When I left work on Friday, I had hopes of spending my weekend in a sort of lazy, bachelor-style fugue. That kind of shiftless, laying-about that would, of course, include hours and hours on a couch with a movie marathon or a baseball spree, the consumption of a whole host of terrible, processed, microwaveable meals, and the accumulation of so much sloth that my story would become a cautionary tale to frighten children lacking the appropriate industry.
But then I remembered I’m an adult with children of my own and responsibilities. So instead of spending the weekend in holey sweats adding some buffer to my BMI, I did yard work, got my season’s first pinkish hue watching the Puddinpop at baseball practice, and spent a good deal of time thinking about my next writing task.
I suppose it turned out better this way. After all, you know, high BMI is apparently bad or whatever. Plus, I don’t really care for processed, nuked food. Kinda makes me think of soylent green.
Also, and more seriously, I’ve got a good chunk of work to do this year. It’s time to get to it.
I’ve been an “agented author” for all of about a week now, give or take, and I’ve already realized there are benefits to the relationship I’d never considered. Now, sure, I wanted an agent from the moment I first seriously entertained the possibility of Writing For Reals. But that was largely because I wanted someone to represent me when it came time for The Deal, someone I knew would have my back.
Admittedly, even that much isn’t required these days. Especially since when going the independent route has become both quite acceptable and potentially lucrative. But, while I admire the DIY spirit of the self-pubbers out there charting the course of their own career alone, living or dying on the strength of their individual boat-making, quite frankly, I’m just not that guy.
Seriously, my do-it-yourself projects usually end with something unrecognizable constructed of toothpaste and duct tape with seemingly impossible angles, a body part in a splint of some kind, and, inevitably, a bourbon glass filled with disappointment and shame.
I see publishing about the same way. I’m not on expert on it or the industry in detail, nor do I have the time to become one. Yes, I obviously keep track of the broad topics of What’s Happening, but, honestly, I want to focus on storytelling—the craft of it—not the ins and outs of the business.
What I didn’t realize, though, is that an agent comes into play long before there’s even the wispy rumor of a deal floating on the breeze.
For instance, without having someone both interested and knowledgeable enough to discuss my next few writing projects, I would have been left to my devices. And in that case, I would’ve chosen whichever one of my widely varying story concepts (and, yes, I have many) was tickling my fancy the most at that moment.
And, let me tell you, my fancies are about as fickle as your average house cat. Which is to say, they’re generally not to be trusted (and yes, I mean that of both the cat and the fancies).
But, thankfully, now I have people on my side to offer suggestions about what might be the best, most effective path forward for me. Someone to consult about both short- and long-term strategy for my writing career.
More importantly, someone to explain that spending the next three months writing Care Bear/Dark Shadows crossover fan fiction* is not likely to produce a best selling series anytime, um, ever.
Anyway, the point is that after making actual plans with my agents, I have a lot of work to do. And it’s time to get to it. Which is why, to the left of this post, you’ll find a brand new progress bar that currently sits at 0% completion. Later tonight that 0% will change, and my next new novel will be underway.
And no, I won’t tell you what it’s about right now. Because, well, reasons. All I’ll say is that I’m calling it Project: OTHER THING and it’s…shhh….A SEKRIT!
Oh, I’ve given myself a mere 35 days to get the first draft written. Which means, yes, I just NaNo’d myself on purpose.
If I disappear for days on end, or you find me twitter rambling about the squirrel people and their dirty hands, at least you’ll know why.
Let the writing sprint begin!
*I wasn’t really going to write that. Seriously, I swear!