it takes, right? Well, this friend of mine gave me a couple of really great suggestions including searching for a creative recruiter. This is something I hadn't thought about before. She also gave me some helpful websites where I can find writing gigs. Many, many thanks for the tips! This is a new direction for me to run in!

Thirdly, I started for real planning for my second book. It's time to get started! Let's just plunge in and do it! It's now or never. I want to be a murder mystery novelist, and there's nothing stopping me from accomplishing this!

"I am back. I am back. I'm getting my writing career back!" Okay, it's a bit of a stretch and exemplifies my extreme enthusiasm for the movie The Hangover. But whatever. I feel better. Less like I'm floudering. So here I go. Running in new, writing-filled directions. Woo hoo!

Friday, August 13, 2010

New Tactics

So I'm waiting for a yes. But I'm driving myself crazy because I don't know what to do in the mean time. I don't know what I thought would happen when I started querying agents. I mean I knew I wouldn't get a yes right away. I hoped I would get a YES immediately! But I knew I wouldn't.

So I need to rethink my writing career. Which I have no idea how to do. I have a freelance writing gig, but it doesn't pay much at all... I would rather write than do anything else, so I need to figure out how to make more money writing. And more money in general. And I need to get better at journalistic style writing. I don't do enough of it and haven't for a very long time to be as familiar as I need to be.

So how do I make more money writing? Any ideas? Anyone? Is that crickets I hear?

Life is strange sometimes. I feel like I ran as fast as I could and worked as hard as I could to get my book finished, so I could try to sell it. It never occurred to me that I would have to figure out something to do once my book was finished. Maybe it should have, but it didn't.

I'm ready to start my second book. I'm excited!!! My writers group is starting up again, so it's time to do LOTS MORE writing!!!

Loyal friends, if anyone has any writing career ideas or advice, I'm all ears. Or job leads in general right now. Thanks as always. Back to trying to conquer the world as a fabulous, famous writer!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

We should play catch up I suppose!

It's been two months and two weeks since I sent out my first query letter. I've sent out almost 250. 250!!! I've done 3 rounds of querying and I just started round 4.

I've gotten more rejections than I can count. Probably 60 or something. But who knows? I read "Unfortunately" or "regret" or whatever other lovely word the agent has chosen to use in my rejection letter and then throw them on the pile with the others.

I've received SIX Not No's!!!! SIX!!!! I have had SIX literary agents ask to see a partial manuscript, whether it be 3 chapters, 20 pages, or a whopping 100 pages. Woo hoo! Fucking ridiculously exciting!!! Each one feels better than the last. Each Not No makes me more and more certain I will succeed. I had 4 Not No's last week alone. I'm starting to feel the momentum shifting.

And now, as of yesterday, I've had 2 of my Not No's say they didn't desire to see my full manuscript. The first one was kind of jarring. But somehow comforting because I know it's all part of the process. And as one of my same-named writer friends has said before, "Well, it's a milestone!" And that it is. Another milestone in the process of publishing my very first book.
It stings, but I can't take it personally. Because it's not personal. This is business no matter how much of my heart and soul I poured into the 200 pages that are waiting for a letter of acceptance from someone... Anyone...

I lust for the life of my dreams every day. Every second of every day. I want to sell this book and achieve my dreams of becoming a published murder mystery novelist. And I want to make some MONEY! I want to have careers as successful as my mentors, Stephen King and James Patterson. I want to be rich and famous and gain success by doing what I love the most in the world. And by doing it my way.

I'm from the South and was raised with one mentality: Go big or go home. Why not shoot for the moon? I believe in a whatever it takes mentality. I am willing to do whatever it takes to make my big dreams come true. I've started round 4 of querying agents. I have prayed more in the last year of my life than in the rest of my life combined. And I constantly try to put good into the world. I believe if I put positive energy into the world, it will come back to me. And at this point, I need all the positive energy heading my way I can get.

I leave you today, with my latest whatever it takes to get published idea. I'm going to write a letter to Oprah's book club people. I mean... It can't hurt... Oprah's book club is the largest in the country, and she has been extremely helpful and even career-making to many authors, including first time authors. So, why not write Oprah's book club people a letter about my book and the process I've been through thus far trying to get it published? Maybe no one ever really reads it. But what if someone does? How cool would it be if Oprah Winfrey helped me get my book published?!

Back to the waiting game, which is always frustrating, because I want to be published, you know, yesterday!!!

Friday, June 4, 2010


I'm blogging in an attempt to procrastinate.

These days, I'm playing the waiting game. Wait and wait and wait some more for some literary agent to contact me saying, "I want to read and/or rep your book!" I'm also playing the: What the fuck am I doing with my life game? And the how the hell can I make some more money writing game? And the I need a freaking job badly game. And the applying for job game, which is less fun than the I need a job game.

