Sorry for the lack of posts lately! I was on a (much needed) vacation to California! The need for vacations to take a step back from your work is a topic for an entirely different post, but I can sum it up to this: sometimes it’s necessary to not think about your novel, to escape and have new experiences which will influence your writing, and to be in a more sublime environment so when an agent rejection pops up in your email, you take it in stride and order another wine sample! 😉
Today, I wanted to focus on a subject that has been giving me major headaches–the dichotomy between being an artist and thus trying to be a free spirit while at the same time being cognizant of the pressing need to create an online presence. This need for a writer’s platform necessitates the use of social media. Writers, as a rule, hate social media. We would rather be writing! However, our ultimate goal is to be read, and to be read and gain notice in today’s world means hashtagging and blogging our way to fame. Hopefully that prospect turns everyone’s stomachs as much as it does mine. It is a very imposing goal; in the millions of individuals out there on the internet, how do you make a difference?
It’s a question I, unfortunately, cannot answer in this post. But I do welcome good suggestions! The first step for me is simply, getting out there. One of my New Year’s resolutions this year was literally: “Tweet less.” Obviously, that is not going to fly. I have been trying to force myself to tweet more lately, and have gone to excessive use of hashtags. Today, I activated a Facebook account (under much mental stress), and a LinkedIn page. I am looking into #QueryKombat, which appears to be a great way to get some exposure as well as potentially awesome contacts with agents and editors! The Internet is a crazy, intimidating place, but I hope to do my research and find some success in it.
I want to get the word out soon because I am going to be doing something very exciting here on the blog. I am going to be posting sample chapters of Capacitance! I want the novel to get exposure and hopefully build momentum. Stay tuned on chapter one coming soon!
With that being said, follow me on Twitter and Instagram (@elisemarie52), and Facebook (Elise Hardenburger)! And comment below with any tips how you got your online following started. 🙂
Through all my adventures lately–both in attending the conference and querying–working on my second novel Inductance, has taken a backseat. This has been frustrating both because it is leading to a few errors in the work as well as because I don’t like days where I don’t write; unless it is a specified day off, I feel anxious and less accomplished than I do on those days where I have written a chapter. Don’t get me wrong, I usually take the weekends off, unless I am sitting at home with no plans (there have to be some days to recharge the mind and give the story a break!). However, especially with the conference, I did not have time to write for four days, and before that, preparing for the conference was time consuming as well. I started Inductance a little less than a month ago, and now I have 27,000 words done, so I am not doing awful at the whole thing, but I am definitely not as prolific as I was in my heaviest work phases of writing Capacitance.
I want this to change. This disconnected process that I have going right now is causing just that–disconnect–in my story. Once again, I am forever thankful to my Dad, the in-progress reader and editor, as he has caught some of these disconnects as he reads the new chapters of Inductance. For the most part, they have been relatively small, easy to correct errors. For example, today at lunch he caught a snag where the characters had planned to change their meeting place to different room, but then later on when the meeting actually occurs, I forgot to change its location to match the new plans. A minor detail, but one that readers WILL notice. I am glad it was caught, and I am actually excited to go back and change it because by connecting the details and having the characters meet at the new room, I think I can insert some really cool scenes into the story.
All that being said, I have decided to go back and read my work so far on Inductance–when I write, sometimes it is such an organic process that I literally don’t remember what I wrote after it’s done. This isn’t such a problem when I am writing a chapter each day and the flow remains fresh in my mind. I think that by going back and reading my manuscript thus far, I can refresh myself with the story and that will make it easier to keep on track with things, as well as possibly spark some new plot lines (the necessity for an action packed book is still daunting me!). It will also give me a chance to get some early edits!
Today I prepared and sent out five query letters, and hope to get a couple more done before the day is through. I think once I have all those sent out, then focus on Inductance will come much more easily.
Today I finally narrowed down the list of agents I want to query, and now as I begin to do more research on each one specifically, I am finding myself getting more overwhelmed and a little nervous. Seeing agents’ who have the likes of “Gone Girl” or “The Fault in Our Stars” under their published client belts makes one’s head spin. I find myself wondering “Do I really know what I am doing here?” The lead-up to actually submitting my queries and waiting to hear agents’ response is arguably more tense than it will be after I have submitted my first round as I am second guessing my own capabilities. I am very confident in the quality and marketability of the book I have written, but how will I feel after that first inevitable rejection letter? Will I still believe in my abilities as an author?
Conversely, I also am nervous about the possibility of success–like stepping off of a roller coaster or drinking too much coffee too quickly, the possibility of success is a major head rush. Obviously this is a better kind of overwhelming sensation than the fear of rejection, but it is just as intense. It would be surreal to accomplish this lifelong dream at such a young age. One thought is clear in my mind through all the spinning emotions–it is paramount to toe a delicate balance between fear of getting rejected and over-confidence at being accepted and published. I don’t want to get my hopes up, but I don’t want to cast aside all hopeful optimism either.
Maybe–scratch that, certainly–my writing won’t be for every agent, but that doesn’t mean I should lose confidence in it; at this point, with a polished manuscript, I need to remind myself that my job is relatively easy…just sit back and let the writing speak for itself.