"If you write FOR a particular market or FOR a particular editor you will often miss the mark. But if you write because your fingers have danced across the keyboard, because a character has tapped you on the shoulder, because a story has settled in your heart, then even if you never sell it you have done the work you were meant to do. And sometime, dear readers, real magic happens." Jane Yolen

8/23/08

Some New Goals

First of all, I am oh-so-pleased to announce that my work from the past several months (perhaps, more accurately, of the past several years) has, in a sense, come to fruition. As of Thursday afternoon, August 21, 2008 (that would be eleven days before the September 1 deadline!), I have entered my introduction, first chapter, and synopsis of my non-fiction book, Ailing Body, Nourished Soul, in Faithwriters' Page Turner Christian Non-Fiction Contest. The winner will get a boatload of prizes (including a wonderful cash prize, free editing of the entire manuscript, and a year of publicity at Faithwriters once the book is published.) and will be announced--along with two honorable mentions--on December 1 (hence my new ticker above). ALL entries will also get professional feedback on their submissions (which makes it worth the work I've been through, don't ya think?)

But, do you know what? This is not the end of my work--not by a long shot. I need to avoid my natural tendency to rest on my laurels and "throw this project aside" and focus on something easier (yes, this is not necessarily an easy write. Reliving those difficult days through my writing can be a tough experience). I know for a fact that I have been called to write this book (whether anyone has been called to publish it, or read it, is another issue I won't deal with here), and as simple as it would be to take an extended break from it, that is not what I am planning to do.

As of right now, I only have what I have submitted truly "written" - the intro and the first chapter. I have written several challenge articles that cover the events/timeframe the book will focus on (some fictionalized, some not): "Proof My Husband Has A Brain," "In My View," "In Love and Desperation," "Litter Box Ministry," "Doctorese-English Dictionary," and maybe a couple others I have forgotten about. A few of these are even in the "format" I plan to use for my book (which, incidentally, I worked out through the challenge).

So, I have a lot to do. I have whole chapters (how many? Not a clue!) to write, as well as challenge entries to "convert" to chapters. And, considering how well I've done with my goals the past couple months, I do believe the wise thing would be to set some more. Thankfully, I do not need to have the whole manuscript done by the time winners are announced in three plus months, but I would love to be quite a bit further along than I am.

So, now that I'm done beating around the bush, I suppose I should get to it. My goals for the rest of this month include 1. finding a place to submit "Contemplating History" (my Friday fiction from LAST week!) for paid publication, and sending it off for consideration, and 2. "gathering together" all the stories and such that I have written in the past that can be used for Ailing Body, Nourished Soul.

Then, starting September 1, I will have a new set of goals for the month. Tentatively, I am planning to try to get two chapters written and one chapter "converted" ("fix" an old challenge entry into a chapter) each month. After that first month, I suppose I'll figure out if that's doable, or if it's too much or too little. And when it gets closer to September 1, I will again post my goals on my blog sidebar - including what general elements of the story will be covered in the chapter.

So, I press on toward my goal, following my Lord's leading, and grateful for those of you who are here encouraging me and spurring me toward the "finish line."

5 comments:

  1. Joanne:
    I'm excited for your road ahead. From one writer to another...keep to it. In the end, you will be the healthier and wiser because of the process. I've had to do some major fine tuning in terms of my expectations for my writing. I so long to be published, but I've realized that's not the ultimate. The ultimate will be one day hearing my Father's comments on my work. To have him flip through the pages of my book and simply say...

    "Yes, I remember that day you wrote this piece. You made my heart smile! Well done."

    I think about that everytime I pick up the pen. No other boast is worthy of my heart because my God has lavished his grace upon me and the fact that I get to walk one more day on this earth and have any measure of kingdom influence is a profound gift I hope to never take for granted.

    If you ever want any feedback on anything, I'd love to read your work.

    Keep to it, dear one. Keep to Jesus.

    peace~elaine

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  2. Cheering you on always, Jo dear! And I can't wait until I get to read it!

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  3. JoDear, you are an inspiration! AND you lead me (LoL: US) thru example. You can't do better than that!

    Lead on, O Fearless Leader!
    *giggle*

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  4. You're one amazing lady, and God is soooo in this whole process. I'll be praying for you as you endure, persevere and get through the rough.

    Love you, lalee

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  5. Hi Joanne!!!! This is becky/Kiddo from Faithwriters!!!

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