Friday, August 6, 2010

My Mission

So, I’ve been thinking a lot lately. Yes, that’s the burning smell you detect.

Take a gander over to the left, and check out my little mission statement. I wrote that three years ago. Three! Can you believe it?? I wrote it before I ever dreamed up the idea that would become A DEVIL IN THE DETAILS.

And as I sit here and look at it right now, I have to wonder if maybe it’s a bit outdated. Maybe I need a new mission?

My original mission was to “survive the writing, the querying, and hopefully the publishing.” So let’s break it down.

Surviving the writing: When I wrote that mission statement, I was writing what can only be called an epic pirate princess fantasy. (Don’t judge me.) Shortly after I started this blog, hubby and I came up with this brilliant UF idea, and gradually it took over my life, and the epic pirate princess fantasy got trunked. 78,000 words. Someday, I might go back to it, but as it stands now, it needs a major overhaul.

So then I wrote this great UF thing we’d dreamed up. And I had high hopes for it! (and well, we all know how that story turned out.) In the time since writing Devil, I’ve finished four other books (counting Devil’s sequel) and I’m currently doing the research portion of a new project, just something for fun, maybe for NaNoWriMo this year.

So while yes, I have survived the writing, it seems that the writing is ongoing process, and therefore the survival should be an ongoing goal. So maybe that part of the mission statement should stay.

Surviving the querying
: I queried Devil for six months. An eyeblink in publishing time, really. I know people who queried for years with multiple manuscripts before they found an agent. I sent out twenty-eight queries, again a teeny tiny drop in a huge potential bucket, and got favorable responses from a third of those. I signed with The Agent.

Now, I don’t envision having to go through the actual query-for-agent process again for quite some time. I LIKE The Agent. He’s awesome, and he deals well with my neuroses. And as far as I know, he’s gonna be an agent for a long time, so we’re settled for a while.

However, querying for an agent isn’t the only “query” in this big wide world. When I have a new project ready, I run it past The Agent. When I think there’s someone who might give me a blurb for one of my covers, I can ask. I send emails to book bloggers to see if they have time to review me, or if I can do a guest post or interview for them. All of these are essentially queries, in the sense that I’m putting myself out there. I’m waiting to see if I’ll be shot down.

So maybe that part of the mission statement should stay, too. Hmm.

Surviving the publishing: Holy crap, I did it. I have a book in print. I used to sit, in quiet times, and imagine what it would feel like to hold one of my books in my hands, and now I know what that’s like. As of July 6th, 2010, I am a published author.

But you know what? There’s a TON of stuff that has to happen even after the book hits shelves. How are my sales doing? How are my reviews? More blog appearances, con appearances if I can afford it, promo materials, give aways.

Publishing isn’t a one time occurrence. It’s not like Christmas, it doesn’t have one day and then gone. It’s a continual process, even not counting the sequels that are coming up behind the first one, which would kick me clear back to the first part of the statement, the writing.

So I guess I’m still surviving the publishing, too. Double hmm.

I have to say that the last three years of my life have been the scariest, the strangest, the saddest, and the super…est. (Hey, I was going for some kind of pattern there, and it kinda let me down. So sue me.) I achieved my dearest dream. I lost my mother. I survived cancer. I celebrated ten years with the greatest man in the world, and I watched this tiny creature I gave birth to grow into an amazing little person with her own thoughts and opinions and dreams.

And as I look forward to the next three years, at least two of which will be devoted to writing/editing/publishing the next two books in the Jesse James Dawson series, I have to wonder what wonderful and terrifying things wait for me there.

So I guess my mission statement stays, and ultimately I can just hope that I survive.


Andrea Coulter said...

Congrats to surviving, publishing and the rest of what life threw at you--I think that's a mission statement we can all take to heart.

Also, I just got A Devil in the Details. Can't wait to read it!

dragonflylass said...

"epic pirate princess fantasy"
DUDE! I totally forgot about that! LOL

K.A. Stewart said...

Lynn - I hope you enjoy it!

Caron - Hey, I said don't judge.

dragonflylass said...

I wasn't judging! I just forgot about it! It's been a while! Just sayin'!
Why am I shouting?!

Catherine Stine said...

Wow! Quite the adventure. It sounds roughly like the one I went through (and still going through). I just got a new agent who is a better match for me, and that took a good few months. Not every manuscript is meant to be published, and that leaves way for the truly amazing ones to find their way to print.