I've sent out 27 query letters so far. Some were just query letters; some were query letters, a synopsis, and sample chapters. I've received 9 rejections so far. They sting. They just do. This book is an extension of my being. Of course, it's going to hurt when someone says she's not well-written enough or good enough or interesting enough! However, I try to move forward every single day. Even if it's just one small step forward, I MUST take a step forward EVERY DAY. Otherwise, I end up in crazy, lost, depressed writer land. Which, at this point, I've accepted as just part of being a writer, but it still sucks. It's not a happy place. I feel lost there and question myself. Which I can't be doing. Especially not now.

So, I send out more query letters. I tell all of my friends when I receive a new rejection letter, so they can say things like, "Bollocks!" and "Fuckers!" and "Don't listen to them! Just send out another query letter!" I generally listen to my friends instead of the rejection letters. And I'm constantly reminded that "it only takes one YES." Love all of you who have said this to me recently!

I'm also applying for jobs these days. I just want to write. And I'm a decent writer. I just haven't figured out how to make enough money off my writing. Every day I send out another resume and writing samples to magazines and websites just trying to land a gig writing anything. Because it's been almost a month since I sent out my first query letter, and I am now entertaining the idea that I need to get a job before my savings really does run dry. So, of course I want a writing job, but I can't figure out how to market myself. If anyone has any ideas on this know...pass them along! Please!

I'm also applying for bar wench jobs. Because I need a job. And money. Plus, I need something to occupy my time. Because OMG am I a crazy writer if you let me spend too much time in my own head, especially while playing the waiting game!!! Again, if anyone has a lead on a job, please pass the info along to your friendly neighborhood unemployed writer.

I'm getting together my list of literary agents to query for round 2. There will probably be about 30 in this bunch as well. So, here we go! Let's do this! Let's all pray a little more, plan a little more, and write a little more. Maybe these are the keys to success. Who knows? But I am determined and willing to do WHATEVER IT TAKES to achieve my dreams. No matter what. I have said this before, and I stand by it: No IS NO T an option!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Status Updates

Business: Okay. So I'm up to 7 rejections. I realize this isn't very many, and I'll probably get a lot more before I get a, "Yes." But rejections don't feel like a step forward, and it is SO IMPORTANT for me to take a positive step forward EVERY DAY! I've sent out a bunch of query letters, and I've still got many more to send out.

State of Mind: I'm not going to lie. Doubt is starting to creep in. Not overtake. But definitely creep in. (Yes, I realize I've only gotten seven rejections. And I have to be tougher, and I am tougher. But I'm also an emo writer, so...) I'm also going through that whole crazy writer's black hole that I always go through after I finish one big writing objective and search for the next. Also, I am not a patient person. AND I need to find something productive, like a job, to fill my time now that I've officially entered this dark, quiet period called: The Waiting Game.

Financial State: I feel like it's the same. But I'm definitely counting the days now as I know my savings won't last much longer, and I need more work to fill my time. Thus, I'm searching for a job: a part-time, low stress, decent-paying job. (The whole job hunt thing makes the emo writer even crazier!)

Creative: Taking a back seat lately. I need to amp it up. I need to really focus my creative energies in productive directions like for real finishing these few stories I've been working on for months but still aren't perfect yet or good enough to send out to magazines. And I need to OH MY GOD AMP UP my freelance business. So... all of you loyal followers of my blog who have websites and party invitations and holiday bashes you're preparing for, make sure you hire your favorite friendly neighborhood writer to take care of all of these needs and write something beautiful to send to your friends and families. Yes, I'm shamelessly plugging myself on my own blog. But if not here, then where? And I really do need to hugely beef up my freelance business. So spread the good word about my fabulous writing skills; your efforts are much appreciated.

Spiritual: I think I'm ignoring God, which is SO NOT what I should be doing right now as I pray and pray and pray some more that my book will sell and make some money. I should stop doing this.

Monday, May 17, 2010

My Latest Rejection:

"Dear Meghann Carey, Thanks for your query. Due to a family health crisis, I must declare a moratorium on new submissions for the coming year. I appreciate your thinking of us and I wish you every success with your work.

While my initial response should have been something like: "Oh that sucks! I really feel bad. Hope she's okay." My actual response was something more along the lines of this: "F@*king s@*t lady! We all have to work regardless of extenuating circumstances! Don't you know how desperate new novelists are to publish their first book? I mean, geez!"

After processing for a moment, I went back and thought something along the lines of what would have been an appropriate, reasonable person response. No need to invite bad karma into my life after all.

So, this is rejection number 4!

Keep your fingers crossed! Many many thanks for all of the positive energy being sent my way!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Milestones! Yay!

Sent out my first query letters!

Got my very first rejection letter!

Loved the first milestone! Could have skipped over the second! I'm not going to lie; rejection letters sting. But we press on. "No," is not an option. Not an option for so many different reasons at this point.

So, if you must... bring it on Rejection Letter God. I'm not afraid. And I will do whatever it takes to find someone who says, "Yes."